Reviews

2015 Ford Transit Walk Around



As with most vehicles designed to work Transit grafts a softened nose to a strictly rectangular body. If you can’t distinguish it from behind, don’t feel bad.

The nose uses a variation on Ford’s three-bar grille, chromed on some wagons, and headlights similar to other Ford product only swept back for airflow and front corner clearance. A plastic bumper minimizes scuffed paint, and the lower cooling duct can be used as a step for cleaning the windshield. Underhood serviceability is better than the Econoline.

Tall side mirrors have large standard and wide-angle elements, the former powered the latter manually adjusted. Despite their height the deep side window drop and high seating position mean most drivers look over them and they don’t present forward blind spots. Some mirrors are heated, some have signal repeaters. The fuel fill door abuts the driver’s door so no separate locking mechanism is needed, and the driver’s door can be shut while refueling to avoid stinking up or changing cabin climate.
Right side doors are 60/40 hinged on LR Vans, sliding on Wagons, MR and HR cargo vans; sliding left-side cargo door is expected. Side-door opening is minimum 51 inches wide and 49 (LR) or 63 (MR, HR) inches high. The Wagon’s side door, rear door and all-around windows are offered on Vans.

Vertical taillights allot similar area to brake/turn and backup lights, enough to use the camera or mirrors with some confidence at night. Rear doors split 50/50 and those with glass offer defrosters so the inside mirror is somewhat usable for more than monitoring passengers.

Rear doors open easily with stops parallel to the body sides or parallel to the rear bumper; on LWB models they open a further 270 degrees to park along the side panels. The rear camera is in the door and features a hash-line to indicate centerline for tow-ball hitching, while the park sensors are in the step bumper big enough for adult shoes.

Rear doors open nearly five feet wide, height matched to roof at 49.6, 62.8 or 72.2 inches. Minimum floor length is 116 inches, inside height 53 inches and only the dually is less than four feet wide between wheelhouses. Cargo van interior dimensions are generally a bit larger since they don’t have overhead ducting, insulation, wall panels and so on.

The Wagon has no obvious cargo area tie-down points though we suspect you could easily add some from the Van’s selection.

Interior

Like its wrapper Transit’s interior stresses function with appropriate materials and useful spaces and electronics. But it isn’t a penalty box, as even lowly Vans can be equipped with power leather seats.

You step up twice, about 16 inches to the first and there are plenty of grab handles, to an upright driving position. Seats proved comfortable and easy to slide in and out of, adjustable inboard armrests guarding against fatigue. It’s easy to clamber in and out of with big boots on and the tilt/telescoping steering column stays out of the way. It’s range of adjustment in either direction is limited, so some longer-leg drivers will fin it most convenient to steer using only the bottom part of the wheel.

Any recent Ford driver will recognize controls, though you might not have seen some switchgear (park sensor, traction control, etc.) flanking the instruments. Steering wheel controls are numerous and the stalks logical, the lane departure warning switch is ideally placed on the end of the signal lever.

Blue-needle gauges and central display screen could have been lifted from a Focus or F-150 and convey necessary information. Beyond basic trip computer functions the display also handles towing data, driver assists and MyKey programming that could keep your kids, employees or volunteers better focused.

The shifter is handy on the dash, climate controls adjacent and overhead simple. Shorter drivers may find them and the center six-inch touch-screen a reach, and the small buttons’ On screen are hit-and-miss on less-than-smooth roads, so take advantage of the Sync MyFordTouch voice-recognition controls. Bluetooth pairing was simple, power and USB ports easy to get to.

Cab storage is quite good. A bin next to the shifter will hold a phone at a good angle for using it for navigation, pens and coins go in the center, and there’s cup or bottle stowage on top and knee-high on the dash edges, the doors and the center console. MR and HR models have ovearhead storage, some big enough for an umbrella.

Wagons use various permutations of 2, 3 and 4-occupant seat rows, and not all are the same size. In the smallest, eight-seat Wagon, the second row fits three but the third row also carries three and has a bit more width and legroom. Each position has independent limited recline, shoulder belt and headrest, and the second row has coat hooks on the headrests. Overhead and floor vents supply cooled or warmed air respectively.

This Wagon is rated at 95 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row but it feels larger. Capacity behind the second row of seats is superior to an Odyssey, Sienna or Suburban with only the front seats in use. Second and third row seat stanchions are aligned so long, flat items are easily slid underneath, and the third row can be unlatched with three hands and lifted out with two people. The largest Transit Wagon carries fifteen in 2-3-3-3-4 configuration and still has 100 cubic feet of storage space behind.

Standard glass is fixed behind the front doors, but flip-open windows are available for some doors and rows whether cargo Van or Wagon. Most have roof lighting throughout.

Cargo van capacity ranges from 247 cubic feet in the smallest to 487 cubic feet in the largest with a 162-inch long load deck. Add 40-50 if the front passenger seat is removed.

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