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2015 Ford Transit Passenger Overview
After nearly 50 years on the same platform, Ford finally brings the European Transit to its Kansas factory for States-side specs, replacing its long-lived E-Series Econoline van. The Passenger version differs from the Cargo edition only insofar as the 15 seats you can stuff inside. Otherwise, the all-new 2015 Transit Passenger is the very same best option as its Cargo brother.
Why is it the best option? Built in the same smoothly sturdy unibody vision as the far pricier Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with more (and more familiar) power choices, offering more maximum cargo space than the Chevy Express and GMC Savana, and with the same available headroom as Nissan's NV but more available configurations, Ford's Transit is not only 300 pounds more capable and 25% more fuel-efficient than the outgoing Econoline, but genuinely better than the rest.
Standard equipment still leaves a lot to be desired, but at least the most basic configurations now include air conditioning, a basic audio system (probably 4 speakers) and power accessories above the previously offered trio of 12-volt outlets. The options list is long enough you could turn into a blue oval trying to speak all of it, including things like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, navigation system, 8-speaker voice-command audio system, chrome exterior accents and a varied list of technological driver aids like a rear-view camera with trailer-hitch assist.
As for power, overall output is definitely down as compared to the previous V8 powerplants, so the Transit will probably perform about the same as a Sprinter. If raw power is your priority, look to the Chevy or GMC options; these engines are built for efficiency, primarily. The 3.6-liter EcoBoost V6 is the very same 320-hp and 400-lb-ft/torque workhorse in Ford's F-150, but there is another 3.7-liter V6 good for about 266 horses that is Flex Fuel capable and may be converted to use compressed natural gas or liquid propane. The only engine that makes it over the pond is a 346-lb-ft/torque turbodiesel, dubbed Power Stroke for this market.
All these engines pair with a 6-speed automatic with overdrive and auto-manual control, directing power to the rear wheels only. Ford hasn't officially released any towing capacities, but recommends the EcoBoost engine with Class IV hitch for the best results—probably somewhere in the order of 2,000 pounds. As for payload, it's safe to expect the upper reaches of cargo capacity to be around 4,350 pounds. Fuel economy for an empty Transit just might approach 20 mpg highway, but don't expect much better than the previous best of 13 mpg city/17 highway.
Above and beyond the 2 wheelbases, 3 body lengths and 3 roof heights, Ford intends to offer a wagon variant and many other more cargo-oriented styles. Maximum interior space is about 550 cubic feet with enough room for a 6-foot-5-inch-tall person to stand upright, which would be provided by the high roof and extended-length body on the 147.6-inch "long" wheelbase, the only configuration with the high roof and available dual rear tires. The medium roof offers about 72 inches, enough room for most people in the 5-foot range to stand upright. The low roof affords 56 inches—definitely best if you're transporting kids.
Available with or without windows, side sliders and various interior conversions depending on your needs, the Transit is expected only to grow those options rather than shrink what was previously available to Econoline buyers. Although there isn't anything official on all the available seating configurations, Ford is known to go the distance when it comes to their customers' needs.
Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.