2015 Ford Transit Cargo Van Review

Forget about borrowing your buddy’s pickup. If you need to move an apartment’s worth of furniture, you want a cargo van. We’re loading up a 2015 Ford Transit on a freezing-cold Saturday morning, and — compared to the bed of a truck — the van’s enormous enclosed cargo area holds more, shelters your belongings from the elements, and has a back-saving low load height.
The Ford Transit has been a staple of European roads for decades, but this is the first version to come to the U.S. It replaces the antiquated Ford E-Series (née Econoline) vans, offering more space, more horsepower, better fuel efficiency, and vastly improved technology than its rickety predecessors. The 2015 Ford Transit matches up against the Nissan NV2500/3500 HD and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, as well as the Ram ProMaster.
2015 Ford Transit 250 Rear End

Hauling with ease

There’s certainly enough space inside the 2015 Ford Transit for all this writer’s worldly belongings. The load floor behind the front seats is more than 10 feet long, and the roof is tall enough that if we had more stuff we could stack it two or even three layers high. We can easily stand up inside without risk of skull meeting metal. Most of all, we’re just thankful the low floor means we only have to lift couches and shelves and boxes 28.8 inches from the ground to load them. With an open-air truck bed, we’d be lifting much higher — and snow would be falling on our furniture.

2015 Ford Transit 250 Rear Cargo Space 02

Out on the road, the 2015 Ford Transit behaves more like a car or light truck than a delivery van. The dashboard, instruments, and responsive Sync infotainment system are familiar from cars such as the Fiesta and Focus. Its tall seating position, stubby nose, and steep windshield permit a great view out front, and the sharp steering angles afforded by a rear-wheel-drive chassis make for a relatively tight turning circle. That, plus a backup camera, helps us avoid crunching our new neighbor’s Volkswagen GTI when we reverse into a parking spot.
Changing lanes is when the 2015 Ford Transit becomes a chore, as is the case with all cargo vans that lack side windows (they’re optional). Fortunately, the Ford comes with large convex spotter mirrors, helping us judge the size of gaps in traffic. But judge carefully: At 237.6 inches end to end, the van is more than a foot longer than a Ford Expedition EL.
2015 Ford Transit 250 Cockpit

Ford’s well-known 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 is just as well-suited to use in the Transit as in other vehicles, like the F-150, with a meaty torque band that is more than adequate even when the van is loaded. There’s enough power in this 2015 Ford Transit that accelerating the big van down highway on-ramps isn’t any more stressful than driving a low-horsepower compact sedan. The Transit is exempt from EPA fuel efficiency testing, but the car’s on-board computer indicated 14 mpg during our weekend of moving and hauling. A cheaper 275-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 engine is also available, and there’s a 185-hp, 3.2-liter inline-five turbodiesel for buyers looking to save money at the pump.

2015 Ford Transit 250 Front End 02

A Transit for all

Ford may be pushing the Transit on commercial buyers, but the truth is that there are many other customers for a modern cargo van. Traveling bands could ditch the dated Ford Econoline, for instance, and small businesses could use the Transit to transport their wares. Thankfully, there’s a 2015 Ford Transit for everyone. It’s offered with three wheelbase options, two roof heights, and the aforementioned three engine choices. Customers can also equip their Transit with lane-departure warning and parking sensors and a Crew Chief telemetry system that beams vehicle data back to a fleet operator.

However you use it, the 2015 Ford Transit is a thoroughly modern take on the big cargo van. Ford’s new cargo van enters a crowded segment, but it may benefit from its Blue Oval badge. Companies loyal to the Ford F-150 pickup — the nation’s best-selling vehicle — might be more easily tempted to switch to a van if it comes from the same dealership as their trucks.

2015 Ford Transit 250 Rear Three Quarter

For a cross-town apartment move, though, we heartily recommend a cargo van over a pickup. Its cargo area is far longer than that of a truck, and its enclosed rear allows us to stack boxes and couches several layers high. Better yet, having a roof over your belongings keeps them dry when you move during a rain- or snowstorm. While we wouldn’t want it for everyday driving, anyone who needs the space and practicality of a cargo van will find the 2015 Ford Transit a perfect fit.

2015 Ford Transit Cargo Van Long Wheelbase Medium Roof Specifications

Base Price: $39,725
Engine: 3.5L twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6/310 hp @ 5,000 rpm, 400 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Layout: 5-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD van (two front doors, one side door, two rear doors)
EPA Mileage: N/A
L x W x H: 237.6 x 81.3 x 100.7 in
Wheelbase: 147.6 in
Weight: N/A lb
Headroom: 52.0 in
Legroom: 41.3 in
Shoulder room: 67.9 in
Cargo room (behind first row): 357.1 cu ft
Towing: 4,700 lb
2015 Ford Transit 250 Front Three Quarter 01

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