New Transit 150
August 23, 2017
I use my work van for a personal car, and I have driven cargo vans since the '70s. This new Transit is different breed from my E-150s and Espresses from the past. The new Transit has a distinctly European feel. The bucket seats (mine is a 6 way power seat) are much more "buckety" that past vans. They are nothing like the Lazy Boy like seats I've had in earlier vans. That's not a bad thing, just be prepared. The controls feel European too. The shifter is a short, dashmounted lever. The turn signal stalk only moves about 3/4" in use. The steering wheel feels smaller with the look of a passenger car. Steering is very light and tight. Where older American made vans leaned and floated through turns, this new van stays flat. Tires these days are harder with less rolling resistance to improve gas mileage, and you will definitely feel the difference if you're moving from an Express or E150. Styling is less "Detroit" with bumpers pulled in tight, little chrome, no spokes on the base wheels, and split front door windows. Even the exhaust note is high and quiet. My 4.3L 6cyl Express had a much lower rumble with the factory exhaust. The engine noise on the new Transit is mostly gear and alternator whine. I did not opt for the EcoBoost turbo. As an old school wrencher, I remembered that turbos add a highly complex (troublesome) extra system to any motor. My friends with EcoBoost trucks say I'm wrong! They enjoy the extra power and mileage, and say the turbo wasn't just bolted on, but engineered for durability. We will see. Visibility is excellent with an enormous windshield and side windows. The rear camera is great to use, and the mirrors are better than past factory units. Yes, I have a few things to get used to but my old van was ready for retirement with 200K miles, and I insist on buying US made trucks. The Express is no longer available with a V6 and 1/2 ton chassis, and the Ram van is a Fiat with upgraded running gear that's built in Mexico. If you need a light, full sized van, my recommendation is the Transit. I purchased my '17 from Mike Raisor Ford in Lafayette, IN.