A long-running house move has given our compact city van the chance to show off its prowess as a versatile little load lugger, James Dallas reports
Thanks to a recent house move our long term Transit Courier Kombi could lay claim to being the hardest working van in south east London.
The change of address has been staggered over several weeks so the rear row of seats has been up and down like a yoyo as the Kombi has switched between its dual roles as a family vehicle and load lugger.
With the move also involving a comprehensive house clear out multiple trips have been made to the local London borough’s recycling centre, carting away everything from defunct electrical equipment, to scrap metal to obsolete household and garden furniture.
We have also made numerous runs to charity shops loaded up with books, clothes and children’s toys, taken in the delights of the Croydon IKEA to stock up on furniture and undertaken countless Groundhog Day-like journeys between old abode and new.
Perhaps most challengingly, our Kombi’s 1.9m3 load space (with seats folded down) was induced to swallow a dismantled wooden bed frame followed by a return journey to collect the accompanying well-sprung and stubbornly unwieldy mattress.
The Courier’s rear load floor height of 547mm, which is just over 50mm lower than that of the Courier’s larger stablemate, the Transit Connect light van, takes much of the strain out of loading up but is still higher than the 527mm height of the Citroen Nemo and Fiat Fiorino and a tad more than the 544mm of the Peugeot Bipper – the three vans that are the Courier’s natural rivals.
The fact that the Kombi is fitted with both near and off -side side sliding loading doors comes in very handy when working at the kerbside and while the twin rear doors only open to 90 degrees, at least this means they don’t cause a hazard to oncoming traffic in tight city streets.
More worrying is the lack of a bulkhead to protect the cab when the rear seats are folded down and the cargo bay full to the rafters – meaning that only the headrest is there to protect the back of the driver’s head if anything comes loose.
Having been called upon to carry considerable weight at times, as well as volume, we have been impressed by the Courier’s 1.5-litre 75hp engine’s ability to cope. It may lack oomph when out on the open road but sticks diligently to its tasks about town when much of its work is done in low gears at speeds rarely exceeding 30mph.
|Ford Transit Courier 1.5 TDCi 75 Kombi Base|
|Official combined consumption 68.9mpg|
|Our average consumption|
|Price (ex VAT) £12,513|