As the Ford Transit celebrates its 50th birthday this year, Commercial Vehicle Insight takes the newest transit, the 2015 Custom Sport model out for a test drive with Transit expert Tony Feldon, to find out some of the secret’s of the van’s success.
Since the first vehicle left the production line in Langley, England, on August 9, 1965, almost 8 million Transit and Transit Custom models have been built, and the Transit has grown from a single model to an entire family of Transit vans.
Lined up end-to-end, 50 years of Transits would circle the globe, and on average a new Transit has been bought every 180 seconds during its lifetime.
The latest expanded Transit line-up features four all-new models – Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier.
Transit has also introduced a list of technology innovations to help improve performance, comfort and safety; from features like side-loading doors, radial ply tyres and halogen headlights, to direct injection diesel engines, high security locks and standard anti-lock brakes. The latest Transit models have added state-of-the-art technologies like Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Aid.
Commenting on the 2015 Custom Sport, CVI editor Stephen Mansell says: “The Transit Custom Sport drives exceptionally well and it’s got some neat little features from a tradesperson’s perspective such as a folding hatch in the bulkhead which enables long loads of up to 3m to be carried without a roof rack and a hidden compartment in the passenger seat for valuables .”
Transit expert Tony Feldon adds: “The Transit Custom drives like a car but has the purpose of a van which can be very difficult to get across unless you actually experience it.”
What to watch for: “See the Transit Custom Sport being taken through its paces on a dual carriageway and witness the model’s impressive low down torque.”
Tony Feldon is Group Business Centre Manager of Lifestyle Ford in Horsham.