Test Ford Transit Nugget Plus 2.0 EcoBlue 185 hp: a car equipped with a toilet

Test Ford Transit Nugget Plus 2.0 EcoBlue 185 hp: a car equipped with a toilet


Camper vans have many advantages over traditional motorhomes, starting with their compactness. However, traveling with such a car requires some sacrifices. Many of them, for example, do not have toilets.

However, there are some differences. Thus, Ford Transit Custom Nugget Plus (length 5.34 m), 37 cm longer than the standard Nugget (length 4.97 m), has permanent toilets. It also adds a sink and extra storage space to the Nugget.

Sold by Ford, the Nugget and Nugget Plus are fitted by German specialist Westfalia, like the Mercedes Marco Polo. They are based on Transit Custom use, in this case in the L2H1 version of the Nugget Plus. The cosmetic differences are minor.

The Nugget is sold from € 62,828, with the 2.0 l EcoBlue 130 engine. For the Nugget Plus version, the minimum cost is € 69,528. 150 and 170 hp engines are also available, but the 185 hp 2.0 EcoBlue of our test model is no longer offered on the list. However, this version remains second-hand and rental.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

life on board

The Transit Custom Nugget Plus with a pop-up roof is a van with a kitchen space in the back, unlike the Volkswagen California, for example, in which the kitchen is in the middle.

It is equipped with an external awning of 2.60 m. A camping table is attached to the back gate, but you’ll have to go to the checkout area to reserve your own folding chairs.

Interior Ford Nugget Plus

Nugget and Nugget Plus have five seats on board. However, the rear seat does not extend to full width to allow passage in the back, and the space is limited for three adults.

It is possible to rotate the front seats to create a lounge area, but the operation is not easy. You have to play with different settings and release the handbrake (as with some Aston Martins, this will not have the effect of unlocking it). The table can also be unfolded. Unfortunately, due to the presence of the kitchen at the back, it is not possible to move the bench seat back to provide more space.

By opening the rear door – which is not very easy – we discover a large rear space. This is where the Nugget Plus marks the difference compared to its younger brother, with real chemical toilets installed. A curtain separates this space from the kitchen.

Ford Nugget Plus toilet

The Nugget Plus includes a sink-out above the kitchen. For complete practicality, it is supplied with a 42 l fresh water tank. The sewage tank is of the same capacity. Next to this sink is the connection for the outdoor shower.

Ford Nugget Plus wash basin

This longer version also benefits from additional storage space. Furniture includes many wardrobes, for example. However, due to the location of the kitchen in the back, the Nugget does not have an actual cargo compartment. Additionally, we hate the sometimes dangerous finishes, and certain parts of the layout that don’t seem to stand the test of time, such as certain cabinets.

The kitchen includes a 40 liter fridge powered by extra 190 Ah batteries. It is possible to stand in the kitchen area with the roof up, even taller.

Ford Nugget Refrigerator

A 2.8 kg gas cylinder can be used to power a gas stove with two burners.

Ford Nugget Hobs

In addition to the sink, the sink is connected to the kitchen area, while the small space can be used as a work area. The set allows you to prepare dishes with some ease.

Ford Nugget Sink

Unfortunately, the passage between the rear and the middle of the car is very narrow in the Nugget and even more so in this long version of the Plus.

After moving the front seats forward as far as possible, the bench seat can be unfolded to form a bed. However, it is quite thin (102 x 191 cm) and not very comfortable. It does not have a mattress topper and is partially covered by the kitchen area. The unfolding/folding operation of the rear seat is not easy. Fortunately, it is not necessary to fold the bed to reach the kitchen area, unlike vans and kitchens.

Custom Nugget bed for Ford Transit

For a better night’s sleep, it is therefore better to choose a high bed. However, raising the roof is not very practical. The operation has to be done manually and the roof canvas can block when lowering it. We also regret that the bed attached to the roof is not equipped with jacks to facilitate its handling. Fortunately, once installed, we enjoy good comfort and enough width for two adults (138 x 200 cm). The mosquito net makes it possible to sleep with the side door open without discomfort.

Ford Nugget Loft Bed

A monochrome screen is attached to the roof to control certain elements of the arrangement, such as the tank level and battery voltage, or even to activate the programmable diesel refrigerator and heating.

Ford Nugget screen

In addition to USB and 12 V sockets, there are three household sockets on board.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Infotainment and Connectivity

As usual, the Nugget only has an audio system and a 4-inch screen without rear speakers. You have to use the option to take advantage of our test model’s 8-inch central touchscreen, which features a SYNC3 interface with on-board navigation. It’s fast and fun to use and also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay via a wireless connection.

Ford Nugget SYNC 3 display

Therefore, common equipment is very limited. However, we console ourselves, at least in part, with the presence of a wifi hotspot provided by an integrated 4G modem, allowing up to 10 devices to be connected.

A compatible app is provided and allows you to find your car or lock/unlock it. Unfortunately, it does not go further and does not allow you to control the elements of the setting, such as the refrigerator or heating.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Handling and performance

The Nugget console reminds us of its utilitarian nature, with hard and small materials that worked. Its design is not modern either.

Ford Nugget dashboard

The instrument cluster, quite common, includes a small color screen in its center. The set is quite clear.

Ford Transit Custom Nugget Speedometers

Compared to motorhomes or converted vans, motorhomes have the advantage of providing a vehicle close to that of a car. In the case of Ford Nugget Plus this, however, is not quite the case. Its length of 5.34 m makes it an attractive car and its length of 2.09 m does not allow it to pass under many doors at the entrance of the car park. Likewise, it will be classified as class 2 in French taxation.

NOISE MEASUREMENT AT 130 KM/H

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

68dB(A)

The sound of the engine is also useful. Fortunately, noise pollution is otherwise contained, with 68 dB (A) measured at 130 km / h in the cabin.

To drive the machine, we regret the poor visibility through the rear window and the absence of a standard reversing camera. If you remove the option, the offering of driving aids comes under cruise control/speed limiter and… that’s about it.

The road behavior of the Nugget Plus is not bad, with comfort and flexibility similar to other cars in the category. Above all, its 185 hp four-cylinder turbo diesel gives it great performance. We tested it in a 6-speed manual, but the Nugget is also offered with an automatic.

Strong points

  • Sold and serviced directly at Ford.

  • Permanent toilets.

  • Possibility to use the kitchen without folding the lower bed.

  • Mosquito net for the side door.

  • Built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.

  • Usage control.

Weak points

  • The bed is thin and uncomfortable.

  • The pop-up roof and high bed are difficult to handle.

  • There is no special luggage compartment.

  • Bad finish.

  • Limitations in standard equipment.

  • Height more than 2 m.

  • Common use operation.