2015 Ford Transit Preview
Ford’s New Full-Sized VanThe full-sized van is alive and well in the U.S.A.
No one does a better job of selling the full-sized van than Ford. The E-Series is the best-selling vehicle in its class for the past 30 years. With a basic design that dates back to 1992, it was time for a change.
Enter the new 2015 Ford Transit. Ford took the opportunity to create one full-sized van to sell worldwide. Transit had been the best seller in various parts of the world for as long as it has been on sale – almost 50 years. The Transit is a European-style van that is offered in three body lengths, two wheelbases, three roof heights, three engines – including a diesel and a FlexFuel option – and the ultimate choice of going with a cargo van, a passenger van, a cab/chassis or a cutaway model. In all, Ford states there are 58 different configurations for the Transit.
To understand how the Transit will effectively replace the E-Series, CarSoup.com asked Minyang Jiang, Ford brand manager for Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series the reasons for this change. “The decision to replace E-Series with Transit was rooted in our commitment to give our commercial van customers the best product to meet their needs,” said Jiang. “Through our One Ford Plan, we are building on the strengths of both powerhouses – North and America and Europe – as we bring Transit to North America for the first time. One Ford leverages global assets, enabling better scale. Transit started from an all-new platform designed to meet customer needs around the world. The Transit design offers as much as 75 percent more cargo space compared with E-Series, a best-in-class range of vehicle configurations and more choices than ever from a Ford commercial van.”
CarSoup.com chose to drive three different versions of the new Transit. The low-roof, regular wheelbase van had the 3.7liter V6 under its hood. The engine could take either regular gasoline, E85 Ethanol, or a mix of the two. This is also the only engine you could opt to fuel up with Compressed Natural Gas or Liquid Propane Gas. Another van we drove was a long wheelbase, long body low roof model with the 3.5liter Ecoboost twin-turbocharged V6. The engine is from the F-150 pickup providing the most torque and power in the lineup.
The third Transit driven was the wagon. Our extended length, dual-rear-wheel, high roof XLT Wagon came with five rows of seating, accommodating up to 15 passengers. Under the hood is Ford’s Power Stroke 3.2liter turbocharged five-cylinder diesel, perhaps the most flexible of all of the engines available in the Transit lineup. You could also fuel this engine with B20 Biodiesel. The Transit Wagon replaces one of the most popular full-sized passenger vans for both commercial and retail customers – dating back to when the Econoline Club Wagon was one of the only options for large families. “Consumers looking to transport large families can choose the Transit wagon with seating for eight, 10, 12 or 15 passengers,” Jiang explained.
In driving all three versions, the Transit practically opens up a lot of options for all sorts of customers. Drivers familiar with the Focus or Escape will find a home behind the Transit’s wheel with its Kinetic interior design. Fleet managers and sole proprietors alike could choose to equipt their Transit with SYNC and MyFord Touch, along with MyFord Key, Lane Keeping and Driver Alert. Some companies would also add Crew Chief, a telematics system that monitors driver and vehicle behavior with an eye on the bottom line.
The Transit represents a huge leap for van fleet owners and operators alike, especially those who use the E-Series in their work. Jiang concludes, “We anticipate E-Series customers will find even more to love with Transit! Compared with E-Series, Transit offers as much as 46 percent better fuel economy, more customer choice, as much as 75 percent more cargo space, new technologies and all-new configurations.”
**If you are interested in a Ford Transit van or wagon, log onto CarSoup.com to find out what is available on sale. **
Photos © The Ford Motor Company