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Before there was the crossover, there was the minivan, and before there was the minivan, there was the honest van. The Ford Transit is a throwback to a bygone era. It has no rear windows, bland box-on-wheels styling, an uninteresting power plant and a cavernous rear end. That might not sound like much for nearly forty thousand dollars, but it’s enough.
The Transit line might not ooze Americana the way its F-150 cousin does. It may not win any beauty pageants, either, but it is quite possibly the most practical vehicle on the market today. For small business owners who need one vehicle they can rely on, the Transit line’s infinite reconfigurability is its ace in the hole.
Styling and Interior
When you think of classically shaped cars, Ferraris and BMWs come to mind. The Transit is here to remind us that it is what’s inside that counts, but there are a few options you can get to spruce up its exterior appearance, including upgraded wheels and ten different paint options.
We recommend that if you’re going to spend the money for an upgrade, you do it on the Transit’s interior, which can be upgraded to include a touch-sensitive infotainment screen with navigation and backup camera — that should be required on a vehicle of this size. There are also two USB ports and a power inverter with a 110V outlet that is sure to see some use from mobile handymen.
Ready for Anything
If you plan on using the Ford Transit as a people-hauler, you’ll have space for up to fifteen of your closest friends with three rows of bench seating, but that is hardly the Transit’s best trick. A wide variety of shelving and storage options are available to customize the van’s rear compartment for use in just about any role you can imagine.
Need to organize a number of small parts and tools for your job as a mobile electrician? Outfit the Transit with a shelving package. Have plans to use the van as a mobile grooming station for dogs? Swap the floor and walls out for more durable materials and add a rear hitch step to help pooches make their way in and out. You can even add a partition behind the driver’s seat if you’re planning on a life of law enforcement for your van.
Driving Dynamics of the 2017 Ford Transit
Those who’ve had the chance to enjoy a spin in the latest Transit models compliment it on its civilized road manners. This is in part due to an independent front suspension and communicative steering, which work well in combination with the Transit’s stock 275 horsepower V6 and six-speed automatic transmission.
If you’re planning to spend most of your time with heavy equipment on board, or particularly if you’ll be hauling a trailer, Ford offers their turbocharged EcoBoost V6 available as an option. So equipped, the Transit puts out a solid 400 ft. lbs. of torque. It can’t quite match the 10,400 lb. tow rating of the F-150, but at 6,200 lbs. you’ll have enough tug for most small work trailers.
You can call the Transit boring, but commercial vehicles outsell their consumer counterparts worldwide every year for good reason. The Transit is a tribute to simplicity and practicality that shows Ford hasn’t forgotten how crucial these adaptable breadwinners are to their bottom line.
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons