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Expanded Ford Transit Custom gains standard AEB

Ford Transit Custom van adds safety, power, extended-seat option and Sport variant

13 Mar 2019

FORD Australia has boosted the value of its popular Transit Custom van with a significant upgrade that sees driver-assist safety technology, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), fitted standard, engine power boosted by 30 per cent and a series-first six-seater version introduced.


A racy Sport variant has also joined the Transit Custom range.


Pricing has risen across existing variants by $1200, now starting at $42,190 plus on-road costs, however the previously optional ‘Technology Pack’ (with AEB) required a $1600 additional outlay.


Orders for the medium-sized front-wheel-drive van series are now being taken, but deliveries will not commence until September.


The changes also see a gross vehicle mass (GVM) rating boost in the shorter of the two wheelbases on offer, rising from 3000kg in the previous 300S to 3400kg in the new 340S.


Note, though, that the GVM is 3200kg in the new 320S and long-wheelbase 320L Sport, due to the fitment of more performance-orientated tyres that have a lower load rating.


Gross combination mass ratings have also increased on automatic models, meaning that braked towing capacity jumps from 1800kg to 2150kg.


The revised 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine now meets Euro 6.2 emissions requirements, raising power and torque from 96kW and 385Nm to 125kW and 390Nm respectively on all models except in the Sport, which uses a 136kW/405Nm version.


Transmissions continue to be either a six-speed manual or six-speed torque-converter automatic, as first seen in 2017.


The Transit Custom’s AEB specification boost (with pedestrian detection) means the entire range now meets the five-star safety rating requirements under the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).


The update also brings rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, lane-keep alert/assist, blind-spot warning, a heated windscreen, auto on/off headlights with auto high-beam function and rain-sensing wipers.


These come on top of other standard safety equipment on all models including six airbags, stability/traction control, rollover mitigation, trailer-sway control, side-wind control, load adaptive control, hill-launch assist, rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors and an automatic emergency services call in the event of a crash.


The long-running series also comes with a 4.2-inch colour instrument cluster, heated front seats, a programmable key with user-restricted settings, 8.0-inch touchscreen, Sync3 voice control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, Bluetooth telephony, digital radio and a choice of more than 100 exterior colours.


This is backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, four-year fixed-price servicing and 30,000km service intervals.


Along with a bit more performance and a little less payload, the 320S Sport Van scores bi-Xenon HID headlights with static bending and LED daytime running lights, a glossy grille, bodykit, redesigned bumpers, racing-inspired stripes and decals, black 17-inch alloy wheels, body coloured mirrors and a couple of unique colours – metallic blue and orange.


Inside, the Sport includes a powered driver’s seat, part-leather trim, leather-clad steering wheel, gloss-black and chrome trim contrasts and LED cargo area lighting.


Offered in the longer wheelbase 340L and 320L Sport Van models, the Double Cab-in-Van (DCiV) brings dual cargo and six-passenger carrying capability, along with a rear bulkhead separating the two sections, dual sliding side doors and 4.4 cubic metres of load space.


The 320L Sport DCiV differs from its 320S Sport Van sibling with the extra wheelbase length, five seats in a 2+3 row arrangement and standard sat-nav. It also goes without cornering lights.


Finally, customisation options include a liftgate in lieu of barn doors out back, dual side-load doors with or without windows and a high-roof option.


Transit Custom sales rose 18 per cent last year, from 1593 to 1880 units, for a 9.3 per cent share of the 2.5-3.5t van market in Australia.


This made it the fourth-best seller behind the leading Toyota HiAce (6852 registrations for a 33.9 per cent share), Hyundai iLoad (4362/21.6%) and Volkswagen Transporter (2095/10.4%).


Ford also sells the altogether larger, rear-drive Transit Heavy in the next van class above, against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Renault Master.


The existing Transit Custom generation – just the fourth all-new iteration since 1965 – was launched in Australia in 2014, with a significant overhaul that saw an all-new interior arrive locally in 2018.


2019 Ford Transit Custom pricing*

340S SWB 2.0 EcoBlue $42,190
340S SWB 2.0 EcoBlue (a) $44,990
340L LWB 2.0 EcoBlue $44,190
340L LWB 2.0 EcoBlue (a) $46,990
320S SWB Sport 2.0 EcoBlue 136kW (a) $48,490
340L LWB DCiV 2.0L EcoBlue (a) $49,990
320L LWB Sport DCiV 2.0 EcoBlue 136kW (a) $53,490

*Excludes on-road costs

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