As America's best-selling van, the Ford Transit is tasked with meeting the diverse needs of commercial and recreational customers, along with families who need more passenger space than a minivan offers. As the adventure industry booms, Ford sees an opportunity to better accommodate these customers, but they haven't forgotten about their commercial base. We got to hear about the updated 2020 Transit lineup directly from the Ford team and found there are 5 key improvements based on customer feedback. These include the Transit's first-ever AWD system, an upgraded interior with a new crew cab setup, new powertrain, safety tech, and improved connectivity.
1) Available Intelligent AWD
Ford Transit customers who drive in inclement weather for work or play can breath easier thanks to the newly added available intelligent AWD system. The system enhances traction while driving on ice, snow, and muddy roads. AWD adds a layer of safety and reliability to the Transit lineup, which is confidence inducing for families and also for commercial customers who are tasked with showing up to appointments or making deliveries on-time, no matter the weather.
The AWD system which is automatically on at all times is able to distribute 100% of torque to the front on loose surfaces. The AWD system does not impact the van's load floor and seat height which remain the same as the Transit rear-wheel-drive model. 5 driver-selectable modes including normal, eco, slippery, mud/ruts, tow/haul accommodate nearly every driving surface and reduce fuel consumption.
2) Upgraded Interior
For easier entry, the Cargo and Passenger Transit vans now offer an available power-sliding door. Once inside, drivers and passengers will find new convenience, infotainment, and styling features. Based on feedback from recreational customers, swivel front seats are now available that can make better use of the Transit's space to create a lounge area. A new Crew Van model accommodates those who need to transport a large crew and also need space for their supplies. This configuration offers a second-row bench seat for seating up to 5 passengers.
Two new interior materials and color options (
3) New Powertrain
For 2020, the Transit lineup gets a new standard gas engine to improve fuel economy. The 3.5-liter PFDI V6 is based on the 3.3-liter PFDI from the Ford F-150 pickup truck and offers 275 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This new engine, which was custom designed for the Transit van, helps improve fuel consumption with direct-injection for increased compression ratio and downsizing. An optional 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6, also based on the F-150, has been updated with standard auto stop-start and serves up 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
Each engine option gets matched to a new 10-speed automatic transmission which has replaced the Transit's 6-speed, and is custom-designed for the Transit underbody and steering architecture. The new transmission offers features for an accelerated warm-up for reduced cold start fuel consumption.
4) Safety Tech
Safety is a priority for all Ford Transit customers regardless of whether they drive for work, family errands, or adventure. To keep drivers and passengers safe, the new standard Ford Co-Pilot360 safety suite includes Post-Collison Braking, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Auto High-Beam Headlamps, Lane-Keeping System and Forward Collison Warning.
Available driver-assist technology features add even more safety and convenience. These optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alert and trailer coverage, front and rear split-view cameras, and Enhanced Active Park Assist to help drivers maneuver into parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spots.
5) FordPass Connect/Fleet Telematics
In addition to safety, a common demand among Transit customers, whether commercial or retail, is connectivity. Ford is able to keep drivers, passengers, and fleet managers connected with features like FordPass and Ford Fleet Telematics. Ford's 4G WiFi hotspot can handle up to 10 devices to keep work crews or families productive or entertained. To charge all those devices, there are USB outlets in every row of the passenger van.
FordPass Connect also offers convenient features such as remote vehicle control from a phone to lock, start, or turn on preconditioning. For fleet managers, Ford's New Telematics and Data Services technology offers vehicle diagnostic and trouble code data collection to reduce vehicle downtime and help them operate more efficiently.