Transit Euro 6 Reviewed

Ford Transit Euro 6

Ford Transit Euro 6

Following the downsizing trend, Ford have taken the opportunity Euro 6 regulation brings to reduce the sizes of their diesels in the Transit and Transit Custom from the current 2.2 litre Euro 5 engine to a 2.0 litre Euro 6.

In the case of the new Ford "Ecoblue" diesel, less is definitely more.  Sure, the driver will have to top up with Adblue every 6,000 miles or so, but in return he will be rewarded by improved fuel consumption, power and torque plus reduced noise levels.

Usually a simple change of engine is no big thing, but with Ford as European commercial vehicle market leader with 12.6% of the market, the Transit sets the path for others to follow.

The new engine, common to both Transit and Transit Custom will be available in 105' 130 and 170ps - expect to see the same engine in cars with outputs up to 240ps. The architecture is brand new - developed in the UK and Germany, but leans heavily on the company's award-winning petrol Ecoboost engine.  Built in Dagenham, Ford claim that the low friction design and clever air inlet system makes it the most efficient diesel engine the company has ever built.

As the engine is ultimately destined for cars as well, it is compact in design, with the EGR system integrated into the aluminium head and the SCR systems bolted to the rear of the engine.

There are fuel savings to offset the increased purchase price and cost of the Adblue - Ford are claiming a reduction in fuel consumption of some 16%, resulting in emissions of 174g/kg for the Transit and 157g/kg for the Transit Custom.  Ford have done the maths and tell us this could save an operator £1,250 over 80,000 miles, whilst service intervals increase to 36,000 miles - up by 6,000 miles over the outgoing model.

The downside for the driver is having to fill the 21 litre Adblue tank every 6,000 miles

On the Road

When driving the van it is the increased torque that is immediately noticeable, available lower down the rev range, thanks to the variable nozzle turbo with a smaller turbine and compressor.  For example, whilst the base model 105 ps receives an extra 5ps over the Euro 5 model, torque is up by 50NM, an increase of some 14%.

Once you have got over the sheer number of buttons on the steering wheel, the increasing number of driver aids become apparent.  On the roads near Munich, the central white lines made the lane departure warning system work perfectly, delivering the right amount of vibration through the steering wheel to attract the driver's attention.

The traffic sign recognition system also worked flawlessly in the German countryside where the road signs are impeccably maintained, warning of a speedo restriction and the end of the restriction.  It will be interesting to see whether the system picks up the UK signs so effectively.  Where the van has satnav fitted, it can use this data to assist with road sign reading.

If anything, the new, patented pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection made itself known a little too readily, but better safe than sorry, as the autonomous braking happens long after the initial warning lights appear.

Ford claim a reduction in Noise Vibration and Harshness, (NVH), resulting in passenger car levels inside the cabin.

Auto Gearbox and Air Suspension

To take the fight to Iveco's Hi-Matic Daily, Ford will introduce a fully automatic, six speed, torque converter gearbox for the FWD Transit and Custom later this year. The electronically controlled unit is widely used in the US and has been optimised for economy, resulting in a 189g/km for the Transit.

Initially for people-carrying variants only, Ford will introduce a rear air suspension set up on the Custom Kombi - a first for the segment.

And the external changes?

The only way anyone will know you have a new, Euro 6 Transit or Custom is by checking out the thin, chrome strip under the number plate.  Easy to see when new, but more tricky when covered in 10,000 miles worth of grime.

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