Nugget isn’t the sort of word you’d usually associate with a go-anywhere camper. No, we’re not talking about fast-food options here, but rather the Ford Transit Custom Nugget - a camper version of the firm’s ever-popular Transit.
And interesting name aside, this is a van which has been jam-packed with features to ensure that it’s up to the job of going here, there and everywhere while being incredibly comfortable and easy to live with when you stop. In short, it’s a full-size camper on a slightly smaller scale.
It’s why Ford has brimmed it with creature comforts and clever features to ensure that the Nugget becomes a real home away from home when the wheels stop turning and you decide to bed in for the night. We’re going to have a look at it in a little more detail today.
As you might expect, the Nugget hasn’t been designed to be an out-and-out performance machine, so its engine majors more on reliability and torque than straight-line speed. It does, however, feature one of Ford's latest EcoBlue 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engines which has been designed to offer efficiency and economy in spades.
Available with either 128bhp or 182bhp - with the latter bringing the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox - Ford claims that the engine brings the best blend of efficiency and low-down pull, making it ideal for use in a camper.
Ride and handling
Again, the Nugget isn’t meant to be a track-day special – it’s a camper van, after all – but it does have some ride and handling tricks up its sleeve.
One of those is simply the fact that it’s based on the Transit, which is one of the very best handling vans around. It means that the Nugget steers with real conviction, while despite the additional weight brought about through all of the ‘camper’ elements, it doesn’t feel overly heavy to drive. The six-speed manual is smooth shifting and easy to use too, while the brakes don’t feel overburdened with the extra heft that the Nugget brings.
The engine is punchy too. In classic van fashion, the first few gears are short in order to get you promptly off the mark, but at speed, it’s surprisingly refined - though it is a little vocal under hard acceleration.
Interior and equipment
The equipment on board the Nugget is one of the key aspects of the experience. As a base, you get space for five people to sit in comfort. There are two seats at the front of the cabin, while a sliding bench in the middle of the van gives space for the remaining three people.
Then, when it comes to sleeping, you’ve got room for four to bed down overnight. Two spaces come below that rear bench seat, while there’s room for two to sleep above the rising roof. Thanks to Froile springs, those sleeping up top won’t be wanting for a more comfortable night’s rest, that’s for sure.
At the back of the van sits the kitchen, which is packed with all of the features you could really need for a weekend away. There’s a hob, sink with working taps and a top-opening ‘fridge’ too. You also get specific draws for cutlery as well as a wide variety of cupboard storage areas.
There’s even a shower at the back, which utilises a chrome showerhead plugged directly into the van’s water supply. It might be a little more rustic than on larger camper vans, but it’ll get the job done in a pinch.
In short, there’s everything that you could need for a little slice of home on the open road.Enquire on a new Ford
As with most campers, there’s an additional cost which accompanies all of that versatility in the Nugget. Prices start from £56,273, which is a considerable amount in anyone’s money, but if you consider the amount of equipment you get on board then it starts to make a little more sense.
Plus, if you factor in the Nugget’s potential to be a source of holidays for many years to come, then it could make for a far more justifiable purchase price than it might seem initially.
The Nugget’s entry into the ever-popular camper segment is a logical one. After all, the Transit is a great place from which to start and only helps to make the van an even more appealing prospect.
With its good dimensions and excellent interior build quality, it’s more than a rival for others in the camper van section of the market, and it’s likely to be a big hit with those who want an adventure-ready way of exploring.