Technology

2020 Ford Transit review: A likable high-roof hauler

This Ford Transit comes with the medium-height roof. Imagine it or not, there’s an excellent taller mannequin accessible.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

You needn’t pastor a megachurch or run a plumbing-supply firm to personal a 2020 Ford Transit van. These are admittedly the kind of clients this car is aimed toward, but it surely’s snug and nice sufficient to drive that you simply would possibly contemplate one in your small enterprise or your loved ones, particularly should you’ve bought a big brood or simply need a versatile tenting rig. 

Like

Table of Contents

  • Surprisingly agile dealing with
  • Glorious ahead visibility
  • Potent V6 engine

Do not Like

  • Awkward pedal placement
  • Cramped footwells
  • Booming inside

Ford presents a dizzying array of variants on this Kansas Metropolis, Missouri-built car, from cargo- and passenger-specific fashions, to chassis cab and cutaway variants. Giving clients much more selection, it is also accessible with three totally different roof heights and in a trio of lengths. The Transit just about covers the market, assembly the wants of everybody from HVAC service technicians to journey seekers who wish to upfit their Transit to be the last word overlanding machine.

My tester is Ford’s new-for-2020 crew-van mannequin, which has each a big cargo space and seating for 5 individuals. This van additionally includes a regular-length physique and medium-height roof, however belief me, despite the fact that it is the “midsize” providing of the household, it is a lot large. I can get up in it with out clocking my head on the ceiling, and an air mattress ought to match with out subject should you dream of proudly owning a 1970s-style customized van. Certain, it is a bit of a step as much as get into this car, but it surely’s not that unhealthy.

One other welcome addition to the Transit for 2020 is offered all-wheel drive, which impacts neither the ground nor seat top. The system can ship as much as 100% of obtainable torque to the entrance wheels as wanted, giving this commercial-grade car loads of functionality. Ford even presents a pair driver-selectable modes, one for mud and ruts in addition to one other for slippery circumstances. Predictably, there isn’t any sport mode, which is a bummer as a result of I wished to autocross this Transit. Not solely would it not flip just a few heads snaking round these cones, it’d flip in some fairly spectacular lap instances. Significantly, this van drives that effectively.

For 2020, the Transit’s base engine is a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 that delivers 275 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, fairly feeble figures on paper however that engine strikes the Transit with stunning ease, not less than when unladen. The brand new 10-speed computerized transmission and three.73 limited-slip rear finish take advantage of each accessible pony. Fast to rev and unexpectedly clean, it offers this van loads of scoot off the road and at freeway speeds. The gearbox is a lot responsive, shortly upshifting as you speed up and simply dropping gears when it is time to boogie, however I want it had been a contact smoother. Ford’s 10-speed auto-box is not all the time probably the most refined transmission. For patrons who want much more efficiency, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 can be provided. It delivers 310 hp and an excellent 400 lb-ft of torque. Fashions outfitted with that turbocharged engine characteristic a unique grille design for enhanced cooling. The five-cylinder diesel choice in earlier mannequin years is not provided.

2020 Ford Transit 250 Crew

As a result of Transit’s van-like proportions, it is arduous to see, not to mention entry, the engine.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

As for dynamics, this house-size van is slightly pleasant to pilot, with unexpectedly crisp steering. The truth is, for my cash, it drives higher and feels smaller than the Ford Ranger. Yeah, I could not consider it both, however this car feels extra buttoned down, responsive and pleasant than the Blue Oval’s personal midsize truck, which could be fairly sloppy and disconnected. Empty, the Transit’s journey high quality can be amazingly good, agency and a tiny bit bouncy at instances, however nowhere close to as harsh as you would possibly count on for one thing with a Gross Automobile Weight Ranking of 9,070 kilos and a most payload capability of three,670 kilos. Swing for the fences, and you will get a Transit with a GVWR of 10,360 kilos and with a max payload score of 4,550 kilos. Inside noise ranges are, as anticipated, considerably elevated because it’s mainly only a big uninsulated field on wheels. Load this child up with freight and it ought to cool down appreciably. 

Like different automobiles with a GVWR exceeding 8,500 kilos, this van is exempt from authorities fuel-economy scores. In testing round city and on the freeway, I averaged about 16 mpg empty, which is best than I anticipated. In fact, should you’re hauling anyplace close to this van’s limits, count on quite a bit much less.

Perched atop the Transit’s elevated driver’s seat, which is passenger-car snug and trimmed in a rugged-feeling cloth, this Ford offers you picture-window ahead visibility. The expansive windshield and comparatively skinny roof pillars make it simple to see the place you are going. In fact, a towering journey top would not harm, both, permitting you to look down the street over the rooftops of virtually each different motorist besides long-haul truckers. When it is time to again this beast up, the sharp reversing digital camera and huge outdoors mirrors with convex reflectors are surprisingly useful. A 360-degree digital camera is just not provided.

2020 Ford Transit 250 Crew

The Transit’s inside is snug and extremely useful.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

Sadly, there’s a tradeoff for these excellent sight traces. The Transit’s driving place is as awkward as a middle-school dance although not as cumbersome because the Ram ProMaster’s seat, which is rather more bus-like. Sitting to this point ahead means your left foot basically rests above the wheel. This van’s entrance footwells are fairly slim as a consequence, and the brake pedal is on a airplane far above the accelerator’s, which makes it ankle-twisting to function. No less than the brakes are superbly weighted, with a pleasant, agency really feel and no grabbiness in any respect.

So far as storage, let’s simply say the Transit has cubbies and cupholders and bins galore. Its inside has no scarcity of locations to stash issues, with giant pockets on prime of the dashboard and extra nooks down low. There are large bins above the entrance seats and extra junk-carrying receptacles on the door panels. Should you run out of spots to place issues on this van, you are in all probability an undiagnosed hoarder. The remainder of this van’s inside is decidedly workaday, constructed of coarsely grained arduous plastic. Simple to wash and certainly hard-wearing, however luxurious it isn’t. Making this blue-collar car a little bit extra refined, the Transit could be had with a power-sliding aspect door and even swivel seats, extra new gear for 2020. Ford additionally presents some contemporary exterior colours and a 31-gallon gasoline tank. 

My check Transit arrived fitted with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with navigation and an 8-inch touchscreen, an $810 choice. That is considered one of my most popular multimedia arrays, as it is easy to navigate, a lot snappy and helps Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa and even Waze. A multifunction show with a 4-inch display screen is customary should you do not feel like shelling out further money.

2020 Ford Transit 250 Crew

Actually, this high-riding van ain’t too shabby.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

For 2020, a variety of latest superior security options are customary. Each Transit now comes with computerized emergency braking, ahead collision warning, computerized excessive beams and even lane-keeping help. This van would not actually wander (not less than when there aren’t stiff crosswinds), however that final merchandise remains to be useful, gently nudging the Transit towards the middle of its lane do you have to drift too near one of many traces. Different fashions include blind-spot monitoring together with trailer protection and cross-traffic alert. Extra accessible options embrace enhanced lively park help, high-intensity discharge headlamps and even adaptive cruise management, which is clean and attentive even when it would not work in stop-and-go visitors. As for cover, the Transit comes together with your customary, three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee. The powertrain and security methods are lined for 5 years or 60,000 miles, plus you get roadside help for a similar quantity of miles and time. This protection is strictly the identical as you get with a Ram ProMaster, and similar to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, although it comes with a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee.

The 2020 Transit seen right here stickers for $51,420. That value features a smattering of helpful choices and a whopping $1,695 in vacation spot charges. Is that this high-riding van for everybody? In fact not. However drivers in want of a rig that may haul huge quantities of cargo or a Sunday faculty’s value of kiddies could be smart to think about one. This large boy is snug, drives effectively and is tremendous versatile, particularly now that all-wheel drive is offered. Relating to hauling, the 2020 Ford Transit is hard to prime.

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Author

Craig Cole