Tested: Ford M-Sport Transit vans and Ranger pickup

  • M-Sport versions of Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Ranger
  • Extremely sporty customisation by Van-Sport, sold by Ford dealers
  • Parkers Vans has driven and reviewed every M-Sport model

Update – M-Sport is now MS-RT; read all about the name change by clicking here, follow us on a factory visit by clicking here, and read a review of the latest Ford Transit Custom MS-RT by clicking here.

Want to buy a van that will really make your business stand out?

Or perhaps you’re after a smart and well-appointed, but still highly-practical, vehicle to haul you and your mates plus a bunch of mountain bikes or other outdoors equipment. Or maybe you really like the look of the latest high-performance pickups available in the USA, but realise that even if you can afford to import one it will simply be too big to be easily used on UK roads.

If any of that sounds like you, then it’s worth checking out Van-Sport’s bespoke range of Ford M-Sport models.

Ford Transit Custom M-Sport

Based on the Transit Custom, the Transit Connect and the Ranger, these are fully-built vehicles, assembled by Van-Sport, named M-Sport after the motorsport company that builds and runs Ford’s WRC rally cars, and sold through a select number of Ford dealers throughout the UK. The M-Sport vans feature aggressive bodywork inspired by the World Rally Championship Ford Fiesta rally car, while the Ranger M-Sport adopts a stunning off-road look and attitude.

Each model also gets upgraded suspension, alloy wheels and performance tyres, a striking graphics kit, and an interior re-trimmed in leather by a company called Carlex Design that does most of its business outfitting private jets. No kidding.

We’ve driven each of them, and you can jump straight to the individual reviews by clicking on the following links:

M-Sport pricing and value

Each of these vehicles costs a considerable amount more than the basic Ford LCVs they’re based on, but you only need to spend a few minutes with them to see where the money has gone. The exterior upgrades, while extreme in appearance, fit with all the grace and solidity of OEM parts, the wheels and tyres are top-quality items and the leather work on the inside is genuinely first rate.

Ford Transit Custom and Connect M-Sport

Van-Sport turns humble commercial vehicles into something far more special – and there’s more to come, with a Ken Block special edition of the Transit Custom promising even greater luxury (at an inevitable price) due later in 2016, plus a special project involving the full-size Ford Transit planned for 2017.

Are there really customers out there for such fancy LCVs?

Sporty vans are a small but increasingly important area of the LCV market, while modern pickups are as much a lifestyle choice these days as they are working vehicles.

Add in the cult following enjoyed by some light commercials – most notably the VW Transporter, which has inspired an entire scene of modifiers and customisers – and perhaps it’s no surprise that there’s a growing trend for ever more outlandish and luxurious vans and trucks on the fringes of the LCV sector.

Who or what is Van-Sport?

The man behind Van-Sport is Edward Davies, and he began his van-modifying career on the Volkswagen scene. According to M-Sport’s Andrew Wheatley, the ambition for these new Ford-based products – which started in 2015 with the Transit Custom M-Sport; the Connect and Ranger joined the range in 2016 – was to create a consistent, high-quality product on a larger scale than the highly-individual VW builds Davies had previously been involved with.

Ford Ranger M-Sport

Each M-Sport commercial vehicle is upgraded on Van-Sport’s UK production line, which uses properly timed processes just like a regular car factory to ensure consistent quality and make sure that everything works as it should – you won’t find any bits of distended bodywork clashing here, and although the vans come with lowered suspension you won’t lose any teeth even if you regularly have to deal with cobbles, potholes or speed bumps.

The Transit Custom M-Sport is the most popular model, with this and the Connect racking up around 500 sales by September 2016. And although the asking prices are high, starting at least £4,000 more than the conventional Ford model they’re based on, this is offset by improved residual values, and Wheatley claims most customers who buy using commercial vehicle finance find their monthly payments are barely above those of a highly-specced standard vehicle as a result.

To find out more about the individual models, click the links below to read our reviews, which detail exactly what you get for your money.

Ford Transit Custom M-Sport review

Ford Transit Connect M-Sport review

Ford Ranger M-Sport review