When people think of vans they think of the Ford Transit, and with good reason. It’s the UK’s best-selling model and prior to 2012 the Transit name covered both mid- and large-sized vans.
As a result, Ford sold nearly as many as Volkswagen did Golfs, making it the sixth best-selling nameplate on UK roads.
These days, things are a bit different, with Transit reserved for the bigger vans, and mid-sized models going by the name of Ford Transit Custom. But some things don’t change and the Ford Transit Custom and Ford Transit are still number one and two in the sales charts.
Despite being the big seller in its class, the big Transit has some stiff competition from not only the van world’s other household name, the Mercedes Sprinter, but also the Fiat Ducato, Nissan NV400, Peugeot Boxer and Volkswagen Crafter. It’s a market where high payloads and big volumes count.
The Transit is more than up to the task, though, and is known for its numerous combinations – Ford says there are more than 450 of them. There are three different load lengths and two roof heights, as well as crew cabs, minibuses, chassis cabs and off-the-shelf tipper trucks. There are also front-wheel drive (FWD), rear-wheel drive (RWD) and four-wheel drive (AWD) versions.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine, replacing the old 2.2-litre unit. The range is fairly simple, with outputs of 103bhp, 129bhp and 168bhp available on FWD and RWD vans, while only the two higher outputs can be specified on the AWD model. There are also two trim levels, Base and Trend, plus a whole range of options to adjust your Transit to suit your needs.
The latest Transit starts from a 2.9-tonne gross vehicle weight – just about right where the Transit Custom range finishes – and has seven body weights up to 4.7 tonnes. Ford refers to these as ‘series’, meaning a 350 series is a 3.5 tonne van.