Ford Transit hybrid engines, drive & performance

The Ford Transit hybrid is surprisingly fast, with the electric motor delivering good acceleration

0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
TBC TBC Front 125bhp

The Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid is powered jointly by a 1.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, both of which drive the front wheels. There are four driving modes: EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge. In EV Auto, the van uses both the engine and the motor to provide the most efficient mix of petrol and electric power, while selecting EV Now forces it to use all of the available charge in the battery while the engine is switched off.

EV Later conserves the battery charge, allowing the Transit to run on the engine only, while EV Charge mode uses the engine to top up the battery on the move; a useful feature if you’ve not had the opportunity to plug it in.

Ford Transit hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

The 0-62mph and top speed figures for the Transit PHEV haven’t been confirmed yet, but on our test run we were pleasantly surprised by the van’s turn of speed. The electric motor gives good torque from a stationary start, meaning acceleration is never a problem around town. That said, it would be interesting to see how the relatively small engine would cope with a full payload of 1,130kg on board.

The van is very quiet in EV Now mode, and it remains relatively silent even when the engine kicks into life. The only time it begins to struggle is during steep inclines, when the engine has to rev hard to deliver the necessary power.

Handling

The Custom PHEV drives almost indistinguishably from the internal-combustion-engined versions of the van: the automatic gearbox means it’s easy to get around in, and the small steering wheel makes it easy to get from lock to lock during three-point turns.

The Transit rides well, ironing out both big and small bumps in the road. At motorway speeds, you’ll barely be able to make out the engine over the wind and road noise, which isn’t that intrusive anyway.