Ford Transit Review & Buyers' Guide
Sunday 19 August 2018

Ford Transit Review & Buyers' Guide

£17,495 – £30,520

Available as Van, Crew Van, Chassis Cab, Chassis Double Cab, Dropside, Tipper, Box Body, Luton, Refrigerated, Curtainsider, Minibus, 4x4 | Engine options 2.2TD 100hp, 125hp, 140hp, 155hp |Volume (m³) 6.6 – 17.1 | Payload (kg) 712 – 1,655

Our Verdict

Great range of fuel-efficient 2.2-litre Euro 5 diesels, massive model choice with either front-, rear- or all-wheel drive and the improvement in refinement, and especially noise levels, over the predecessors is astonishing. Best ever Transit, no question about it.

transit-2012-lwb-bg1Introduced to the UK market at the end of 2011 the updated Transit, regardless of whether it is front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, is powered by a line-up of four all-new 2.2-litre Euro 5 TDCi diesels with variable geometry turbochargers and diesel particulate filters. A six-speed manual transmission comes as standard across the entire range.

Based on the same engines that power the all-new Ranger, Transit’s new diesel line-up offers a choice of four outputs. The lead-in unit is now 100hp and top power — for rear-wheel drive models only — is 155hp. Slotted in between are the 125hp and 140hp variants. Peak torque ranges from 310Nm for the 100hp, up to 385Nm for the 155hp.

voty-2013-minibusOne big advantage the Euro 5 Transits have over their predecessors is the improvement in fuel consumption. Apart from the increased efficiency of the new engines, there are also a couple of fuel-saving ‘eco’ technologies featured in the majority of the range; Smart Regenerative Charging and Advanced Battery Management System. 

Ford has also extended the front-wheel drive Transit ECOnetic line-up beyond the short-wheelbase, low roof model (100hp). It now includes a 125hp long-wheelbase, medium roof variant for the first time. Apart from low rolling resistance tyres ECOnetic models come with an Auto-Start-Stop system as standard, along with 70mph speed-limiter. Both can be de-activated at the push of a button and are available as a low-cost option on just about any model.

transit-2012-lwb-bg2Van gross vehicle weights span 2.5t to 4.6t, there’s a choice of three wheelbases and roof heights, and four body lengths. Gross payloads go from 772kg to 1,655kg and load space starts at 6.6m3, peaking at 14.3m3.

Five specification levels are on offer — Standard, ECOnetic, Trend, Limited and SportVan — and all Transits are fitted with ESP as standard. Even the entry-level ‘S’ specification is good. It includes remote central locking, electric windows, heated windscreen, tinted glass and a radio/single CD player complete with remote steering column stalk controls and a MP3 aux-in socket. Storage space is as plentiful as ever with bins and cubbies of varying sizes liberally distributed throughout the cab. 

One aspect that Ford needs to address for the next generation Transit, however, is the quality of the plastics used in the cab. Not really low-rent, but there is definite room for improvement; Ford is not alone among van manufacturers in this shortcoming. 

transit-2012-lwb-bg3Apart from the low-down torque provided by the new diesels, what really impresses about the latest iteration of Transit is the reduction in noise reaching the cab occupants. Ford has done a great deal of work isolating the engine from the body and the cab, and it’s really paid off big-time. Special mention goes to the quality of the dash-mounted gearchange, easily the best in any panel van.

Transit, however, doesn’t just come as a van. It can be had as a six-seater Cab-in-Van (crew cab), Shuttle/Tourneo/Minibus offering seat configurations from eight to 17, chassis cab and chassis double cab. The latter two form the basis for the Transit One-Stop Shop range of the most popular body conversions.

Service intervals have been increased from one year/15,000 miles to 20,000 miles, the standard anti-corrosion warranty has risen from eight to 12 years and Transit is covered by a three-year/100,000-mile mechanical warranty.

Click here for a Video Road Test of a short-wheelbase Transit 100hp 2.2TDi Euro 5 Transit 280 ECOnetic.

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