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The sixth-generation Ford Transit might now be built in Turkey rather than Southampton but don't let that cloud your buying decision. If you want the best large van in its sector, you're looking at it right here. Rivals will doubtless arrive in a couple of years copying what Ford has done right here and now.
If the Ford Transit was a watch, you know it would be a Timex. That old strapline 'Takes a Licking But Keeps on Ticking' is just as appropriate to Ford's hardy perennial, a vehicle that has carved itself a massive share of the UK commercial vehicle market. In previous years, one of the reasons that UK businesses loved the Transit was because they perceived it as a 'British' product, an honest van that rolled off production lines in Southampton. That's changed. Our EU cousins at Ford Otosan in Turkey are now responsible for screwing the sixth-generation Transit together and that may have an effect on the residual goodwill UK buyers have for this vehicle. In other words, the Transit now needs to work harder than ever for its keep. It's time to see what it brings to the market.
Here, we're looking at the Transit range in its largest form. There are now Transit Courier and Transit Connect models to satisfy the compact van market and the Transit Custom to deal with Vivaro, Trafic and Transporter competitors in the medium-shaped van sector. The vehicle we look at here though, badged simply 'Transit', is the full-sized version. Let's check it out.
With a chassis that's designed from a clean sheet of paper, the sixth generation Ford Transit is powered by a 125PS 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel that hails from sunny Dagenham. The range now extends to six different van models with gross vehicle mass (GVMs) of up to 3.5 tonnes. The standard Transit powertrain features the 2.2-litre diesel with a choice of three power ratings. The entry-level output is 100PS, and this can be stepped up to 125 and then 155PS. All models get a six-speed manual transmission and customers also have the option of 125PS and 155PS engines which meet the Euro 6 emission standards.
Available in front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, the Transit has been engineered to keep coming back after the worst abuse imaginable. Its body construction features high-strength and ultra-high-strength boron steels and in development, has covered the equivalent of nearly seven million miles in testing in Europe and North America, with more than 310,000 miles of that total covered by actual Transit customers. Safety tests have been undertaken to ensure the van would behave in a safe and predictable manner when subjected to the worst kinds of impacts experienced in real-world use, one test involving striking a 150mm kerb at 30mph. Ford didn't say how much damage the inevitable Pot Noodle in the cup holder did to the vehicle's interior.
By its definition, a panel van needs to be a big box on wheels, so there's only so much stylists can do to differentiate them externally. Nevertheless, Ford has done quite a good job with this Transit. The front end doesn't immediately look like a Ford product. Previous Transit generations have usually tried to crib whatever the current trend in Ford passenger car styling is and adapt it, more or less successfully, to the bluff front end of a commercial vehicle but while that may work with the smaller Courier, Connect and Custom lines, the latest fully-fledged Transit is a big thing and it looks a bit different. The huge front grille has echoes of the Aston Martin lookalike front end sported by some Ford cars, but thankfully the stylists haven't tried to force the theme.
Inside, the quality looks a good deal better and there's been some budget devoted to actually making the dash look stylish rather than merely functional. The multi-adjustable steering wheel allows a decent driving position and the gear lever is now located close at hand. There's a console that's loaded with buttons to control the various stereo and phone controls, helping you to take calls safely on the move. In fact, the biggest compliment you can pay is that it feels resolutely car-like.
Expect pricing to be broadly inline with the outgoing model. The permutations of body styles are huge. As well as the normal van body, Ford will sell you a double cab in van, a Kombi, a chassis cab and a minibus. We'll stick with just the van body here to save getting too complex. Here, you get a choice of three different wheelbases; L2 (Medium), L3 (Long), and L4 (Long Extended).There are also two roof heights on offer; H2 (Medium Roof) and H3 (High Roof).
Ford offers three different trim levels: base, Trend and ECOnetic. Even the entry-level van gets interior features such as a radio, with AUX, Bluetooth, USB/iPod connectivity and remote controls, a rake- and reach-adjustable steering column , a trip computer, courtesy lights with theatre dimming, an eight-way adjustable driver's seat, remote central deadlocking, electric front windows and an overhead stowage console. Upgrade to the Trend and you get features like cruise control, a lockable glove box, some leather for the steering wheel and gear knob and a complete load compartment half-height trim board.
In the cargo bay, side-wall angles have been revised to make them more upright and the roof raised slightly to maximise useful space. Plus all versions of this van are around 300mm longer to ensure the load length suits all standard-length pipes, boards, rolls of carpet, and ladders. A wide, high-grip step is integrated into the rear bumper making it easier to step into the cargo area and more convenient when loading by-hand. Side wall-mounted tie-down points help keep the load floor clear and are both DIN and ISO compliant, as is the full steel bulkhead that's fitted as standard. Load space lamps are far brighter than previous models and are fitted as standard. You can also specify the option of ultra-bright LED lighting if required. In a vehicle of this size, it's a smart and highly practical feature. When you've got this much load space, side doors are vital and because they're often used a lot, the whole mechanism is built to maximise ease of use and durability. A double action release handle makes for smooth opening and closing, a 'positive check' latch secures the door when open and a warning beep sounds if the side door isn't shut or locked correctly.
Ford has helped drive down the cost of ownership by setting service intervals at 30,000 miles or 2-years. Day to day running costs are lower too, thanks to technology like Smart Regenerative Charging which only charges the battery when it needs it. Auto-Start-Stop uses around 10 per cent less fuel in typical town driving, while the Ford Eco Mode system continually assesses the effects of your driving behaviour on your fuel consumption and advises you on how to improve fuel economy. Choose the alternative 'ECOnetic' model and you'll get a 7 per cent increase in gear ratios that means longer gearing. You'll also benefit from reduced emissions which are as low as 169g/km. Acceleration Control helps to control the van's rate of acceleration according to whether it's unladen or part-laden. As a result, you can expect to lower your fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent, depending on your driving style. There's also a shift indicator for fuel-efficient gear changes.
The Ford Transit cannot rely on customer goodwill to maintain its UK market share, that much is clear. Much of that has evaporated with the company's decision to up sticks to Turkey to build the vehicle. Instead the Transit needs to unambiguously better its key rivals in terms of practicality, running costs and ease of use. It's hard to argue that this latest model doesn't do exactly that.
The amount of work that Ford has put in to improve efficiency betrays an almost obsessive attention to detail, zeroing in not only on the things that matter to fleet operators, but also devoting equal attention to what counts for those who will drive this vehicle. Yes, you can buy cheaper vans in this sector, but at what cost? The Transit formula has been calculated to the nth degree and it works. Don't expect that to change anytime soon.
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Listed below are the customer questions for the Ford Transit 350 L4 Diesel Rwd 2.0 TDCi 130ps H3 Van. Do you have a question that hasn't been answered yet? If you don't want to give us a call, click here to ask your question and we'll respond in four working hours.
Hi Peter, The New Ford Transit does come with air conditioning but it will come as an additional cost. Air conditioning can be added to the base model or Trend both of which we have available in stock.
We have the Ford Transit in stock, so it can be delivered to you within 2-3 weeks.
The manufacturer quotes that the Ford Transit returns 37.7 mpg.
The Ford Transit comes with one year of breakdown recovery.
The service intervals for the Ford Transit are 1 year or 20,000 miles.
Below are our customer reviews for the Ford Transit. Want to have your say? Leave a review for the Ford Transit now.
Great vehicle, does exactly what we need.
Good vehicle that suits our business needs.
Cant complain. Perhaps a slightly larger diameter steering wheel.
Great van. The only thing I don't like is the indicators on the mirrors as very vulnerable place to have them.
Very Nice truck, would have liked the next one up from the basic cab.
I love the van, it drives like a car. The cab it's designed to give the driver great comfort, I love it. Over all, a lovely motor.
Lovely van, just what I wanted.
Good all-round vehicle, does everything I want.
Pretty good all round, drives like a car, blue-tooth for phone works well and the seats are comfy. Could do with over mats as I'm in the building trade and can get a bit grubby at times, other than that very good.
Smaller than expected, compact, easy to use.
This van is much more comfortable to drive than the previous model and sounds so quiet although it doesn't seem to have as much power as our previous one. But as usual you can't go wrong with a trusty Ford Transit!!
Van is lovely.
A great workhorse.
Good work horse and easy to drive.
Best in class.
I've had my transit just over a year now with no problems at all. It's reliable and does everything I need it to do, I would highly recommend this van.
Nice van, steering's a bit creaky at the moment but that's what the warranty's for! I don't know if it's a common thing. Overall far superior than other vans we've had on our fleet. So far so good.... It's a transit , say no more!
The van is large enough to carry our machinery around and is very comfortable, the only thing I need to add is rear sensors. Very Satisfied.
The new style of the van is much more pleasing to the eye as most of my clients comment on how nice it looks. It's also much quieter than the old one and more powerful, all in all a very good van.
This van is the best van I have driven.
I use this vehicle for delivering goods, I've had it for 5 months, the media package is brilliant as is the space in the loading area. As for handling, the gearbox can temperamental, the seat doesn't go very high and the steering lock is terrible. Good storage space in the cab, I had a sprinter before this and if I could afford it I would have another one.
Best choice, perfect for business, plenty of standing space and room for all my built in racking (designed not to be bolted to bodywork), professional service from Vanarama and their staff.
Use it for site services, we've had it 9 months now and it is very reliable. The van drives very well but the engine is not quite powerful enough when fully loaded. The trend has a lot of extras, which is nice. The running costs are not too bad, I would say average. The height is an advantage, very easy to get in and out with tools and our equipment.
Always used the Ford Transit, it has never let me down so why change.
Very nice to drive with great features & a larger space than the L2 H2 transit we owned previously.
Brilliant van, could just do with center body tie on points, apart from that a great van!!! Well happy.
Drives like a car and so quiet.
Only had the van a week but it's a massive improvement over the old transit.
Excellent service as always.
Seems a good van but we have only had it 2 weeks, maybe ask in 6 months.
Perfect for what I need, looks very professional.
Very happy with the new transit it does what I need it to.
Bit slow van. Not very stable in heavy wind, probably because of large size and low weight. But is only a van. Bit surprised that there is no mud protection above wheels, in winter time, salt on the road will damage metal protection coatings. But I don't think this van will last this long before it starts to rust.
Excellent. Just like driving a car!
Rear springs are very weak with just 2 leaf springs, 1/2 tonne and they bend the other way. Indicators in the wing mirrors, expensive if they are hit by another vehicle. More space inside for tools etc. No CD player, gutted really. Drives really well.
Excellent tipper (although much bigger than previous models) seems to be perfect for what I need!
I think it's really great to drive, just like driving a car. It's light years in difference to my previous transit, just a delight to use.
wouldt i paid for the van, that floor matts and covers would have come as stantard
A little under powered to what I'm used to. Not as comfortable as the Citroen Relay truck.
The new Transit is a nice looking practical van. Only thing to mention is that it is a bit bouncy at the front when driven.
Much improvement over the older version, from ride handling to comfort. It's just like driving a car. Phone integration works very well.
A very well equipped and stylish van. Smaller cab, but big in loading area.
Very pleased, superb new interior, love new toolbox under seat, good radio and reliable Bluetooth, handles well, good at top end, only concern is rattling noise coming from under driver's seat upon acceleration especially when engine cold.
Great vehicle, great drive. Great value.
Excellent van. Does the job well.
It is a good product, except for the fact it developed an electrical fault after only five days of use (not your fault). Ford took ten days to correct this.
Very pleased with the van. Really nice to drive and ticks all the boxes for my work requirements.
Very nice and dry. Happy with the vehicle.
So far so good, but only had the vehicle a day!
What an improvement on the old style transit
Seems great, only had it a couple of days though.
Perfect van for my job.
A great improvement on the previous model.
I really love this van. The only downside is the fuel consumption, which from a full tank I thought would be about 420 miles. In fact I'm only getting around 330 miles, which for a new van I think is really poor.
Mint, people were coming over after 2 hours and asking about it and where I got it.
Nice van for our company, thanks.
Only had a day but so far great
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If your vehicle breaks down, the RAC will do everything they can to get you going again at the roadside, 24/7. If they can't fix it, we will arrange for you and your vehicle - and any passengers - to be towed home or straight to a garage to fix the problem and get you back on track.
Even if your vehicle breaks down at home, the RAC will treat it like you broke down on the roadside. Don't worry about trying to fix it yourself, just let the professionals handle it while you tell your customers you'll be there soon.
If your vehicle breaks down and the RAC can't get your vehicle going again within 24 hours, you will be provided with a replacement vehicle for up to 7 days - eliminating downtime and keeping you and your business up and running.
We also include 3 months free insurance for your tools for added peace of mind in case the worst happens and you suffer a break-in.
The FREE tools in transit insurance covers your tools - up to £1,000 in value - if they are lost, stolen or damaged whilst loading/unloading.
Whether 5 or 500 miles from home*, you're always covered - you'll get home quickly, minimise inconvenience for customers, and protect your professional reputation FREE OF CHARGE.