The transits in europe (which the new transit is supposed to be based off of) are quite capable in the carrying cargo department. Interior wise, they are larger than anything but a cutaway E-series. I dont know if Ford will be hauling over the jumbo van, but it can carry 3500lbs, and has a comical amount of room. It looks like a bloated version of the sprinter van. The other thing i am not sure of is if ford will re-rate the transit in the US. In Europe, laws about commercial vehicles are pretty clear. If the GCWR is more than 7700lbs, then you need a different/commercial license. In the US, you are not into CDL territory until you are knocking on 26,000lbs.
Guys, this will be a bittersweet cake you can believe me. I write from Europe. The Transit is big. Much bigger than any Econoline. Yesterday I parked next to Fiats, Fords at a shopping center and the difference is marginal. They are wider, taller, longer and you can stand up in them easily. I am 1.9m and I have space above me. Much space. You can choose the long and tall version and it is much bigger than the biggest Eco. On the highway they drive 140 - 150 km/h so 85 - 96mph and consume less than me at 55. That is the truth. The TurboDiesel engine is not very strong in HP but very strong in torque. 400Nm and more. If you get a chip, even more. This fight is over before it starts. When the fleet manager get one and try and realizes it consumes only 60% then over for the Eco. The fun? At the cashier maybe. **** seat position ( you sit high above everything ) huge steering wheel almost horizontal. Loud 4 cyl diesel engine, manual transmission. Front wheel drive but actually not important. It is absolutely no fun there. It is a working gear. Not constructed for the driver, but for the owner or the wallet of him or her. A different world. The structural strength is low as the is no frame, self supporting chassis or how do you say correctly. If too much load and too big force, then it bends, the windshield cracks, god how many we had...
Engine tuning? Work on them at home? Forget it. They are very complicated. If they go wrong, you will go mad. Very pricey it can be. The common rail system, the turbo, etc.
Sorry for writing this, but this is the truth. Here only fans drive American vans. They are small, thirsty, difficult to load ( the floor is extremely high but the top very low ) and no parts. If problem, it can be a long story. I had psom trouble with my van. Until we found the reason we spent 2.500 Dollars...total transmission overhaul and so on. All that at 120k miles which is nothing for a van...
But look good and fun to drive. To push up my bike? The holly **** you must be well trained. In a European van, no problem for girl.
Drive your vans until you have cheap fuel and until you have real vans. Good luck from Europe!
E150 4.9 1990 your post is excellent as it tells the story so many in the USA already fear about the Transit---thanks for sharing your experience!
Just now the Transit's configuration is unknown which causes quite a bit of anxiety what we'll be offered. It has been announced the EccoBoost gasoline engine will be an option which eases those concerns. Still to be determined is whether we'll have available a full frame in order to tow heavy loads--we already know the unibody construction most likely won't be up to the tasks so many put their Econolines through.
Your comments about cabin comfort is of high concern too. While the E-Series aren't Mercedes comfortable they've been refined enough to be acceptable for most who drive them daily. Here in the USA Freightliner's (Daimler) Sprinter is the closest same-type vehicle available for comparison and its very similar to your description about steering wheel positioning and noise levels.
Issues of maintenance and do-it-yourself repairs as budget saving steps will be another concern for potential Transit buyers here too. The thought of being constrained to dealer-only repairs will potentially drive many customers away, especially those with fleets large enough to do most repairs in their own facilities. Being required to add so many new tools or diagnostic equipment for previously simple operations adds to the eventual cost-of-ownership.
Since Ford is the only USA auto manufacturer announcing the eventual replacement of what's considered as a standard van all is not a bleak as Ford brand loyal might think. Its not popular thinking any of us will have no choice but to switch brands if Ford doesn't offer what we need or want but so far that's more a reaction based upon speculation than any real facts. It doesn't help Ford has been a bit silent about this new vehicle overall--apart from it will be available in 2013 and have at least one engine option information is quite scarce.
Anyway time will tell how the USA market loves---or hates--the Transit---it will be nothing less than interesting!
Welcome to FTE's forums BTW----you have a lot to add I'm sure, looking forward to it myself!
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