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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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