June 13, 2019

New van battle: Ford Transit Custom vs Volkswagen Transporter

Ford Transit Custom vans for sale

The medium new van segment is exceptionally competitive, with huge industry names including the Peugeot Expert, Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro all fighting it out for supremacy. There are over 10 medium vans available from the chief manufacturers, so which new van should you choose? Vansdirect takes a look at the two best selling medium vans, the Ford Transit Custom and Volkswagen Transporter vans!

New van introductions

In May 2019 the Ford Transit Custom sold 3,770 units in the UK, over 1,000 more than any other new van. Fifth on the list was the Volkswagen Transporter with 1,629 units. So both are incredibly popular new vans within the medium vans market, but which is best?

Ford Transit Custom Introduction

Sensibly this van needs no introduction, the Ford Transit Custom projects a professional image for your business. Available in two lengths and two heights, four different trim specifications and three different engines, there is a Ford Transit Custom for everyone’s business requirements.

Volkswagen Transporter Introduction

Another iconic van; The VW Transporter is a modern, flexible and adaptable van that can be tailored completely to the needs of your business. This flexibility is outlined with the choice of two lengths, three heights and four engines and a choice of gearboxes mean the Transporter can also handle rough terrain with ease.

Two iconic vans, which will come out on top?

New van battle – vital statistics

Now the polite introductions are over, let’s get into the action. Vansdirect examines the dimensions, weights, fuel economy and power of both of these new vans.

Worried about payload? The highest payload you’ll find in either of these vans is 1399kg from the Ford Transit Custom, whereas the Volkswagen van has a maximum payload of 1274kg (albeit on most models). We make that 1-0 to the Ford van.

Payload: Transit Custom 1 VW Transporter 0

Now let’s take a glance at the dimensions of both of our vans. With two load lengths it should be easy to compare these figures. Looking at the smallest version of both vans, the VW Transporter has a load length of 2572mm in comparison with 2555mm on the Custom. A narrow win for the Volkswagen Transporter in this case. 1-1.

Load Length: Transit Custom 1 VW Transporter 1

We’ve looked at length, now let’s examine the width of both new vans. All Ford Transit Custom panel vans have a loadspace width of 1775mm in comparison with 1700mm on the Volkswagen Transporter. A comfortable win for the Ford van here. 2-1.

Load Width: Transit Custom 2 VW Transporter 1

A difficult one to judge perhaps, as the Ford Transit Custom is available in 2 heights and the Volkswagen Transporter 3. The difference in height between both H1 models is marginal, whereas looking at both H2 versions the Ford comes out on top. However it seems unfair to ignore the L2H3 version of the Volkswagen Transporter, with a loadspace height of 1940mm. The VW van equalises, 2-2.

Load Height: Transit Custom 2 VW Transporter 2

Now let’s talk about engines! Firstly we’ll find out which is more powerful! The most torque produced is by the 204ps engine in the Transporter, a staggering 450Nm. The best from the Ford Transit Custom is 405Nm in 170ps versions. The VW Transporter van takes the lead for the first time, 2-3.

Torque: Transit Custom 2 VW Transporter 3

Sticking with engines, no good being powerful if they are going to cost an arm and a leg to run! The best fuel economy from the two vans is 47.9mpg found in the 102ps output from the Volkswagen Transporter. The best the Ford Transit Custom van can manage is 46.3mpg (although less of a range exists between Ford’s engines in terms of mpg). Close but no cigar, 2-4.

Fuel Economy: Transit Custom 2 VW Transporter 4

So the Volkswagen Transporter offers better fuel economy (with certain engine outputs), but is it more economically efficient too? The answer is no, the highest emission figures for the Ford Transit Custom are 165 g/km (170ps), in comparison to 174 g/km on the Transporter (204ps). The Custom pulls one back. 3-4

Emissions: Transit Custom 3 VW Transporter 4

Now let’s talk about the features within the vans and the specifications available. The VW Transporter is available in 3 spec levels: Startline, Trendline and Highline and has a whole host of features available as standard on each model. In comparison the Custom is available in four different spec levels: base, trend, limited and sport. It’s difficult to judge, but we have to side with the Custom in this case, as we believe the limited and sports models have features not included in VW Transporter Highline models. A tough one here, but an equaliser. 4-4.

Trim Specs: Transit Custom 4 VW Transporter 4

Extra-time to be played and it’s golden goal, with one remaining category and that category is Towing capacity!
The Ford Transit Custom offers class leading towing capacity of 2.8 tonnes, the Volkswagen Transporter in comparison offers 2.5 tonnes. A valiant effort from the VW Transporter, but the Ford Transit Custom pips it at the post! Final score 5-4.

Towing Capacity: Transit Custom 5  VW Transporter 4

Medium van on finance

Looking for medium vans? Check out the rest of our range here, available with flexible van finance options including van leasing, contract hire and hire purchase. Call us on 0800 169 69 95 or enquire online and we’ll be in touch ASAP.

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