Cork: Ford's new Transit, launched across Europe earlier this year, has been voted by the Irish Motoring Writers Association as the Semperit Irish Van of the Year 2001.

The Transit collected a record 70% of the votes to see off competition from rival Nissan Almera, Nissan Cabstar, GM's rebadged Renault-based Opel Movano, Renault Clio and Volkswagen Golf vans.

Value-for-money, reliability, versatility and lasting residual value were among the attributes sought by the judging panel.

The previous Ford Transit won the Irish award in 1995.