The Ford Transit, which has been on sale in the U.S. since the 2014 model year, gets a slew of updates for the coming 2020 model year, each of which serves to make it more competitive in the full-size cargo van segment that it already leads. Here, we’ll take a closer look at everything that’s new with the Transit for 2020.
Perhaps the least exciting change to the Transit is the addition of a new base engine, which comes in the form of a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6. Ford says this new engine will improve upon the efficiency of the outgoing entry level 3.7-liter V6.
Ford also introduced a new 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine for the Transit, which replaces the 3.2-liter 5-cylinder diesel from previous models years. Power figures have yet to be formally announced, but Ford states that the new engine will make more than the 185 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque put out by the old 3.2, while also being more efficient.
The Transit now comes standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission across the board.
Available All-Wheel Drive
The most exciting news here is probably that the Transit gains available AWD, further aligning it with its closest competitor, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which has offered available 4-wheel traction for some time now. The Transit’s AWD system is rear-biased, but is able to send 100% of its torque to the front wheels when needed. In order to maintain the Transit’s ease of access, AWD models maintain the same ride height as the standard rear-wheel drive model. Different traction modes are included for tailoring the AWD system to a variety of muddy, rutty and slippery conditions.
Design & Configurations
As with most midcycle refreshes, the 2020 Transit comes with new grille and headlight designs. New interior colors and surfaces, improved grab handles, and available swiveling driver and passenger seats also join the lineup.
In addition to the vehicle’s cargo, passenger, chassis-cab and cut-away configurations, a new crew van configuration joins the lineup. The crew van is a mix of passenger and cargo van, offering a second row of seating, which allows for a maximum seating capacity of five, while also leaving ample cargo space in the back.
Slight tweaks to the chassis-cab and cut-away models mean their maximum gross vehicle weight rating increases slightly, from 10,360 to 11,000 pounds.
The Transit gains an available power-sliding cargo door, along with standard Wi-Fi capability for up to 10 devices. The vehicle can be optioned with either a 4.0-in center display screen or an 8.0-in screen. Both come standard with Ford SYNC, meaning that every transit now offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A 4.2-in screen in the Transit’s gauge cluster provides additional information, right in the driver’s field of view.
Ford also offers new fleet management software for the Transit that allows managers to monitor vehicles’ locations, fuel usage, and driver behavior, among other things.
The Transit gains a slew of new available driver-assistance safety features. These include automatic emergency braking, along with collision mitigation, post collision braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high beams, all standard. The Transit Passenger Van XLT also comes with Ford’s CoPilot 360 suite, offering blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage, rear cross-traffic alert, and a side sensing system that joins the vehicle’s rear-sensing system. Active park assist for parallel and perpendicular spots is included as well. Adaptive cruise, front and rear split view cameras, and the capability to electronically limit the vehicle’s speed round out the package.
Altogether, these improvements help to keep the Transit competitive with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which is all-new for 2019 and introduces many of these same features. As the Transit already outsells the Sprinter by about four units to one, expect these changes to help the Trainsit maintain its spot at the top of the full-size commercial van segment. Pricing for the improved Transit has yet to be announced. Expect that information to come prior to the 2020 Ford Transit arriving at dealerships this fall. Find a Ford Transit for sale