Ford Transit crowned van king of the Arctic in sub-zero test

11 Mar, 2014 1:00pm Alex Yau

The Ford Transit and Transit Connect vans earned a double win after battling severe winter conditions in Finland van endurance test

The tough Ford Transit van has proven why it’s amongst the best in its class after enduring one of the coldest and most grueling van performance tests on the planet.

Both the new Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect were placed under heavy pressure in the punishing five-day Arctic Van Test that took place in icy Finland – where temperatures can plummet to -50 degrees Celsius.

• Best small van 2014

Their fuel efficiency, load carrying and handling abilities were rigorously tested with slaloms across a frozen airfield and unnerving drives through 700 kilometres of frozen road. They were also left outside in sub-freezing temperatures overnight to see whether their engines and heating could function properly the day after.

In the end, the Ford vans prevailed and the expert drivers who tested them named them overall winners: Ford’s first double victory in the event’s 23-year history.

The Ford Transit was rated top or joint-top in nine out of 13 categories against rival models from Mercedes, Vauxhall and Volkswagen. The Ford Transit Connect’s handling and stability particularly impressed the judges and it ranked top or joint-top in seven categories against Citroen, Renault and Volkswagen.

“Every one of our new Ford Transits is tested in the world’s toughest climates and driving conditions long before launch, so they are prepared for just this kind of challenge,” said Paul Randle, Ford Europe’s vehicle line director. “Our customers depend on their Transits to get the job done, and we have made sure they are ready for work, whatever the weather.”

The video below shows a recap of the tough challenges both vans had to go through.