Home » I’d Van-Life The Shit Out Of The New ‘Ford Transit Custom Nugget’ But I Can’t Because I’m Not In Europe

I’d Van-Life The Shit Out Of The New ‘Ford Transit Custom Nugget’ But I Can’t Because I’m Not In Europe

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Topshot
ADVERTISEMENT

Midsize vans have disappeared from America, but they still reign in Europe, and Ford’s launching a fresh one with overnight stay capability and available plug-in hybrid power. The new Ford Transit Custom Nugget is a well-sized camper ideal for traversing Europe. Custom Nugget. Transit Custom. Ford Transit. No matter which way you slice it, that name is awesome. Anyway, let’s talk about the van, shall we?

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Top Popped

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Here’s a fun surprise: The camper conversion on the latest Ford Transit Custom was developed in partnership with Westfalia. That’s right, the Transit Custom Nugget picks up where the Westies of old left off. Oh, but it gets more uncanny than that. The second-generation European-market Transit Custom is going to eventually get fresh sheetmetal and become the new Volkswagen Transporter. That shouldn’t be surprising since the next-generation Transit Courier is a Volkswagen underneath, but hey, the badge on the front says Ford. Welcome to the platform-sharing era.

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Interior 1

For first-class thrones, we’re looking at rotating front seats, which sound wicked for camping but also terrifying if you don’t latch them in all the way before setting off. Paired with a nifty heated bench seat out back, this reasonably compact camper seats five, perfect for the average family of 4.2 people. As for sleeping accommodations, the proper pop-top features a commodious-looking double bed, and the rear bench also folds into a double bed. Yes, this little camper can sleep four, five in a pinch. How awesome is that?

ADVERTISEMENT

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Shower

Speaking of accommodations, hot water is now standard, and if you’re wondering why hot water wasn’t standard before, Europeans have these wonderful things called kettles, so some of them just don’t need a hot tap. However, speaking of hot water, the press release for the Transit Custom Nugget comes with this hilarious line: “A rear-mounted hot/cold shower outlet is now standard, with optional tailgate privacy tent.” You can get clean, but not copping an indecent exposure charge is optional.

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Interior 2

In the rear of the van, you’ll find a drawer-style fridge, a cooktop, and plenty of cabinetry. Perfect for your cooking needs, although barely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this van’s tech. This RV comes with wireless charging and a standard 5G modem. You know, stuff you need for family life on the road in the modern, iPad-equipped age. You can even spec a solar roof so you’re less likely to seriously run down the camper’s dedicated battery pack, and owners can monitor status through a seven-inch monitor in the rear of the passenger compartment or through an app. It’s a smart home on wheels, sort-of.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Driving

Engines in vans typically aren’t worth writing home about, but the Transit Custom Nugget has a particularly intriguing option — a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an 11.8 kWh net capacity battery pack. It’s not dissimilar to what you’d find in a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid, and its peak output of 228 horsepower should be more than enough to get this van up to motorway speeds. On the other end of the spectrum, all-wheel-drive is on offer to aid extrication from muddy festival grounds.

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Rear

So, the Ford Transit Custom Nugget has an amazing name, looks incredibly practical, and offers enough powertrain choice to make everyone happy. Sounds like a wonderful camper, right? Well, if you live in North America, you can’t have one. It’s a Europe-only affair. While there’s definitely some white space in the American camper segment this could slide right into, homologating a vehicle like this for U.S. sale would be unbelievably expensive. Beyond the usual safety and emissions testing, you have to remember that North America is a home electrical outlier of sorts. That complicates things a little. Still, perhaps you’ll find some rental firm willing to supply you with one for your next European vacation. One can dream, right?

(Photo credits: Ford)

ADVERTISEMENT

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.

Relatedbar

Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
25 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bork Bork
Bork Bork
10 months ago

Unlike the US you’re very unlikely to get indecent exposure charges just for showering in Europe.

3WiperB
3WiperB
10 months ago

Looks similar to what I always say about my campers… “Sleeps 5 uncomfortably”

YeahMoto!
YeahMoto!
10 months ago

As a former Westy owner, I love this. Theres a huge gap in the small camper van market right now, and Hybrid would be perfect.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
10 months ago

Getting close, but just a tad bigger camper with plug-in hybrid drivetrain. I would daily it around town for errands in EV mode, camping trips in hybrid mode with power available for overnight needs. Maybe the upcoming transporter will be the one, if it actually gets to the US.

Marteau
Marteau
10 months ago
Reply to  Knowonelse

As written in the article, this is the upcoming transporter.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
10 months ago

Ah “rotating front seats, which sound wicked for camping but also terrifying if you don’t latch them in all the way before setting off” sets off memories.
I picked up an abandoned VW Baha bug for really cheap after finding the exGFs phone number on the floor. The floors under the seats were gone, so the PO put 2x4s across and bolted captains chairs to them. The driver seat locked in position, not so the passenger seat. I took my GF at the time for a ride and at each corner the passenger swung around. We still got married and we still are, so few decades later.

Fraser Houston
Fraser Houston
10 months ago

“Homologating”. Damn Thomas!

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
10 months ago

My wife is driving me nuts wanting a van of some type she can take to sell goodies at meetups and camp in as well. It’s disappointing once again to see something that fits the bill that we won’t get here in the US.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
10 months ago

Well this is pretty much perfect.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
10 months ago

I genuinely want to buy one of these. I primarily use my ICE vehicle for out of town travel, so a small camper like this would be a great vehicle to use in addition to my Leaf.

I like that it is a PHEV. I presume the 11 kwh hour battery would allow the vehicle’s AC to run with the engine off. It would be nice to have power to run AC and electrical accessories without the use of a generator or auxiliary batteries.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago

Are slideouts on minivans possible?

Itslucien
Itslucien
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I’ve seen some that have rear slide-outs, so the whole part comes out of the tailgate. Some of the larger Sprinters/Transporter vans have slide-outs now, too. I don’t think either ones are common, though.

Thxcolm
Thxcolm
10 months ago

Ford you cowards, bring this to the US to compete with the new VW camper bus!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago

Okay there was a time Jason and David spent 24 hours in a european camping van without leaving. Put 2 of the young crowd in one of these for the new 24 hour test. Sorry Europeans are not big on bathing or deodorant etc. So small camper smelly people is fine. Maybe Mercedes and her wife would be a good test. They enjoy each others company, mercedes big on campers, and you cant say the test was rigged.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
10 months ago

Or, hear me out, just buy an Astro. The sky is your limit. V8s bolt right in, Np233 transfer cases bolt right in if you want 4lo/4hi/2wd instead of the factory AWD Np136. Rear end uses leaf springs available for lots of GM trucks, and the diff is shared with S10s and all sorts of stuff, so adding a rear locker is easy. Huge inside, short overhangs, some even came with high tops. And they’re cheap, and cheap to run. I snapped a bleeder off on a caliper and after wasting an hour, I realized a new caliper was $23. lol. I love mine:

https://youtu.be/t6UPZNkfCJw

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
10 months ago

having to get out to have someone pass is not for me. 🙂

A good day tripper, over night not so much.

The passengers would take up the cargo carrying capacity.

Millermatic
Millermatic
10 months ago

I’m sorry… I’m going to rant…

Why can’t VW or Ford bring a reasonable plug-in hybrid camper to the US??? I DON’T WANT a fucking idBuzz van that costs over 60K before any conversion!!!! I want something affordable and practical that I can use to make memories with my kids. Like the Westfalia my parents had when I was a kid. Bring this over and price it under 50K and I’d BUY ONE TOMORROW.

Hey Hyundai? I’d buy a Staria in a heartbeat…

Rant off…

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
10 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

There are a bunch of companies making slide in camper conversions for Sienna’s. Given that they are hybrid standard you are getting pretty close. Im sure you could find someone to poptop covert it. You can also get it AWD and even lift them quite a bit.

Millermatic
Millermatic
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

It’s a good suggestion… but most of those are much more compromised than a factory option. After looking into your suggestion, I found a company in California that had pop top conversions for Siennas. The workmanship (as evidenced by the trim work around the new opening and too many exposed rivets) was… lacking.

I’m handy. I could get a Vanagon and do a Subaru engine swap and rebuild the interior… but there are only so many hours in a day and far too many projects on my list. I’d pay reasonable money (I’d happily pay what Hyundai is asking for the Starion)… but 90K for a Sprinter? No. And I have no faith that a “Westy” idBuzz will show up anytime soon or be priced much less than the Sprinter.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
10 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

Yeah, the poptop conversion I saw looked a little janky…which is too bad.

Rob
Rob
10 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

People don’t buy vans (or wagons, for that matter) and “The Chicken Tax”

it sucks.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

You answered the question. Profit. I do not understand that people on a car site dont understand car manufacturers dont give a shit about enthusiast because no profit.

Millermatic
Millermatic
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Except that’s not the whole picture. These _already exist_ as products… and said companies are perfectly happy to sell them in other markets…

Marteau
Marteau
10 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

This will definitely be 70k +

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
10 months ago

Minor correction(?): IIRC this is an all Ford product, the smaller Transit Connect is switching over to the VW MQB platform.

25
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x