The all-new Ford Transit range returned from this year’s UK Van Fleet World Honours laden with five awards, including the overall Van Manufacturer of the Year for the second successive year.
There were awards for the new Transit Connect, which won both Best New Van and Best Small Van categories, and for Transit Custom, which was judged Best Medium Van and also won the Security Award.
At a special awards ceremony in London’, Van Fleet World Managing Editor John Kendall said, “Not a difficult choice for the judges given the comprehensive renewal of Ford’s van range that is still going on. To date they have all been class-leading to drive, too, which makes Ford a worthy winner.”
Receiving the awards for Ford, a spokesman said, “In little over a year the market-leading Ford Transit range has been renewed and expanded to four models, from the new compact Transit Courier and Transit Connect, through Transit Custom to Transit, with its cargo capacity of more than two tonnes. It is a range of commercial vehicles of which Ford is justly proud, and we are delighted to receive this recognition.”
Best New Van and Small Van – Ford Transit Connect
“Transit Connect has taken a massive step forward this year,” said Dan Gilkes, Editor of Van Fleet World. “Offering increased load volume and carrying capacity, complete with some innovative load carrying solutions, such as the load-through bulkhead and fold-flat passenger seat. There have been changes under the bonnet, too, with the downsizing of engines from 1.8-litres to more fuel-efficient 1.6-litre diesels, and the unusual offer of the award-winning EcoBoost petrol engine. Service intervals have been extended and Ford is hoping for a five per cent residual uplift, lowering ownership costs for fleets. Perhaps most importantly for drivers, though, the Transit Connect remains a cracking van to drive.”
Best Medium Van – Ford Transit Custom
“Medium Van was an easy win for Transit Custom last year as it moved the game forward significantly both for Ford and for the competition. A wide range of carrying capacities and load volumes, with the addition this year of the high-roof models, has kept Custom more than competitive. However it is the driving experience that puts Transit Custom above the chasing pack,” said Gilkes.
Security Award – Ford Transit Custom
“Transit Custom’s high level of security equipment as standard provides fleet managers with the confidence that neither their vans nor their contents are going to fall prey to thieves. When the cost of crime and its effect on insurance is taken into account, effective security is becoming an increasingly high priority for fleets and Transit Custom is a clear winner here,” said Kendall.