Vans have been a staple of utility vehicles for decades. Their no-frill, all business attitude has helped them be more successful as a work truck than most pickup trucks! One work van has been leading the best seller category for over 34 years, the legendary, Labrador-retriever-companion-like van, the Ford E-Series. However, all good things must come to an end; Ford has announced the retirement of the faithful E-Series. We never thought we would see this day. Pigs should be flying or H-E-double hockey sticks should be freezing over! But fear not van enthusiasts; Ford has the apocalypse-stalling replacement ready to go!
Introducing the new 2015 Ford Transit! Now first off, this isn’t the smaller Transit Connect, this is an entirely new van that is part of Ford’s Global Platform strategy. The Transit isn’t new to other markets though. The Transit is one of the most well known and popular vehicles in the U.K. The British TV series Top Gear regularly has challenges involving the Transit, whether it’s doing a lap of the Nurburgring in Germany, or making one into a hovercraft, the Transit is one of their go-to cars! But how does this translate over to America, where our vans are used by hardworking carpenters, electricians, and limo drivers. Will this van be able to replace their old E-Series companion? Much like welcoming a new pet into the household, the Transit does take some getting used to. However, we are happy to inform that the new puppy has learned from the older dog, and does everything better!
The new Transit has a similar slab sided design, a norm in the world of vans, but the unique front design is definitely different from others in the class. The Ford emblem is proudly displayed in the middle of a large aggressive grill, a refreshing change from the chrome boxes on the E-Series. The Transit is available in many different combinations to suit your businesses needs too; with choices from three different roof heights, 3 different body lengths, 2 Wheelbases, and 3 different engine options, the Transit is tailored to fit your needs specifically. The old E-Series only had one wheelbase and one roof option, so choices were limited. Now the added space of the Transit, 487 cubic feet total on the largest combination (a 75% increase over the E-Series), could mean your fleet could go down from two old vans to one new van.
The overall design of the new Transit is greatly improved over the E-Series too. The new unibody structure is superior to the old body on frame platform, allowing for a lower floor and easy entry access. The rear doors now have the option to open a full 270 degrees, making loading objects even easier! The engine options are also a huge improvement over the old E-Series. The base engine is a 3.7 liter V6, the same one you will find in the current F-150. It produces 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The other gasoline engine is the much talked about 3.5 Liter EcoBoost V6. The EcoBoost has proven itself to be strong and dependable in the F-150 pickup, and now it’s ready for its van debut. This durable engine produces 320 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a utility vehicle, huh? The third engine option is the 3.2 Liter Diesel that produces 185 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. This option should be able to provide a sense of familiarity from E-Series diesels of the past. These engines provide a 46% increase in fuel economy when compared to the outgoing V10 from the E. All engines have a standard 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with Overdrive and manual shift capabilities. Features available on the Transit are more modern than the outgoing E too. The Transit is available with familiar options like seating for 8-15, Cutaway and Chassis Cab versions with new features like Leather Seats, a Rearview Camera, MyFord Touch, Lane Alert System (which vibrates the steering wheel when drifting out of a lane), and Ford’s sync. Other electronic goodies are also readily available as options.
While Mercedes and other van competitors are relying on dated models to fill the space in their lineups, Ford has once again raised the bar to go above and beyond to make a great vehicle. The Transit will be arriving in our showroom this summer, so be sure to come take a look at it! Fear not old E-Series enthusiasts, the old van will still be sold alongside the Transit, but don’t be afraid to change up to the new van, it’s worth it.