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2019 Ford Transit Review

Versatility and capability are hallmarks of the 2019 Ford Transit. It has several configurations, multiple engines and various seating layouts that allow it to be tailored to just about any need. A good-looking van that handles more like a big crossover than a truck, the Transit is also ideal for commercial, as well as personal use.

Ford builds it in Kansas City, Missouri, but the Transit made its bones in Europe where it is nearly as common on the street as motor scooters. Not surprising, it’s a best-seller here, too.

What’s New for 2019?

Ford continues to make small upgrades and enhancements to its full-size van. Notable are rear doors that open wider on long-wheelbase versions, a rear hook to pull the van out of trouble is standard and new seating layouts for the passenger van. See the 2019 Ford Transit models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Civilized driving experience
  • Highly customizable
  • Capable engines with fuel-efficient turbodiesel option
  • Modern look and feel

What We Don’t

  • Price can escalate quickly

How Much?

$34,630-$45,205 (cargo van); 35,840-$46,560 (passenger van)

Fuel Economy

The standard engine is a 3.7-liter V6 generating 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. In regular-wheelbase versions with low or medium roofs, fuel consumption is estimated at 14 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in combined driving. A flex-fuel variant is adapted to run E85 ethanol, and there are options for liquid propane gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG).

A more muscular 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 makes 310 hp and 400 lb-ft, thanks to a turbocharger. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts consumption at 15 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined.

A 3.2-liter 5-cylinder Power Stroke turbocharged diesel engine develops 185 hp and a hefty 350 lb-ft of torque. There are no EPA mileage ratings on this unit (not required for Transit variants with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 8,600 pounds), but it should keep the company accountant happy.

Each engine is linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All Transits sold in the United States employ rear-wheel drive. We don’t get the front-wheel-drive version offered across the pond. If that’s an issue, perhaps the smaller front-drive Transit Connect could be worth a look.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Ford Transit is available as a regular panel van, or in wagon forms with seating for eight to 15 occupants.

It comes with a 129.9- or 147.6-in wheelbase. The latter also offers an extended body length. Then there’s the choice of a low roof (83.6 inches) or a medium-height roof (100.8 inches). The two longer versions offer medium or high (110.1 inches) roofs. With the high roof, a 6-foot person can easily stand up inside. In the largest version, total cargo volume is 487.3 cu ft. Maximum payload is 4,650 pounds, and maximum towing capacity is 7,500 pounds.

Those numbers on the back doors — 150, 250, 350 and 350 HD — signify gross vehicle weights of 8,600, 9,000, 9,500 and 9,950 pounds, respectively. For the heaviest loads (350 HD), a dual-rear-wheel setup is used. Ford offers the Transit passenger van in two trims: XL and XLT. All the pricing is far too involved to tackle here. We’ll stick with the Transit 150 for pricing and content. Prices include the factory delivery fee.

The Transit 150/XL ($34,630/$35,840) starts with 16-in steel wheels, keyless entry, variable intermittent wipers, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, power-adjustable mirrors, power windows/locks, front air conditioning, vinyl upholstery, a rearview camera, lashing hooks and LED lighting in the cargo area, a lockable glove box and a 4-speaker AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth and an auxiliary input.

Sliding passenger-side doors are standard on medium- and high-roof versions, while dual sliding doors are optional. The Transit can be ordered as a cutaway or a chassis cab.

The XLT ($38,630) passenger van adds silver wheel covers, cruise control, carpeting, illuminated vanity mirrors, a CD player, auto-on headlights and rain-sensing front wipers.

There are also numerous options, such as extended side mirrors, power-retractable running boards, 16-in alloy wheels, cruise control, power/heated front seats, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, a keyless entry pad, lane-departure warning, remote start, rear air conditioning, a trailer package, Crew Chief commercial telematics and the options mentioned in the What’s New section above.

The cargo van’s cargo area can come with a spray-in liner or heavy-duty flooring. A choice of rear axle ratios is also on the options list, along with SYNC voice controls and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with navigation, a USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 6.5-in touchscreen and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Equipping the van for specific tasks (known as upfitting) often requires upgrading the electrical system. With this in mind, Ford offers a single absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery and auxiliary fuse panels as options.

Safety

The 2019 Ford Transit comes standard with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and stability control with rollover prevention technology, plus driver and front passenger airbags, side curtain airbags and thorax airbags. Side-wind stabilization is also standard.

Rear parking sensors and lane-departure warning are optional.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Transit four stars out of five for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection.

Behind the Wheel

The Transit is easy to drive, with a precise feel to the steering (the steering wheel looks like it ought to be in an upscale sedan) and brakes, plus a ride quality that will keep worker fatigue at bay. The cabin is remarkably quiet, even in larger versions where more noise is expected. The diesel engine is similarly subdued and clatter-free.

The dual-rear-wheel setup is only four inches wider than the front, so drivers won’t have that much trouble gauging the van’s width during tight maneuvers, making use of the relatively compact 39.2-foot turning circle. They’ll also like the large (folding) side mirrors, whose concave lower sections bring a useful view of the Transit’s rearmost corners as well as vehicles in other lanes.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Chevrolet Express Cargo — Smaller and older than the Transit.

2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — Despite that 3-pointed star, the Sprinter is not crazy expensive. The Automotive Lease Guild (ALG) also says the Sprinter has the highest resale value in its class.

2019 Nissan NV — Nissan’s full-sizer is both contemporary and affordable, with a muscular V8 available. No diesel option, though.

2019 Ram ProMaster — The FIAT-derived ProMaster is another Euro-style van. See if the oddly angled steering wheel is to your liking.

Autotrader’s Advice

Every business has its own needs, so investigate all the relevant options. There are even ambulance, school bus and shuttle bus packages. Think about the diesel engine if heavy loads and long distances are involved. We also know a couple of big families that use the Transit passenger van to transport everyone and all their gear. It’s a matter of how many seats and how much cargo room you need. Find a Ford Transit for sale

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