There comes a time when even the most trusted and tested vehicles become simply outmatched by the latest and greatest. No disrespect to the long-lived Ford E-Series, which first arrived in 1961, but the new 2015 Ford Transit coming to the U.S. from Europe will improve upon the familiar commercial vehicle in nearly every way.
The 2015 Ford Transit van makes major leaps in fuel economy compared to the E-Series, whose 6.8-liter V-10 and 4.6-liter V-8 engines were not known for their frugality. In low- and medium-roof regular 2015 Ford Transit wagons (a high roof is also available, as are long- and extended-length bodies), the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 3.7-liter V-6 engines are rated for 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined. The gains in efficiency represent a 46 percent improvement over that of the thirsty V-10, and a 19 percent improvement over the V-8. Ford’s Power Stroke five-cylinder turbodiesel is also available as an engine option in the new 2015 Transit, though it is not yet EPA-rated.
Despite the lower displacement of the new engines compared to the old V-8 and V-10, there should be no concerns over output or towing capacity. The base 3.7-liter V-6 makes 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, while the twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 (a version of which is used in Ford Racing’s Daytona Prototype race car) ups the ante to 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with the 3.2-liter diesel engine, the 2015 Ford Transit produces 185 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, and 90 percent of that torque is available from 1500 to 2750 rpm. All Ford Transit models use a six-speed automatic transmission delivering power to the rear wheels.
Need to tow 7500 lbs? We’d point you to the low-roof, medium-wheelbase Transit 150 or 250 van, equipped with the 3.2-liter diesel and the available 3.73 ratio rear axle. Max payload however, can be had on the high-roof, extended-body and long-wheelbase Transit 350HD van with dual rear wheels, which can carry up to 4650 lbs.
There’s also more than enough space to haul up to 15 people and or loads of equipment, thanks to the Ford Transit’s many variations. The max cargo capacity is available in the Ford Transit high-roof, extended-wheelbase van, which contains 487.3 cubic feet of space behind the first row—75 percent better than the E-Series offers. In wagon form, max cargo drops to 461.3 cubic feet.
The 2015 Ford Transit is already in production at the company’s Kansas City plant. Although the aging E-Series is still being sold alongside the Transit, it will soon be discontinued. The 2015 Ford Transit goes on sale this summer, with the van starting at $30,560 and the wagon variant at $33,095, including destination fees.