For the first time since its inception, Ford is finally enhancing the Transit van with an updated V6 engine and the much-anticipated AWD (all-wheel drive) option. It is no secret; the Transit has been a growing presence in the adventure van market in terms of units, and now, we think it can go toe-to-toe with the Mercedes Sprinter in a lot of areas.
With the new Ford Transit AWD, there is something for everyone—adventurers, weekend warriors, and even overlanders. It has been upgraded and designed with safety, comfort, and convenience in mind. Buyers will feel secure and confident with the Ford Co-Pilot Assist Technologies—a system that allows more command of the road through automatic emergency braking. Within the Co-Pilot Assist Technologies, Ford has also added a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and trailer coverage. Safety was obviously a priority in the new design.
Wifi, power-sliding doors and optional factory swivel seats give the Transit lots of bonus points in our book. FordPass Connect is a 4G LTE HotSpot system that allows up to 10 devices, and the FordPass app allows owners to stop, start, lock and unlock the vehicle. For even more convenience, the power-sliding doors can be controlled through the key fob—chivalry with the touch of a button.
One thing that will most likely attract adventurers is the almost endless amount of upgrades and accessories that are coming out for the Transit platform—When added, these Low Pro Roof Racks, Ladders, and Galleys make the 2020 Ford Transit AWD an adventure van worth considering.
With so many upgrades and options, the new Ford Transit AWD is sure to continue dominating the market in 2020.
Ford Transit History
The Transit came onto the scene during the 2015 model year; it replaced the E-Series van—full-size cargo and passenger vehicles.
The E-Series emerged in 1961. It was the best selling van on the market for 30 years—popular with delivery services, airport shuttle services, and RV upfitters.
Over the years, the van received several makeovers. It went from a flat nose in the 1960s to having a short hood in the1970s and a normal-sized hood by the 1980s. For the longest time, the E-Series was only available in 3-door, but in the 1990s the 4-door was born.
(The Original Ford E-Series Adventure Van)
In 1965, while Americans were driving the E-Series, Europeans were enjoying a now vintage version of the Transit.
Its name was derived from the German-market Tanus Transit van. It was also affectionately called the "pig snout" in honor of its unique-shaped front end.
As the Transit evolved in Europe, it became more popular, more durable, and a great value for the money. By the mid-1990s, it was upgraded with all of the bells and whistles we take for granted today—airbags, power windows and locks, and air conditioning.
As engineering technology advanced, so did the Transit, and in 2015 the fourth-generation version of the van launched beyond Europe and made its debut in North America. With the new all-wheel-drive feature, optional power-sliding doors, FordPass Connect, the modern 2020 Ford Transit AWD is sure to be a hit in the adventure van market just like its predecessors.
Advanced safety features are essential to modern vehicles. The Ford Transit AWD does not disappoint with its Pre-Collision Assist, the new driver-assist features—Ford Co-Pilot 360.
Ford's Pre-Collision Assist uses camera technology to identify possible collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and works during day and night time driving. The aim is to reduce or entirely prevent frontal collisions. When a potential collision is detected the van will emit an alert sound, and a warning message appears in the message center. If the driver does not respond adequately, the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) is set in motion. The system will precharge, and brake sensitivity will increase, but if the driver still does not react sufficiently the brake will automatically activate. In the age of cell phones, drivers get distracted; two seconds of inattentive driving could cost lives. Having precautions built into a vehicle is sure to save lives.
The Pre-Collision Assist system falls within the Ford Co-Pilot system. It is especially suited for congested highways and includes a blind spot information system, a rear backup camera, auto high beam lighting, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping system - because you can’t always drive your Transit offroad.
Ford's attention and focus on modern safety sparks the idea that KITT from Night Rider, in a van version, is possible—sooner rather than later.
2020 Ford Transit Technology
(2020 Ford Transit Dash - Image Courtesy of Ford.com)
As if the safety features weren't techy enough, right? The Ford Transit AWD still deserves a tech section. The wifi feature is probably the most appealing component but must be activated through a data plan with AT&T. FordPass doesn't just offer a hotspot; it also offers "remote start with calendar," lock and unlock, "locate your vehicle," and "check your vehicle status" features.
Using your Transit for more than just an adventure van? Imagine a warm van waiting outside on every dreary winter morning after only scheduling the starts ONE time with FordPass remote start with calendar.
Ford's SYNC feature allows for voice-activated commands and controls in the vehicle along with a navigation system. As Northwesterners, this feature sounds pretty darn nice during the winter.
Another feature worth mentioning—The Vehicle Locator— it saves the location as soon as the van is turned off. Not to mention, owners can check their fuel level, approximate mileage, and miles until the next maintenance if needed from their devices. Isn’t technology amazing?
The Ford Transit AWD is a tremendous step into the future, and in our opinion, their best adventure van platform to date. Ford vans have advanced immensely since the E-Series. The safety and technology features are suitable for all types of people and are bound to be the envy of the industry.
Many Americans love to support American made products. Well, the Ford Transit AWD is assembled in Kansas City, Missouri—the heart of the USA.
The efficient and robust engine and quiet road noise are a couple more pros that should be mentioned.
The fact that there is a bit less towing potential than some of the old-school versions may be a con for some. Another possible con is that many of the safety features could create dependence on technology and a lack of attention on the road.
Although AWD is a big improvement over 2WD, many hardcore overlanders want a 4WD option so they can adventure further into the unknown. We’ll look to Quigley, QuadVan, and others to continue to tackle the true 4WD for these vans.
The Ford Transit AWD is what Transit lovers have been waiting on. It's modern, it's safe, and it's a workhorse van—a versatile workhorse. The all-wheel-drive, modern safety features, advanced technology, and power sliding door features are much-anticipated additions to the van.
Road-trippers, adventurers and weekend warriors enjoy.
Technical Information on the 2020 Ford Transit Retrieved from https://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/transit-cargo-van/
Lead Photo: Gear Junkie