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Ford Transit Custom vs Vauxhall Vivaro

Ford Transit Custom vs Vauxhall Vivaro

Buying your next used van is a big commitment and a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Whether you need a medium van for business or pleasure, there are countless options available on the market, so which one is best?

To help, we've taken two of Britain's best-selling medium vans, the Ford Transit Custom and the Vauxhall Vivaro, and compared these two giants to help your decision.

With one built in Britain, and both British favourites, our very own battle of the vans should help make your next medium van purchase much easier.


Ford Transit Custom side view

The Ford Transit Custom

Since coming to the market towards the end of 2012, the Ford Transit Custom is a newbie to the van market but is already taking this sector by storm.

Not only does the Ford Transit Custom offer the flexibility of two length options and two roof heights, but it also boasts a single 2-litre engine, much larger than the Vivaro's 1.6-litre unit.

Like the Vivaro, the Ford Transit Custom's engine is also Euro 6 compliant.

The Ford Transit Custom has a 2-litre engine and offers three power output options:

105ps, 130ps, 170ps

Although this vehicle offers only three power output options compared to the four offered by the Vivaro, the Custom's 170ps unit delivers maximum power and towers above the Vivaro's most powerful 145ps engine.


Vauxhall Vivaro side view

The Vauxhall Vivaro

With its superb practicality and choice of lengths, two roof height levels and a single or double cab, it is no surprise that the Vauxhall Vivaro holds a place in many medium van owners' hearts.

First introduced in 2001 and now in its second generation, this versatile, medium-sized panel van provides all you need, whether you require a used van for business, personal use, or a bit of both.

The Vauxhall Vivaro has a single 1.6-litre diesel engine and offers four power output options:

95ps,120ps, 125ps,145ps

Each power output is compliant with Euro 6 regulations, making this medium van a suitable choice to comply with the latest set of emission standards as set out for the European Union.

Ideal for the storage and transportation of bulky items, the Vauxhall Vivaro can carry at least 1075kg.

Below we explore the handling, features, and load space among other elements of these two popular medium-sized vans.



With neither van type offering an automatic option, the manual transmission of both the Ford Transit Custom and the Vauxhall Vivaro is exceptional and gives you excellent control over the van.

The Vivaro boasts firm suspension which aids handling on corners and in busy environments. The steering is firm but responsive and boasts a turning circle of 11.8m, so you don't need to rely on having a strong arm to be able to handle this vehicle easily.

In comparison, the Ford Transit Custom's tighter turning circle of 11.6m makes it easy to manoeuvre around tight turns, built-up areas and busy environments. You'll find a slightly lower riding position in the Ford Transit Custom, which might make the vehicle easier to control on winding roads and narrow country lanes.

While both vehicles boast superb handling features, the smaller turning circle and more controlled drive offered by the Ford Transit Custom could make it slightly more appealing when it comes to handling.



Depending on the trim level you choose, the Ford Transit Custom offers a host of features, including:

  • Infotainment system featuring DAB radio, Bluetooth (and FordPass Connect in higher trims)
  • Parking sensors
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Sat-nav
  • Front fog lights
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Heated windscreen
  • Rear-view camera
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • A fold-out table on the central passenger seat
  • Cabin storage space
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Body-coloured bumpers
  • Chrome grille surround
  • Racing stripes


Depending on the trim level you select, the Vauxhall Vivaro offers a host of features, including:

  • Infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB and Apple Carplay/Android Auto
  • Air conditioning
  • Parking sensors
  • Cruise control
  • Sat-nav
  • Alloy wheels
  • Driver drowsiness system
  • Fold-flat centre seat table
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Speed sign recognition
  • Front fog lights
  • Body-coloured bumpers
  • Metallic paint options


Load space

Both van types have cleverly made use of all available space to maximise the load volume.

Whether you select the Vauxhall or the Ford, both boast extra height and longer length options, so you'll be sure to find a version of these popular van types to suit your needs and space requirements.

H2 variations offer full standing height in both the Vauxhall and the Ford, with the Transit Custom offering the widest side door opening of any medium van in this category. The Vivaro does allow for a two-stage load through to the passenger footwell, enabling a load as long as 4.15 m to be carried without any issues.

When it comes to load capacity, the Vivaro boasts a maximum of 8.6 cubic metres, compared to the Ford Transit Custom's 8.3 cubic metre capacity.



Both the Transit and the Vivaro are available in a range of lengths to suit your requirements. Depending on the make and model, the Ford Transit Custom ranges from 4.67 - 5.56 metres and the Vivaro from 4.95 - 5.3 metres.



Transit Custom payload ranges from just under 700kg to nearly 1,500kg. The exact amount varies with engine type, trim level, fitted equipment and body size.

The Vauxhall Vivaro offers a maximum payload of 1,280kg, however, you will need a long wheelbase version to achieve this.



When it comes to the purchase price, both the Ford Transit Custom and the Vauxhall Vivaro are even in cost and the annual road tax for each van type is a similar price. Check out our range of used Vivaro and used Transit vans to see the current price ranges of a used vehicle.

While fuel efficiency will greatly depend on the weight of the load being transported, the best economy can be found in the Vauxhall Vivaro 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo at 47.9mpg (unloaded) while the Ford Transit Custom 2.0 TDCi manages 44.1 mpg (unloaded).

We've compiled our key stats and fact findings into a key comparisons table below for ease:

Ford Transit Custom vs Vauxhall Vivaro: Key comparisons

Van Type



Max Payload

Towing Capacity

Max Load Length

Max Load Width

Max Load Height


Vauxhall Vivaro









Ford Transit Custom







1778 mm



Customer viewing vans at Vanbase


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Whether the winner is a Ford Transit Custom or a Vauxhall Vivaro, find your next used van today with Carbase | Vanbase

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