2018 Ford Transit Van Review

No other work van can match the 2018 Ford Transit's capability and number of variants.
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor
If this is your first time buying a full-size work van in a while, prepare for a shock. Compared to the old Ford E-Series or perhaps one of GM's vans, checking out the 2018 Ford Transit will be like suddenly waking up 20 years in the future. It doesn't fly, but its ease of use, interior versatility and fuel economy were no doubt hard-to-imagine qualities back in the day.Ford also offers a considerable amount of variation within the Transit line. There are three roof heights, two wheelbases (plus an extra-long version), three strong and efficient engine choices, and plenty of optional equipment to fit your needs. There's even an impressive amount of standard equipment available. Downsides? It's honestly hard to come up with any besides a relative lack of towing capability compared to its old-school, truck-based competitors, but we're not sure how many businesses really need that. Its rear-wheel-drive layout may also be challenging in snowy climates where the Ram ProMaster's front-wheel-drive layout could be preferred. Overall, though, you're going to be very pleased with the way this van from the future meets your commercial van needs.

what's new

There are a handful of small updates for the 2018 Transit, including a relocated rearview camera, power-folding mirrors and Bluetooth added to the simple, optional AM/FM stereo. Now standard are power locks, a rear cargo-door exit handle, a locking glovebox and an LED lamp switch in the cargo area.

we recommend

There's only one trim level, so picking a Transit comes down to the style and configuration that meets your needs. How bulky and heavy are your loads, and could walking around inside be helpful to you? Make sure to at least examine all your body options and sample the various engines to know that you're making an informed decision.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford Transit is a full-size cargo van. There are standard- and long-wheelbase models as well as low-, medium- and high-roof body styles. There's also an extended-length body available on the long wheelbase. Depending on the configuration, the Transit comes in 150, 250 and 350 versions that carry increasing gross vehicle weight ratings. Finally, there are three engine choices: a standard 3.7-liter V6 (275 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque), an optional 3.2-liter diesel inline five-cylinder (185 hp, 350 lb-ft) and an optional turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (310 hp, 400 lb-ft).

Depending on the configuration, the Transit comes in 150, 250 and 350 versions that carry increasing gross vehicle weight ratings. Engine choices include a standard 3.7-liter V6 (275 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque), an optional turbocharged 3.2-liter diesel-powered inline five-cylinder (185 hp, 350 lb-ft) and an optional turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (310 hp, 400 lb-ft). A six-speed transmission is standard on all Transits.

The single trim level comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels; a full-size spare tire; a 60/40-split hinged passenger-side door (low roof) or a sliding passenger-side door (medium and high roofs); cargo area tie-downs; full power accessories (windows, locks and mirrors); keyless entry; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; front air-conditioning; a rearview camera with trailer hitch assist; and a four-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio jack.

Options can be ordered alone or come as part of packages. Highlights include long-arm exterior mirrors, power-folding mirrors (long or short), various window choices, different axle ratios, dual sliding rear cargo doors, power-retractable running boards, cruise control, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, automatic headlights and wipers, a lane departure warning system, remote engine start, rear air-conditioning and a spray-in liner for the cargo area. Electronic options include Ford Telematics, a simple radio upgrade that includes Bluetooth, and various six-speaker sound system upgrades that include combinations of a 4-inch multifunction display, a CD player, a USB port, Sync (voice-activated media player control along with Bluetooth phone and audio), HD radio and satellite radio. You can also get the Sync 3 infotainment interface with navigation, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and all of those audio upgrades. A heavy-duty trailering package is also offered.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2016 Ford Transit Van Cargo Van (3.7L V6 | 6-speed automatic | RWD).


The Transit is much easier to drive and far less trucklike than past work vans. The steering is responsive, there's a relatively tight turning circle, and even the ride is much better. The base V6 offers respectable power, but gasoline and diesel upgrades could be worth a try for bigger jobs.


Seating is comfortable enough for a work van, and plenty of creature comforts are available. We've also found the Ford Transit to be relatively quiet for a work van, and its ride is less trucklike — though don't expect minivan levels of plushness.


The Transit has a much lower step-in height than old-style work vans. Taller roof heights also make it possible to walk upright in the cargo area — not possible in the GM vans. The driving position affords an expansive view of the road ahead, and the standard rearview camera is appreciated.


No American-brand work van can match the Transit. The most spacious combination allows for 487.3 cubic feet, 20 more than Ram ProMaster and 200 more than GM's vans. Other combinations are comparably huge. Only the pricier Mercedes Sprinter can better it. Towing ranges from 2,900 to 7,500 pounds.


A standard rearview camera is a huge plus in a work van. There are also a variety of audio system options to keep drivers happy, including the same Sync 3 infotainment system found in other Fords. A lane departure warning system is even available.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.