Vehicle Reviews

Ford Transit [two-tonne] - Review Of The Week

The sixth-generation Ford Transit two-tonne large van has proved to be a big step forward, but Ford has continued its efforts to try and improve this Turkish-built model. Payloads are up, there's a fresh EcoBlue Hybrid mild diesel engine, there's extra media connectivity and a fresh 10-speed auto transmission. It looks a strong package.

The permutations of body styles are huge. As well as the normal van body, Ford will sell you a double cab-in-van, a Kombi, a chassis cab and a minibus. Overall, Transit customers continue to be able to select from a range of more than 450 core variants, including front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive drivelines, plus a low-height Skeletal chassis.

We'll stick with just the panel van body here to save getting too complex. Here, you get a choice of three different wheelbases; L2 (Medium), L3 (Long), and L4 (Long Extended). There are also two roof heights on offer; H2 (Medium Roof) and H3 (High Roof). In this revised form, the two-tonne Transit model's payload has been improved by up to 80kg. A 7,000kg gross train mass enables up to 3,500kg of towing capability.

Ford Transit [two-tonne] - Review Of The Week

Under the bonnet, the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBlue engine is offered in 105PS, 130PS, 170PS and 185PS power ratings, each of which offers increased power and torque compared to before. Improved low-end pulling power - with 20 per cent more torque at 1,250rpm - delivers more flexible and responsive performance in everyday driving. EcoBlue Hybrid 48-volt mild-hybrid diesel powertrain technology is now offered as an additional option for front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive Transit models. In addition to the six-speed automatic gearbox already available on front-wheel drive models, rear-wheel drive Transits are now available with a new 10-speed automatic transmission featuring Adaptive Shift Scheduling, which can assess individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timings. As it was previously, the Transit is available in front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions and as ever, this Ford has been engineered to keep coming back after the worst abuse imaginable.

Bold, uncluttered and designed to be easy to clean, this revised Ford Transit's exterior features a taller, more assertive three-bar grille and a redesigned lower front end, with front panels and bumper re-profiled for improved aerodynamics. High-series models feature powerful bi-xenon headlights and smarter LED daytime running lights with a distinctive Transit family signature.

The cabin's been updated too. The instrument panel now features further practical touches for drivers who use the cabin as a mobile office, including significantly improved stowage with three open-topped bins on the top of the dashboard. A new device dock on lower series models enables drivers to mount both mobile phones and larger tablets. Hard-wearing new seat fabrics have been subjected to Ford's toughest-ever abrasion tests, and comfort is further enhanced by smarter seat designs featuring revised foam padding and geometry for optimised support.

And in summary? Well in years gone by, the Transit in its largest sizes often relied heavily on its market positioning to maintain its Number One position amongst UK businesses. That's no longer valid - and Ford has long known it. Hence the effort that was put into improving this sixth generation two-tonne version, with a programme of improvements now completed by the addition of the EcoBlue diesel engines that power this revised model. Now that these units are in place, with mild hybrid technology and higher payloads, it's hard to see much of a chink in this Ford's armoury: it's certainly the large LCV you simply have to consider if you're buying in this segment.

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