2017 Ford Transit Cargo Review

Transit Cargo

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2017 Ford Transit Cargo Overview

With lifetime sales of over 8 million vans, the Ford Transit Cargo is one of the top-selling vehicles in the world. Now in its fourth year in North America, it has quickly become the best-selling van in the U.S., and it continues into 2017 with few changes.

In cargo configuration (the Transit also comes as a passenger van), the Transit comes with a choice of 3 engines, 3 roof heights, and 3 lengths. However, not all lengths are available with all roof, and not all configurations come in every gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)—a measurement of the Transit’s total mass including passengers and cargo. All Transit Cargo vans have a few things in common: 2 air-conditioned front seats, a reversing camera with trailer-hitch assist, trailer stability control, side-wind stabilization, rear compartment lighting, and 12-volt power outlets at the front, center, and rear of the vehicle.

Because the Transit is designed to be customized for fleet buyers, it also comes with a plethora of options. Some cargo-specific choices include rear doors with windows, all-around windows, beefed-up batteries, an engine-block heater, a heavy-duty alternator and wiring, power running boards, a perimeter alarm, power-heated long- or short-arm mirrors with turn signals, a spray-in floor liner, a power inverter, upfitter switches, and privacy glass. Depending on the engine and length configuration, the Transit Cargo can have a GVWR of between 8,600 and 10,360 pounds. Different rear-axle ratios are also available depending on whether the van will be trailering or towing.

The Transit Cargo offers a few creature comforts for the driver and passenger, such as an AM/FM radio with Aux input jack that can be upgraded to include a CD player, SiriusXM, and even Sync 3 with navigation. Seats are important if you’re behind the wheel all day, and the standard non-powered vinyl bucket seats can be upgraded to cloth or leather powered lumbar-support seats. The Ford Telematics system from Telogis is another option that helps fleet managers keep an eye on their vehicles with real-time tracking, maintenance scheduling, and driver-behavior monitoring.

A regular-length, low-roof Transit Cargo is 219.9 inches long, has 246.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and starts at $31,610. The standard 3.7-liter V6 engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and capable of an output of 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and it can also be converted to run on compressed natural gas or propane. Other engine options include a turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 rated at 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque or a 5-cylinder diesel engine that makes 185-hp and 350 lb-ft of torque between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm. Both gas engines have a fuel-economy rating of 14 mpg city, 19 highway, and 16 combined—though vehicle configuration and load will greatly affect real-world mileage—and the diesel engine has not been EPA rated.

The regular-wheelbase Transit Cargo can also be ordered with a medium roof, which decreases the overall exterior length to 217.8 inches and increases capacity to 315.2 cubic feet. It is not available with a high roof.

The long-wheelbase Transit is 237.6 inches and offers 277 cubic feet of space with a low roof, 235.5 inches and 357.1 cubic feet with a medium roof, and 235.5 inches and 404.2 cubic feet with a high roof.

The extended-wheelbase Transit is available only with a high roof, measures 263.9 inches long, and has 487.3 cubic feet of space. Removing the front passenger seat will add even more cargo room.


A member of the New England Motor Press Association who has owned everything from a Town Car to a Prius, Keith has contributed automotive coverage to outlets including Wired, Car & Driver, and USA Today.

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