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Ford Transit Custom vs Maxus e3: Medium Van Showdown

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Ford Transit Custom vs Maxus e3: Medium Van Showdown

A medium-sized van is ideal for a growing business. This size category is still nippy enough to manoeuvre around a city, while offering sufficient payload area for growth. The medium sized van also also be split into zones, allowing you to store items at different temperatures as required. 

When looking for a medium-sized refrigerated van for your business, two of the most popular and prevalent choices will be the Ford Transit Custom and the Maxus e3. These vehicles are known for being reliable, affordable and durable.

For companies with smaller loads to transport, or those that make multiple smaller trips rather than single longer trips, the medium-sized van category is ideal. This could include caterers, food delivery and florists. With custom racking, you can transform the loading bay into whatever configuration you need for your business. 

In this guide, we’re comparing the Ford Transit Custom vs the Maxus e3 and taking a deep dive into the medium-sized van category so you can find the ideal van for your business.

Ford Transit Custom Fast Facts

Ford Transit Custom Fast Facts

The Transit Custom van from Ford is an iconic vehicle, known throughout the commercial sector as a reliable and durable vehicle. It’s also comfortable and pleasant to drive, offering an experience that is more like driving a car.

  • First launched in 1965
  • Front wheel drive
  • Standard model comes with 5 doors, including a sliding side panel and 2 rear doors
  • Offers up to 6 cubic metres of load space
  • Load length of up to 3,450 mm
  • Available as a double cab-in van
  • Choose from all electric, hybrid or diesel

Maxus e3 Fast Facts

A relative newcomer to the market, the e3 is manufactured in China by Maxus. This company was previously known as LDV in the UK. The e3 is one of the first fully electric vans available, and it runs on a battery and electric motor combo. For those looking to minimise the impact of their company vehicle, the e3 offers an excellent way forward.

  • Only available as an electric van
  • Driving range of 99 to 151 miles (up to 141 miles or 213 miles urban driving)
  • Short wheelbase
  • 4.8 cubic metres of load space 
  • Maximum load length of 2,180mm
  • Stainless steel loading floor
Running costs and fuel economy

Running costs and fuel economy

The running costs will all depend on the choice of van. With the Maxus e3, you’ll only have the choice of an electric vehicle. With the Transit Custom, you can choose from an all electric, hybrid or diesel engine.

With the Maxus medium-sized van, you’ll enjoy better range if you’re using the van in a built-up area with multiple stops, as stopping and starting recharges the internal battery. If you need the van for longer journeys, you’ll need to plan a charging break into your trip. Remember that weather also impacts engine performance, with electric vehicles typically becoming more sluggish in the winter.

You can enjoy the best of both worlds with the hybrid choice from Ford. The Transit Custom Hybrid offers a weighted overall fuel consumption of 176.6mpg. The fully electric vehicle offers a range of 163-209 miles. From an efficiency standpoint, the Ford Transit Custom offers a slight advantage.

Driver comfort

Driver comfort

Whether you’re a one-person business or you have a whole staff that might be responsible for driving the van, driver comfort should always be a priority. From long distance driving, to being able to hop in and out with ease in busy, built-up areas, this is one of the main reasons it makes sense to arrange a test drive.

The Transit Custom cab offers a lower driving position than most vans, which can make things a lot more comfortable, particularly on long drives. Simple design features like a steering wheel that tilts to allow you to set up a laptop or enjoy your lunch make this vehicle more enjoyable to experience.

In the e3 van, the interior is said to be a little more cramped. For short city drops, this might not be an issue, but taller drivers using this vehicle for longer trips might have some complaints. As you can expect from a modern vehicle, this van includes things like rear parking cameras and sensors to help avoid knocks and scrapes. But these are very much standard in most vehicles.

Capacity and ease of loading

Capacity and ease of loading

In the refrigerated van category, ease of loading is key. All vans come equipped with pallet protection runners and a smooth, easy to clean floor to make it simple to load and unload your van. Both vans have a side sliding panel door and double rear doors.

In terms of capacity, the Ford Transit is slightly larger by design. However, it’s worth noting that the final load capacity will all depend on the insulation and refrigeration unit. Some conversions take up more space, so it’s vital to compare vehicles like-for-like based on their individual models and how the van has been converted.

Final thoughts on the Transit Vs e3

When it comes to selecting a vehicle for your business, there are so many factors to consider. Cost will often be the most important initial consideration – both the initial purchase cost and the ongoing running costs. Businesses first need to choose between fully electric, hybrid or diesel vehicles to help narrow down the choice.

While it can be tempting to choose all-electric because of the eco credentials for your business, it’s important to take a practical look at whether a fully electric vehicle has the capacity to keep up with demand. If this feature is important to you, and you can factor charging breaks into your delivery schedule, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Driver comfort and ease of loading is another key consideration. There’s little sense in purchasing a van for your business if your team struggles to load it or hates driving it. Before making a final decision, arrange a test drive with each vehicle to make sure it is best suited to your needs. 

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