• Transit Courier is based on Fiesta platform
  • Aimed at big-city commercial van buyers
  • Transit Courier's future in U.S. is uncertain

Ford recently unveiled an all-new van for commercial shoppers. The 2014 Ford Transit Courier is a car-based cargo van that sits below the larger Transit Connect in the brand's lineup. It's also much smaller than the full-size Transit cargo van that Ford unveiled earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show.

According to Ford, the Transit Courier shares its platform with the Fiesta subcompact. That makes it both small and fuel-efficient -- a perfect mix for businesses in busy urban areas. Indeed, the van is just 163 inches long. That makes it a foot and a half shorter than the already compact Transit Connect.

Ford says European versions of the van will be offered with three engines. Base models get a 1.5-liter turbodiesel that makes 74 horsepower. Mid-level Transit Courier models will use a 1.6-liter diesel with 93 hp. At the top of the van's range is a 98-hp gas-powered 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which uses a turbocharger.

If the engines sound small, that's because the Transit Courier was designed with European van buyers in mind. In Europe, high gas prices and small cities mean drivers don't need vehicles with big engines. And they want small, maneuverable vans to squeeze in and out of tight spaces.

As a result, the van's future in the U.S. market is uncertain. Ford hasn't announced plans to sell it here, though the automaker did say it will reach European customers next spring. If it did come to the U.S., we would expect it to occupy a slot below the Transit Connect's base price of around $23,000 with shipping.

Beyond the Transit Courier and Transit Connect, the Ford Transit lineup will soon expand in the U.S. with the addition of the full-size Transit. Designed to replace the E-Series cargo van, the 2014 Transit offers a tall roof and four configurations -- passenger setup, cargo setup and two "chassis cab" models for buyers looking to create a box van, ambulance or other heavy-duty vehicle.

What it means to you: If the 2014 Ford Transit Courier comes to the U.S., it could mean good news for commercial buyers in big cities.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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