Ford Australia has announced a major model update for its entry-level van, the Transit Custom, making autonomous emergency braking (AEB) standard across the full range and increasing power and torque on all models.
The safety upgrade also includes the addition of lane-keep assist, speed sign recognition, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, active cruise control and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. If you’ve ever tried reversing a commercial van out of a 60-degree angle park, you’ll no doubt appreciate the usefulness of that last one.
Most drivers will also appreciate the power upgrade, which sees the short-wheelbase (SWB) Ford Transit Custom 340S and long-wheelbase (LWB) Transit Custom 320L deliver 125kW and 390Nm from its 2.0-litre turbo diesel inline four– 30 percent more power than the outgoing model. A six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are available, and power goes exclusively to the front wheels.
Those names are a clue to another big change: an increase in gross vehicle mass to 3400kg for the SWB and 3200kg for the LWB Transit Custom, an effective increase in total payload of 200kg. Gross combination mass (the total weight of the vehicle and a trailer) also rises, meaning six-speed automatic models can tow a more generous 2150kg on a braked trailer – an increase of 350kg.
A more powerful engine option also arrives for the 320S Sport Van, boasting 136kW and 405Nm from an uprated version of the regular van’s 2.0-litre powertrain. Exclusively automatic, it also comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured exterior plastics, unique front and rear bumpers, bi-xenon headlamps, a 10-way power driver’s seat and partial leather upholstery.
The Transit Custom range has also been bulked up further by the addition of two Double Cab-in Van variants, which add a second row of seats to give a total capacity of six people.
Available only in LWB form with the 125kW engine for the Transit Custom 340L DCiV or in the flashier 136kW Transit Custom DCiV Sport (whose specification mirrors that of the three-seater SWB Sport Van), both are still able to tote up to 4.4 cubic metres of cargo behind the rear seat’s steel bulkhead. Dual rear sliding doors with windows are standard for the DCiV models.
Other equipment highlights for 2019 include a 4.2-inch colour instrument panel, now standard, along with Ford’s MyKey system (which can restrict vehicle functions for certain keys). An 8.0-inch colour touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment software and Android Auto/Apple Carplay is standard, though sat nav is a cost option in all models bar the more powerful 320S Sport Van and 320L DCiV Sport.
The addition of new equipment sees a small price rise, with the price of entry now $1200 than before. The 2019 Ford Transit Custom range is available now.
- Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Van 6MT - $42,190
- Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Van 6AT - $44,990
- Ford Transit Custom 340L LWB Van 6MT - $44,190
- Ford Transit Custom 340L LWB Van 6AT - $46,990
- Ford Transit Custom 320S SWB Sport Van 136kW 6AT - $48,490
- Ford Transit Custom 340L LWB DCiV 6AT - $49,990
- Ford Transit Custom 320L LWB Sport DCiV 136kW 6AT - $53,490
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