• 2017 Ford Transit 350 Twin-Turbo V6 Cargo Van? Why Is It So Popular? (Review)


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    Based on total U.S. reported sales for the 2016 calendar year, Ford claims that their Ford Transit is the best selling full size van in America excluding other Ford products (Ford E-Series). The Ford Transit delivers new features with flexibility for fleet and business customers, as well as for family use.

    The Ford Transit comes in both cargo van and passenger wagon models, available in two wheelbases, three lengths and three height configurations. In fact the Transit lineup offers the most vehicle configurations in its class across four basic platforms – van, passenger wagon XL and XLT, cutaway and chassis cab. It may be one of most factory configurable vehicles our there.
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    There are also three power sources – a 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine is now the standard engine across the line, including on dual-rear-wheel van and passenger wagon models. A 3.2-liter Power Stroke® five-cylinder turbo diesel and a 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve EcoBoost GTDI V6 are also available and are carried over from the previous year. All engines are coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission with Select Shift® functionality for efficient rear-wheel-drive operation. Each engine is also paired with side wind stabilization as a standard feature. Additional new exterior features include front wheel well liners, easy-to-clean styled aluminum wheels and White Gold metallic paint. New interior options include a center console-delete for improved pass-through (fleet only, with valid fleet identification number) and new seat offerings – including available heated front seats.

    The Ford Transit full size van class series consists of: the Transit 150; Transit 250; Transit 350; and Transit 350 Heavy Duty.

    The standard 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine is engineered for optimal performance, and a CNG/propane gaseous engine prep package is available to assist customers who run vehicles on compressed natural gas or propane auto gas.

    The 3.2-liter Power Stroke® five-cylinder turbo diesel – based on Ford’s proven global diesel engine architecture – features the latest fuel, turbo and emissions systems that meet stringent U.S. clean diesel standards. An engine block heater is standard with the diesel engine.
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    The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine option delivers maximum capability, whether carrying materials to a job site or towing a trailer. It provides a best-in-class maximum gasoline engine torque of 400 lb.-ft.
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    Model height availability includes: a low-roof model provides nearly 57 inches of cargo height for an ideal combination of payload management, upfit readiness as well as garageability. The medium-roof van accommodates up to 72 inches of cargo height, while the high roof models feature 81.5 inches of interior cargo height – enough for a person 6 feet, 9 inches tall to stand upright. When properly configured, the long-wheelbase, extended-length, high-roof Transit provides 487.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity, with rear cargo doors that can open up to 237 degrees for ease of loading and unloading. The interior is designed for easy upfit of racks, bins, shelving and other cargo storage and hauling solutions. The largest passenger wagon, the extended-length Transit, can carry up to 15 people, while providing 100.5 cubic feet of storage. A 6.5-inch touch screen display with navigation and SYNC® 3 is available. Dual rear wheels and a driver’s side sliding door are optionally available.
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    For fleet customers, available Ford Telematics™ powered by Telogis® provides instant visibility into every vehicle everywhere – improving driver safety and reducing operating costs. The feature can provide vehicle maintenance alerts as well.
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    My 2017 Ford Transit was a 350 Extended length model in the High Roof configuration, powered by the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. The exterior finish was Magnetic Gray metallic, while the interior was done in Charcoal tones with cloth seats for two. The base price was set at $37,990. The final sticker amounted to $47,820 after adding the $8,635 worth of options and the $1,195 Destination and Delivery charge. Optional fare included: the Magnetic metallic paint, the Preferred Equipment Package with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, 3.31 Limited Slip Axle, wheel well liners, fixed passenger side glass, Auto lamp with Rain-sensing wipers, back up alarm, reverse park aid, keyless entry pad, trailer tow package, long power heated mirrors, Sync3with Navigation, trailer brake controller, power running board, privacy glass, and the Interior Up Package with vinyl floor covering, cruise control, and dual illuminated sun visors.
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    SUMMARY: Once inside, the handling characteristics of my behemoth high-roof extended length Ford Transit provided a surprisingly nimble feel despite its mass. Acceleration was more than adequate, again considering the overall mass, but a totally full or heavy load would likely impact off-the-line performance. Entry and exit can prove to be a bit of a chore even with the integrated running boards due to the Transit’s height. A grab assist handle for the driver would be a big plus when mounting up. The Audio Package features Bluetooth interface.
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    The seats are both comfortable and supportive, with a walk-through space between for cargo area access. The dual view exterior mirrors fold inward for tight parking spaces and the rear cargo doors each have a lock/unlock switch, allowing them to be opened fully alongside the body for easier loading and unloading.

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    My test Transit van’s towing capacity was 3,500 pounds with a 3,160 pound payload.

    Outward visibility with the huge windshield and rear door and passenger sliding door side windows, enhanced by the really large rear view mirrors and the rear parking aid feature.
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    Bottom line, the Ford Transit 350 High Roof extended length cargo van is obviously ideal for commercial applications, but it’s equally up to the task of serving as a hauler for personal lifestyle gear such as motorcycles, ATVs, camping gear, surfboards, canoes and the like, providing secure transport and storage without the hassle of trailer towing. Adding a couple of seats for family use would add even more recreational convenience.

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Ford Transit 350 HR Cargo Van

    Base Price: $37,990.
    Price as Tested: $47,820.
    Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve EcoBoost GTDI V6.

    Horsepower (bhp): 310 @ 5,500 rpm
    Torque (ft./ lbs.): 400 @ 2,500 rpm

    Transmission: 6-speed automatic SelectShift with overdrive and manual shift toggle atop gear shift lever.

    Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Single Rear-wheel drive.

    Suspension: Front -Independent MacPherson strut with heavy duty gas shock absorbers.
    Rear – Leaf springs with heavy duty gas shock absorbers.

    Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS

    Tires: Hankook Dynapro HT 235/65 R16C – 121/119R mounted on steel wheels.

    Wheelbase: 147.6 inches
    Length Overall: 263.9 inches
    Width: 97.4 inches – with mirrors
    Height: 109.4 inches
    Gross Vehicle Weight: 9,500 lbs.
    Turning Circle: Not listed
    Fuel Capacity: 25 gallons
    EPA Mileage Estimates: Fuel economy ratings not required on this vehicle Drag Coefficient: Not listed
    0 – 60 mph: Not tested

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    37 thoughts on “2017 Ford Transit 350 Twin-Turbo V6 Cargo Van? Why Is It So Popular? (Review)

    1. The company I work for has been buying these vans for the last few years. I have several in my specific department that I built the build specs for and purchased. The drivers absolutely love them. They are comfortable, has the driving feel of a car and not like truck, and quiet inside. The only thing I don’t like is the rear pads put out a lot of dust so the drivers needs to wash the aluminum rims often. But other than that they have been great after 2 years of commercial use. On of my vendors has 3 of them with the 3.5L TT and they are all over 100K miles and they said they have been awesome. Just normal maint and fuel efficiency has been in the high teens for their commercial use.

      1. I would never put thousands of pounds of gear in a passenger compartment with me and start rolling.
        But its perfectly efficient for my employees.

        1. If your worried about moving objects, then install a wall behind the back seat. There are a ton of cargo storage options out there for work vans.

          1. The point is:
            Everyone should be worried about all the people who die and are injured by vans (and even trucks with no guard).
            But does anyone equip their vehicle properly?
            Answer: NO

      2. @Jimmy Johns
        That is why Euro Vans as a whole are preferred by the RV Industry here. They can go too 23,750lbs GCVWR in the case of the IVECO and drive like a car. Japanese light Trucks the other alternate RV Class C chassis,we drive like a Truck

        1. It is quite remarkable that these Euro style vans drive like cars. The Sprinter vans here in the states really started something good. I am really surprised GM has not got on this band wagon yet.

          1. I think GM still has a niche with the 9900 GVWR crowd that still want a frame-based van. I know there are many companies switching service vehicles to these vans to avoid DOT E-logs. And the Vortec 6.0 makes a good fleet engine because they last a long time. Will fuel economy be good? No, but the platform and engine are proven so they can plan their expenses with a fair amount of confidence that their fleet won’t have high maintenance or repair costs.

            The Ford E-Series would be the same story, but I don’t believe it’s available in a 9900 GVWR anymore, which is where it needs to be to avoid the DOT E-Logs.

    2. “Ford claims that their ford transit is the best selling full size van in America excluding other ford products (ford e series)”. Translation: even after several production years, most ford fans still prefer the e series. Also, once again tfl. Please label articles like this under “sponsored content” not under “review” your fans are not that gullible.

      1. Dan, ford has not offered the fully enclosed E van in years. The e series now is motorhome chassis, stripped chassis, and cutaway chassis. TFL is right.

      2. Dan your translation is wrong.
        The Transit has outsold every other van including Econoline (chassis cab) since its introduction in 2014. It’s sales numbers dropped briefly during a recall but it was still number one during those months.
        Its price often exceed Benz of same configurations so it is not a commanding the market by being cheap.
        I now own two(3.5l), and two econolines. I can tell you no driver is happy to drive the E’lines, nor is my pocket.

    3. All I got out of this is that it can pick up 14 times more women than a Lamborghini. This is why I never bought into a two seated sports car, never suited my needs.

      1. I have had this questioned asked by a customer as well. My answer is more speculation than fact. To my knowledge the 3.7 has about as much HP and torque as the outgoing 5.4L V8 Engine. The fleets using these vehicles do not need a thirsty engine to consume fuel under load. The 3.7 is also CNG capable and can be converted to a CNG fleet. The 3.5 Eco can not. For more torque a company should opt for the 3.2 Powerstroke. With these set ups there really is no need for the Ecoboost aside from consumer want vs need.

        1. When I was building the specs, I spent a lot of time thinking of engine choice. The diesel vans run really well but my fear was someone filling the tank with gasoline. The people driving them have been used to filling econolines with gasoline for 10 years. So I decided for what I needed them for did not warrant the diesel. The two gas engines were hard to figure out but I ended up with the 3.7L. The 3.5L TT has awesome power but not needed. Some people that jump into them now are amazed on how quick the 3.7L. So I’m glad I decided to not go the 3.5L TT route.Plus for the cargo we have, it also did not warrant the 3.5L TT.

    4. We have a 2016 T250 long wheelbase high roof with the 3.5 Ecobeast and man does that thing fly! It tows like a freight train and with the with the giant mirrors I can actually see better than my F350. The Sync 3 is much improved over older version. There are a ton of up-fitter options we have a nice shelving rack and sliding door to passenger compartment. A dual-battery set up with an inverter to run tools. With the extra high roof it creates and awesome warming house on the those -20F days. There are a couple downsides we’ve seen so far; the winter traction here in MN is tough with stock tires and rwd, and due to load rating we cannot put winter tires on. Any suggestions? The other downside is driving in high winds, this sail of a van can create some white knuckle situations especially when you add snow and ice! Last one MPG is little lower than we’d like at about 13.5-14 but it’s not exactly aerodynamic.

      1. Luke, the factory tires absolutely suck on snow and ice. Being an odd size/load rating there aren’t many options for replacement. We replaced the stock tires with Michelin LTX MS2 tires in a 225/75R16E size i believe. They are larger than stock so the speedometer is inaccurate. Also the taller sidewalls makes it feel slightly less stable but handling in snow and ice is worlds better. Definitely worth it, at least for the winter months.

        1. Thanks Curt, I just purchased a set of Continental VancoWinter2 tires, they were the only snow/ice tires rated for cargo vans I could find. Should be much better!

        2. You can get Blizzak W965 tires in 225/75R16E. Darned nice studless winter tires. Lasts a long time (for a winter tire), even if you end up making trips below/south of the snow line.

      2. The mirrors on the Transit, should be installed on every darned vehicle taller than a sedan 🙂 They are truly the best mirrors I have ever used. Makes even pickup tow mirrors, like the ones on your F350, seem woefully inadequate.

        As for high winds and general stability, load placement (low, somewhat in front of the rear axle. High up on shelves or ceiling mounts are worst), and enough weight to sit solidly down on all rear leaves, help. The dual rear wheel option help “a lot,” and is barely any wider, but steals cargo room and makes the load floor less flat, due to intrusive wheel wells.

    5. its odd that Ford doesn’t offer the ED3.5 in the Cutaway model- I would think RV upfits could use the power. OTOH, the 3.5EB is down-rated for about the same power as the 2.7V6. I wouldn’t be surprised if they replace it.

    6. The ram van does well were I live. I suppose as a van, front wheel drive is okay.

      I have seen problems with traction when towing with a front wheel drive vehicle.

      A few lbs of weight really helps with a trucks, (van) traction.

    7. The 3.7L is limited to 66 ft^2 of frontal area in the cutaway. The 3.2L is permitted to go up to 72 ft^2. Ford lists the limitation as an “emissions requirement” without any additional detail. That ecoboost would be putting a bunch of heat into the engine compartment as a cutaway. Heat dissipation has always kept the power of vans down compared to pickups.

    8. @Jay B
      Pretty well it , with Hyundai, Mazda and KIA selling well.
      Ford is selling the Mustang because there is no Falcon and it’s performance arm FPV
      Barra straight Six turbo was good for 420hp and 470lbs ft at 1800 rpm
      There was the Coyote V8 that was sold as well. Aftermarket tuners factory approved 600hp Supercharged units
      Here is a Barra 6 pushing the more than 4000lbs Falcon 4 door to a 9 second run.
      Tuners got streetable 1000hp from the six cylinder.
      https://youtu.be/6Vz7PqAWZTI
      Renault Master and the Sprinter are the most prolific Euro Vans. IVECO Daily is starting to get some traction as well. It is mainly used in the RV industry

      1. @Buddy
        The Falcon was a 3,300lb- 3500lb car.
        They had 351cu in V8’s ( Famous ” NASCAR ” Block Engine.made in Australia) and the Barra as it eventually became 6 cylinder 4.1 to 3.9 litre straight six.

    9. Are they 4 wheel drive.

      They must have been on a diet. Lol

      Is it measured in miles or kilometers per hour.

      Those numbers are fast.

      In the videos I saw, it didnt even look like they had drag slicks.

      Must be pretty stick tires. Lol

    10. @Buddy
      Miles per Hour. Here is the fastest production 6 Cylinder Street registered car.In this case they have taken out the headlamp to get more air into the engine.
      Min weight 3,300lb. Best time 8.6 seconds and 157mph for the quarter
      https://youtu.be/pHwN2zEw9eE

    11. Common van for a common man.

      I’d like to see tfl do several test on the Ike with this van with max pay load. I wonder when they will put the ten spd automatic in the van?

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