Ford doesn't build the 2017 Transit van for carpool duty, unless your carpool numbers in the double digits. And Ford doesn't build the Transit so that surfers can look cool at the beach. Nope, the Transit van is built for serious business. As in your business needs a van and that van has to add to the bottom line.
For decades Ford produced distinct full-size vans for distinct markets. In America it was the Econoline (or E-Series) while in most of the rest of the world it was the Transit. But here in the 21st century Ford has rationalized its big van designs into one worldwide product line. Starting with the 2014 model year, that's been the Transit. Don't let the European looks fool your eyes; the Transit that's sold in North America is produced at Ford's assembly plant in Kansas City.
Meanwhile the E-Series — still using the basic Econoline cab design launched in 1975 — is fading away but not completely gone. The E-350 and E-450 cutaway chassis for building motor homes and ambulances are still in production. Those remnants will eventually be replaced by Transit variations.
Don't cry for the Econoline's lingering death; the Transit is a vastly better vehicle. It?s available in two wheelbases with three roof heights. The gaping maw of the largest version can ingest 487.3 cubic feet of stuff. It makes traditional American vans look like puny creampuffs instead of serious haulers.
The Transit is available in passenger and cargo versions and none of them qualify as plush. The cargo hauler is cleverly called "Van" with the hose-it-out base passenger version called, get this, the "XL Passenger Wagon." The ever-so-slightly more comfortable people hauler is the "XLT Passenger Wagon." Half-ton models are 150s, 3/4-tonners are 250s and the 1-ton luggers are denoted as 350s. Dual rear wheels offer additional security and better towing on the 350 models with higher gross vehicle weight ratings. A short wheelbase version of the Transit 350 is new for 2017.
Base engine for the Transit is a 3.7-liter V6 rated at 275 horsepower. For those who need a little more grunt, there's the 3.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6 thumping out 310 horses and 400 pound-feet of peak torque. And finally, the diesel option is a turbocharged 3.2-liter inline five rated at 185 hp and 350 lb-ft of peak torque. All are backed by a six-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.
As commercial vehicles most Transit models don't have their fuel economy rated by the EPA. However the half-ton passenger model (almost a consumer model) is rated at 16 mpg combined (14 city/18 highway) when equipped with the 3.7-liter V6. Add the more powerful EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 to the Transit 150 and those numbers move to 16 mpg combined (15 city/19 highway).
Business demands you do research before making any big capital investment. Use the tools here on Edmunds to get the right Ford Transit for your enterprise.