Here’s a very complete commercial vehicle indeed.
Under the bonnet, the range these days is based around one engine, a 2. 2-litre TDCi Duratorq unit developed in conjunction with Peugeot Citroen which can operate with a clever Auto-Stop-Start system and is offered in three states of tune for Front-wheel drive customers – with either 100, 125 or 155PS.
It’ll help to understand the styling of the Transit if I tell you that it’s the first to be sold in the USA, replacing the aging Ford E-Series. Hence a more striking, contemporary front end with its high-tech headlamps, a look featuring plenty of the Blue Oval brand’s ‘Kinetic Design’ cues.
Inside, that solidity continues, build quality from the Turkish factory seemingly strong but blended with much more of a car-like ambience than was the case with the model’s predecessor. There’s a much smarter instrument panel than before, along with plusher trim and materials than you’d expect from a van.
Ford says that this generation Transit model offers cargo capacity increased by up to 11% over its predecessor. But what does that actually mean in practice? To find out, using the straightforward L2 short wheelbase H2 Medium Roof variant as an example, let’s start as usual at the business end, at the rear. Like rivals, Transit models come with the conventionally hinged side-opening twin rear doors that open through 90-degrees and can be latched into place, then through 180-degrees if you pull the yellow lever to release them.
The different roof heights, along with your selection between short, medium and long wheelbases, will also of course determine your loadspace volume. Go for an H2 Medium Roof panel van and you get 10. 0m3 with the L2 Short wheelbase - or 11. 5m3 with the L3 Medium wheelbase. If you’re likely to be transporting bigger loads regularly though, you’ll probably be more interested in the H3 High Roof bodyshape. You can expect 11. 2m3 with the L2 Short wheelbase and 13. 0m3 with the L3 Medium wheelbase. The biggest van of the bunch is the huge ‘Jumbo’ version, which uses that H3 High Roof and mates it with the L4 Long wheelbase to deliver as much as 15. 1m3 of load volume.
Smaller loads of course can be loaded in through the sliding side door where there’s an internal step with a handily-placed yellow grab handle to aid access.
This is Ford’s first truly global large Transit model, selling in 118 markets across six continents. More importantly, it’s a definitive choice in its segment. True, it may not be the very largest or most powerful choice you could make but in terms of efficiency, technology and day-to-day usability, it’s a segment benchmark in a way that its predecessors never were.