The name “Transit” has become synonymous with getting things to where they need to go. Certainly in this country the nameplate has been a staple for businesses both big and small, with so many variations on offer the majority of people are well catered for. This new generation of Transit vans has been divided further in order to provide even more choice for customers. The standard van is a huge tool of utility, Transit Custom is very quickly becoming the go-to model for labourers, Transit Connect offer a smaller package but still with enough space for large objects, and now there is an even more compact van in the Transit Courier. Designed predominately for the urban environment, the Ford Transit Courier 1.0 EcoBoost we tested had many virtues.
That blue is quite unusual isn’t it? It is called “Iceberg” and we think it is well worth the extra £300, that is unless your business has nothing to do with the colour blue… If you look at other vans they tend to be that traditional boxy shape, but the Ford Transit Courier takes a different approach. Styled more like a car with its cascading front features and angled headlights, you can’t help but call it good looking. With the optional Sport Pack of our test car its visuals are further boosted by 15 inch alloy wheels and roof rails. Proportionally it looks good and contours on what would otherwise be slab-sides keep the design flowing.
The first thing you notice when you sit inside the Ford Transit Courier is just how spacious the cabin is. Two can be seated with plenty of room amplified by large windows. Head room seams infinite with plenty of space to facilitate an overhead storage shelf which I am sure would come in very handy. The console layout is that of which we have seen on many Ford cars in the past. A now slightly dated mobile phone style keypad gives you access to Bluetooth and DAB radio. The instruments are clear and easy to read, its seating position is highly adjustable also. This specific Courier had a cage divider between the passenger compartment and loading space, a solid bulkhead can be specified. This cage can swing open and in tandem with the folding passenger seat allow long items to be stored along the length of this van. In the rear itself 2.3cu.m of space is on offer with the floor being 1.62m in length. Tethering points are also dotted about this highly practical space which is lit in this van with a bright LED light. Two rear doors and a, rarely seen on this size of van, sliding side door makes loading an unloading as easy as possible. 660KG of weight is accommodated for. This Courier is the most practical van in its class.
This van is powered by the award winning 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine, and if you came away from reading our Transit Connect road test thinking we liked it in that, we loved it even more in this smaller package. Its turbocharged three cylinder engine is the perfect companion for this little urban van. Responsive and refined at low speeds with 99BHP being enough get up and go to take advantage of gaps in the traffic. The Ford Transit Courier is based upon the Fiesta which is credited for being a fine handling car. I am pleased to report that its traits have been transferred into the van. The steering is well weighted and gives you a good sense of being connected to the road. It changes direction with surprising ease for a van and I would even go as far as saying it is agile. Work its five speed gearbox and the torque from the turbo whisks you along nicely. There is some body roll but not as much as you might expect. After you spend some time on country roads it dawns on you, this tool of functionality, this machine that stereotypically serves only one purpose, is actually very enjoyable to drive. Its keen to turn-in, has good levels of grip and just enough power and torque to exit corners at a reasonable pace. Although all that might seem completely irrelevant to its target market, in my eyes if you have to work with a car day-in and day-out surely you should choose one that is pleasing to drive. More relevant is the good visibility offered by the large mirrors, although rear visibility was restricted due to this model not having a rear window or reversing camera. It will happily do motorway trips but ultimately it wasn’t really designed to spend its life on the M27 hauling goods. There is some wind and road noise which echoed around inside this cage divided model. A solid bulkhead would likely make it more refined. Equipped with start/stop the blue oval reckons this 2014 Ford Transit Courier 1.0 EcoBoost will do 54.3 MPG combined.
At £14,826 with its options, in top Trend trim and before tax, the Courier represents good value. I was pleasantly surprised with just how good this little van was, but then thinking about its lineage, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised at all.