Although Ford's Transit is Europe's most popular commercial van it has struggled to compete with the likes of Toyota's top-selling HiAce and Hyundai's iLoad in Australia's mid-sized (2.5-3.5 tonne GVM) van segment, largely due to the lack of an automatic transmission.

In June 2017 Ford Australia's patience was finally rewarded with the 2017-25MY (or first quarter 2017 model year) VN Transit Custom offering an automatic option for the first time. The new six-speed self-shifter also heralds the arrival of Ford's new generation Euro 6-compliant 'EcoBlue' 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine.

CarsGuide had its first drive of the latest Transit Custom at Ford's official launch function in June but as always we were keen to get our hands on a suitable example to test its load-hauling ability at or close to its GVM rating.