Everybody knows that a properly organised household is not complete without a Ford Transit...READ MORE...
What I didn’t understand until last week, however, was that it’s even better to have two.
Neil Lyndon drives a brace of very useful Ford vans
The week before last, we had a Transit Custom Limited van at our house – the classic job with the three seats in the front, partition bulkhead, sliding side door and the double-doors at the back. It even came in Frozen White, as any self-respecting Transit should.
Last week, we also had the loan of a Tourneo Custom minibus, which is based on the Transit.
Both were fabulous enhancements to our family life. Both proved invaluable.
Into the van’s immense loadspace, I piled the mountain range of horrible guddle that has been spreading like the Hindu Kush around our bins – old tyres, bits of hi-fi platform, ratty old tarpaulins, a year’s-worth of sodden cardboard, broken flooring. The Transit ate up this loathsome salmagundi without even burping. It took me less than half an hour to load, less than 10 minutes to empty at the municipal dump and less than five minutes to sweep the van’s floor clean. Thus did the blessed Transit save me from yet another year of earache from my beloved spouse. For this relief, much thanks.
The Tourneo Minibus was a delight in a more civilised way. I even wore clean clothes.
My elder daughter wanted to go to a Sunday morning sale of vintage and second-hand clothes in a nearby city. She suggested to some of her friends that they should make an outing of it. Five of them agreed.
None of our normal cars at home would transport that number, but with the Tourneo it was less than no problem: it was a positive delight.
The girls sat facing each other in the two rows of seats in the middle of the bus and I sat up at the front in blissful isolation, carefully chauffeuring my precious passengers and being completely ignored by them for the two hours of our round-trip, as is only right.
Each of these vehicles was a proper hoot to drive and a pleasure for the passengers. Many times at the wheel, I would find myself thinking “All cars ought to be like this.” The upright seating position in relation to the steering wheel is perfect for posture. The chunky, two-tier wing-mirrors – as big as an Ipad – give the panoramic view of the road behind that you really need to see rather than the letterbox glimpse most car mirrors afford. The wipers are tough enough to work through a storm in Newfoundland. The cup and bottle-holders are big enough for a Thermos flask or a pint. There’s even a dedicated slot for your copy of The Sun.
Moreover, the Transit could put on a turn of speed to relegate most cars to the position of a mere afterthought. Ford doesn’t publish an official figure for 0-60 mph acceleration – presumably because questions would be asked in the House – but I doubt it’s far off a McLaren 570S.
The official fuel consumption figure of 40.1 mpg is a similarly implausible joke.
Van reviewed: Ford Transit Custom Limited 300S - On the road £31,140 with option as tested £32,454 0-62mph 5.8 secs Top speed 169mph Fuel Economy combined 40.9mpg CO2 emissions 166g/km Engine 1995cc 4-cylinder diesel EU6 Max Power Engine 130PS@3500rpm Engine Torque 3850Nm@1500rpm Transmission 6-speed manual
A hoot to drive
Panoramic view of the road
Easy to drive
Take it steady
What the others say about the Ford Transit on YouTube...
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