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2015 Ford Transit 150, 350HD First Test

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/21/2014 Scott Mortara, Motor Trend Staff
2015 Ford Transit 150, 350HD First Test

Ford has finally decided to let us here in the U.S. get our hands on the Ford Transit, a vehicle it has been producing and selling for a number of years overseas. The Transit comes in two body lengths with three engine choices, three roof heights, two wheelbases, and either single or dual rear wheels, but Ford took the easy way out and just gave us a couple configurations.

Buyers can choose from cargo van or wagon configurations in designations of 150, 250, 350, and 350 Heavy Duty, with wheelbases of either 129.9 or 147.6 inches. Roof height options are 83.6, 100.8, or 110.1 inches, allowing for cargo heights of 56.9, 72, and 81.5 inches. The tallest allows a 6-foot-4-inch person to stand inside with no problems. Not to leave out its commercial audience, the Transit also comes in chassis cab and cutaway versions, which are fully customizable to fit individual business needs.

Wagon versions can fit eight, 10, 12, or 15 passengers, and the cargo version, depending on the configuration, can have from 246.7 cubic feet to 487.3 cubic feet of usable cargo area. Because the all-new Transit is replacing the E Series, Ford decided to replace the aging, inefficient V-8 and V-10 engines with three significantly more efficient engines — and we completely agree.

The Ford Transit is a 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year contender - find out before long whether it has what it takes to win.

2015 Ford Transit 150 EcoBoost© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Transit 150 EcoBoost The 3.7-liter V-6 with 275 hp and 260 lb-ft is the base engine, and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 with 310 hp and 400 lb-ft is Ford's high-end hot rod engine. Ford has also made available a 3.2-liter I-5 Power Stroke turbodiesel with 185 hp and 350 lb-ft, which can run on B20 biodiesel if desired. All the engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and all the Transits -- for now -- only come in rear-wheel-drive layouts. The 3.7-liter has improved fuel efficiency over the 4.6 V-8 by 19 percent, and the 3.5 EcoBoost is 46-percent more fuel-efficient than the big 6.8-liter V-10.

Because the Transit is made to haul things -- people or cargo -- the load ratings reflect each version's intended function. The wagons can carry from 2,330 pounds to 3,710 pounds, and the cargo van's ratings start at 2,990 pounds and out at 4,650 pounds, all dependent on configuration. Chassis cab and cutaway versions will hit max payload at 5,790 pounds and can tow up to 7,500 pounds with the heavy-duty tow package. If you're so inclined, you can strap up to 420 pounds on the roof, provided you can reach.

2015 Ford Transit 350HD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Transit 350HD At the track our Transit 150 XLT, sporting Ford's 3.5 EcoBoost engine, hit 60 in 7.6 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 15.9 seconds at 86.5 mph. It needed only 139 feet to bring it to a stop from 60 mph, very impressive for a 6,000-pound van. The Transit 350 HD dual rear wheel cargo van ticked 60 mph in 12.5 seconds and completed the quarter mile in 18.7 seconds at 70.5 mph. The 350 HD took just 133 feet to stop it from 60 mph. Around our figure eight the 150 XLT managed a lap of 28.9 seconds at 0.69 g (avg) with a max lateral acceleration of 0.72 g (avg). The 350 HD clocked a 30.3 second lap at 0.68 g (avg) and a max lateral acceleration of 0.72 g (avg).

Ford has entered a quick growing segment in the cargo/passenger van/wagon market and has done it the right way. It offers a massive variety of configurations to fit any need its customers might have, from a comfort-friendly passenger vehicle to heavy-duty work vehicle and everything in between. What Ford has done with the 2015 Transit will not go unnoticed by its competition, and for very good reason.

2015 Ford Transit 350HD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Transit 350HD

 2015 Ford Transit 150 XLT2015 Ford Transit 350HD
BASE PRICE$36,345 $41,880
PRICE AS TESTED$41,965 $50,295
VEHICLE LAYOUTFront-engine, RWD, 8-pass, 3-door vanFront-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 3-door van
ENGINE3.5L/310-hp/400-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 3.2L/185-hp/350-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 20-valve I-5
TRANSMISSION6-speed automatic6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)5941 lb (51/49%)6230 lb (51/49%)
WHEELBASE129.9 in147.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT217.8 x 81.3 x 100.8 in263.9 x 82.0 x 109.4 in
0-60 MPH7.6 sec12.5 sec
QUARTER MILE15.9 sec @ 86.5 mph18.7 sec @ 70.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH139 ft133 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.72 g (avg)0.72 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT28.9 sec @ 0.69 g (avg)30.3 sec @ 0.68 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON14/19/16 mpg-
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY241/177 kW-hrs/100 miles-
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB1.22 lb/mile-

2015 Ford Transit 350HD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Transit 350HD
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