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2018 Ford Transit Wagon Review

2018 Ford Transit Wagon Review
For buyers who don’t need four-wheel drive in their large commercial van, the 2018 Ford Transit offers a huge range of options and configurations.

The 2018 Ford Transit van is a tall-riding commercial vehicle with more room than our college apartments. 

Offered in fleet-focused XL and XLT trim levels, the van is infinitely configurable in passenger or cargo varieties.

On our scale, it rates a 5.2 out of 10 based on its reasonable road manners and its highly configurable design. 

For 2018, the Transit sees a few minor additions: a package with dual alloy rear wheels is now available, leather seats are a new option, and Bluetooth is offered on a wider range of models.

The 2018 Transit lineup is extensive, with van, passenger wagon, cutaway and chassis cab body configurations available for just about every commercial need—and some buyers may find the passenger model suitable for family use, too.

Three engines are available: a 3.7-liter V-6, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, and a 3.2-liter turbodiesel V-6. All mate exclusively to 6-speed automatic transmissions that shuttle power to the rear wheels.

Vans aren’t sold for their looks, but the Ford Transit is at least inoffensive.

Though the bar hasn’t exactly been set high in the large van segment, the 2018 Ford Transit is appealing mainly for its clean, anonymous looks. We’ve scored it a 4 out of 10, deducting a point for its busy interior design. 

With the Transit, Ford puts function well above form. Standard and high-roof models are available and all have a narrow look with a long snout that’s typical for commercial vans. Hey, it looks better than the Nissan NV, right?

Inside, the Transit’s dashboard is rather passenger car-like with lots of nooks and crannies to store beverages, snacks, clipboards, and pens. It’s a busy look with lots of angles, a sharp departure from the all-business feel of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

A trio of good engine choices make the Ford Transit a pleasant enough hauler.

With its three engine choices, the 2018 Ford Transit has something for just about every commercial buyer. It’s not particularly nimble, though, so the point that we’ve added for those three engines is taken away when it comes to urban driving.

That brings it to a 5 out of 10. 

The base Transit comes with a 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Users who need a little more hauling power or find themselves at higher elevations will want to consider the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 that checks in at 310 hp and 400 lb-ft.
If towing is important, the 3.2-liter turbodiesel inline-5 cranks out 185 horsepower and 350 lb-ft at just 1,500 rpm.

All three choices are paired to 6-speed automatic transmissions and they deliver power only to the rear wheels. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, there’s no four-wheel-drive option. And, unlike the Ram ProMaster, the Transit’s rear-wheel-drive configuration doesn’t make it quite as maneuverable in town.

For what it is, however, the Transit rides well and has steering that’s nicely weighted with even a hint of feedback from the road. Largely developed in Germany, the Transit shows off its Autobahn roots with excellent high-speed stability.

Comfort & Quality
With its hugely configurable cargo and passenger area, the Ford Transit happily fulfills just about every demand.

Ford offers the Transit in a wide range of body configurations for humans, cargo, or some combination of the two. These vans are roomy and have comfortable seats for all day, which merits a 7 out of 10 on our scale. 

Its front seats are chair-like with armrests included on most versions. A low window sill and a large windshield offer an expansive view ahead. Buttons and switches are organized in a somewhat haphazard manner, however, meaning the Transit’s interior layout takes some acclimation.

In its largest configuration, the Transit offers up to 487 cubic feet of cargo capacity—as much as an apartment in San Francisco, or at least close. The rear doors on the high-roof version allow items up to 74.3 inches tall to pass through, a figure that’s tops for their class. Extended-length variants can seat up to 15, including the driver, plus more than 100 cubic feet of cargo storage behind the last row of seats.

Though we don’t have full crash-test scores, the 2018 Ford Transit comes standard with good safety features.

The 2018 Ford Transit hasn’t been fully crash tested, so we can’t assign it a score. However, we do have some limited information about how well it should perform in the event of an accident. 
The NHTSA gives the Transit van four stars in the frontal crash test and five for side impact. Most versions don't have a rollover rating. The IIHS has not tested the Transit at all.

In terms of factory-fitted safety features, the 2018 Transit includes a full complement of airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, and a rearview camera—the latter is essential for such a large vehicle. Lane departure warnings are an extra-cost option on most versions of the Transit, as is a highly recommended reverse sensing system.

The highly customizable Ford Transit is available in a configuration for just about every job need.

At its base level, the 2018 Ford Transit is not much more than a box with wheels. But the sky’s the limit—even more so for 2018.

As a result, we’ve scored the 2018 Transit a 6 out of 10, awarding extra points for its infotainment option and for its huge degree of customizability, but taking one away for its humble standard equipment level. 

The Transit is available in myriad configurations: van, passenger van, cutaway, and chassis cab. Passenger versions offer the widest range of features and come in XL and XLT trim levels, while all other models are simply known as Transit.

The Transit passenger van can be ordered in standard- and long-wheelbase versions, with seating from 8 to 15. Cloth upholstery is standard, while leather is a new option for the XLT.

All models come with front air conditioning, while rear air and a separate auxiliary heater for the back seat are optional—but nearly mandatory for some markets. An AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth is newly standard on passenger versions, but Ford offers a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation as an option, as well as a few other more basic radios with CD players and USB inputs.

For buyers looking to haul cargo and not people, the Transit is available with a wide range of hooks and anchor points for aftermarket racks and partitions. Buyers should plan to spend a good deal of time picking out just what interior setup works the best for their needs since rubber, spray-in bedliner, and carpet floor coverings are all available.

Fuel Economy
Given its bulk, the 2018 Ford Transit is somewhat miserly—a boon to commercial fleets.

For its size, the Ford Transit is reasonably fuel efficient and is available with a choice of three engines.  

Of those, only two qualify for an EPA test rating and they’re nearly identical at 16 mpg combined, enough to score 4 out of 10 on our scale.

With the base 3.7-liter V-6, the Transit passenger van is rated at 14 mpg city, 18 highway, 16 combined. That engine can run on E85, which may be important to buyers in corn states. On that fuel, it’s rated at an unimpressive 10/13/11 mpg.

The optional 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 not only provides more power, but also it’s a little thriftier, says the EPA. It’s rated at 15/18/16 mpg. Both gas engines run on regular unleaded.

The turbodiesel 5-cylinder option is only fitted to Transits to hefty to be considered with regular passenger cars by the feds, so they’re exempt from fuel economy ratings.


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