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2018 Ford Transit Passenger Overview
The Ford Transit van has been one of the most popular vehicles of its kind on European roads for decades, but it took until 2014 to reach U.S. shores. While best known in its Cargo configuration, the Transit Passenger variant has also been a huge success, its endless possible customizations appealing to families and small businesses around the world. For 2018, the Transit Passenger van gains a high-mounted rearview camera on models with medium and high roofs as well a few new options like heavy-duty flooring and scuff plates, power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, and an alloy dual rear wheel package.
The 2018 Ford Transit Passenger is available in two trim levels—XL and XLT—and with three lengths, three roof heights, three engines, and even three rear-axle ratios to choose from, there really is a Transit for everybody. Low-roof models measure 83 inches, while the medium-roof van stands at 100 inches tall and the high-roof variant at 110 inches. The wheelbase comes in either a 130-inch or 148-inch length, and buyers of the 148-inch-wheelbase model can choose from a 141.7-inch or 170.2-inch load floor. In terms of seating, the Transit Passenger can be configured to carry 8, 10, 12, or even 15 occupants.
Under the hood, buyers can equip their Transit Passenger with a 3.7-liter V6 engine good for 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 310 hp and 400 lb-ft, or a 3.2-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel 5-cylinder engine with an output of 185 hp and 350 lb-ft. All engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. In terms of fuel economy, the 3.7-liter V6 will do 14 mpg city, 18 highway, and 16 combined, while the 3.5-liter EcoBoost gets figures of 15, 19, and 16. Maximum payload is 3,520 pounds and towing capacity tops out at 5,100 pounds, although actual numbers will vary depending on the configuration. For those familiar with Ford’s old Econoline vans, the Transit Passenger will seem fairly unusual—it features a unibody build rather than the more old-fashioned body-on-frame construction, so it should ride more smoothly than other traditional haulers. Front suspension is by MacPherson struts, while the rear gets leaf springs and a live axle.
As for the interior, the Transit Passenger’s base XL trim comes standard with vinyl upholstery, fixed or flip-open fourth-row windows, tinted glass, and an AM/FM stereo with 6 speakers. Options include a power driver’s seat, navigation, cloth upholstery, a heavy-duty battery, cruise control, and rear air conditioning. XL models can also be outfitted with an available tow/haul package, reverse alarm, power running boards, or privacy glass. Moving up to the XLT trim adds chrome exterior trim, rain-sensitive wipers, automatic headlights, rear heating and air conditioning, and cloth upholstery. Available upgrades include leather upholstery, a telematics system for fleet drivers that can track the van’s location, and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and navigation.
Other than stability control, a reversing camera, and a few optional items like lane-departure warning and a driver-alert system, the Transit Passenger doesn’t offer any of the active safety features currently making their way across the passenger-car market. As far as crash testing, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) awarded the 2017 model 4 stars in the frontal crash category and 5 stars for side-impact protection.
The 2018 Ford Transit Passenger can be many things—a basic runabout for a large family, a shuttle for a campsite or event venue, or even a tow vehicle. It offers dozens of size and weight configurations and a cabin setup that ranges from spartan to almost luxurious. It’s this versatility that explains the Transit’s massive success on both sides of the Atlantic, and if the latest model is any indication, Ford seems intent on continuing to expand its appeal.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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