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2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van

$33,135 - $42,205
Price Range (MSRP)
Ford Transit Cargo Van

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Review

by Roger Biermann

As a frontrunner in the full-sized cargo van segment, the Ford Transit is a highly versatile workhorse. With three engine options ranging in power from 185-310 horsepower, three lengths, three heights, and four trims to choose from, there's an almost endless array of configurations to ensure the Transit suits your needs. While it costs about the same as most rivals, starting at $33,135, time has proven the Transit to be a better investment. The Ford Transit comes standard with the minimum safety and convenience features you'd expect in a work van, although there are numerous additional options. It also offers great handling and comfort for the segment. It's only real downside is slightly lower towing capabilities than some competitors.

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Transit Cargo Van?

The 2019 edition of the Transit enters the market with only minor changes ahead of a large refresh expected for 2020. Among the changes, the long-wheelbase model features new hinges that permit wider opening angles for the cargo doors. While the standard features remain relatively spartan, there are a few additions to the selection of optional features; these include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and D-pillar grab handles on the larger models.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful engine
  • Good handling for size
  • Multiple body configurations to suit every need
  • Optional Sync 3 system is user-friendly
  • Base model has minimal features
  • Lower towing capacity than top rivals

Transit Cargo Van Exterior

The exterior of the Ford Transit varies depending on the body configuration, with regular- and long-wheelbase options that can be paired with low, medium or high roofs, and even an extended length body. Nevertheless, each model is built using durable, lightweight unibody construction. Halogen headlights, power-adjustable short-arm mirrors, and 16-inch steel wheels are standard. Door options include 60/40 hinged cargo doors on the passenger side that are standard on the low-roof models, a passenger-side sliding door, or dual sliding cargo doors. The 50/50 cargo doors open at a 180-degree angle on the 130-inch wheelbase model and a 253-degree angle on the 148-inch wheelbase.

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Front View
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Front View
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Front Angle View
See All 2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Exterior Photos

Dimensions

With multiple body options, the Ford Transit's dimensions vary considerably. Length ranges from 217.8 inches to 263.9 inches with three variations between those two figures. Two wheelbase options are available, with the regular-wheelbase measuring 129.9 inches in length while the long-wheelbase measures 147.6 inches. Height ranges from 83.2 inches on the low roof (LR) to 110.1 inches on the high roof (HR), with a medium roof (MR) option splitting the difference at 100.8 inches. Width is standard across all body styles at 83.6 inches. With the HR body, the Transit features a best-in-class internal height of 81.5 inches, which is more than enough for most adults to walk upright in the cargo area.

Exterior Colors

Just as the applications for the Transit Cargo Van are myriad, so too are the body-color options. Non-metallic options comprise Oxford White, School Bus Yellow, Race Red, and Shadow Black. The metallic paint options available are Stone Gray, White Gold, Blue Jeans, Magnetic, Ingot Silver, and Green Gem. These color options are available on every model, with no premium paints to choose, although School Bus Yellow is only available as a fleet color.

  • Stone Gray Metallic
  • White Gold Metallic
  • Magnetic Metallic
  • Blue Jeans Metallic
  • Ingot Silver Metallic
  • Green Gem Metallic
  • Shadow Black
  • Race Red
  • Oxford White

Transit Cargo Van Performance

As a utility vehicle, the Ford Transit Cargo Van is hard to beat. With multiple engine options and body configurations, it can be designed to suit almost any application. The 3.2-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel inline-five provides the best performance. With 185 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, this engine allows the LWB Transit to tow an impressive 7,500 lbs and haul a competitive 4,640 lbs. However, these values are lower than competitors such as the Mercedes Sprinter, which hauls up to 6,600 lbs and tows 7,700 lbs. As a rear-wheel-driven van, the Transit lacks the versatility of four-wheel-drive competitors, but it more than meets the expectations of anyone who needs a hardy full-size van.

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Front View Driving
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Front View Driving
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Taillights

Engine and Transmission

The Transit Cargo Van comes equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 275 hp and 260 lb-ft. This is paired to a six-speed SelectShift transmission that focuses on low-end acceleration while maximizing high-end productivity. This gearbox allows you to choose between two modes; Progressive Range Select lets you reduce the range of gears available while in automatic mode, while Full Manual allows for manual control.

Two other engine options are available, providing further versatility. The turbocharged EcoBoost V6 displaces 3.5 liters and provides 310 hp and a best-in-class 400 lb-ft. For heavy-duty jobs that require maximum hauling power, the 3.2-liter Power Stroke diesel five-cylinder provides 185 hp and 350 lb-ft. This rugged and dependable engine is one of the Transit's best selling points.

  • Engine
    3.7-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

For a large, heavy-duty vehicle, the Ford Transit is surprisingly well-mannered on the road. The power steering is sharp and responsive with a pretty tight turning circle, however, the stability control system kicks in pretty early to prevent the Transit tipping over, even at low speeds. The ride is quite smooth around town, where the roads are well-maintained, but it can become choppy on rougher roads. It's still better than most vans though, less truck-like in its behavior, even if it doesn't achieve minivan levels of refinement. The engines are also surprisingly quiet for a work van.

The brakes on the Transit are quite reliable, allowing the unladen vehicle to come to a stop from 70 mph in just 171 ft. However, you can expect this figure to spike significantly when the van is loaded. The trailer brake controller, paired with the van's four-wheel anti-lock brakes, means that combined vehicle-trailer braking is a lot easier and safer, too.

Quick, agile, comfortable, and easy to control, it gets many things right that rival vans simply fail at.

Transit Cargo Van Gas Mileage

The Ford Transit Cargo Van boasts competitive fuel economy, but that doesn't mean it is particularly good. The standard 3.7-liter V6 gets a meager 14/18/15 city/highway/combined mpg. However, fuel can be supplemented with compressed natural gas with the CNG/Propane Gaseous Engine Prep Package. The 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 gets a slightly better 15/19/16 mpg, while the diesel alternative has not yet been EPA-tested but is expected to receive the healthiest figures of the trio of available engines. With the optimum setup and a regular unleaded 25-gallon fuel tank, you can expect to get around 400 miles between refuels.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    25.0 Gallons
* 2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van T-150 130" Low Roof 8600 GVWR Swing-Out RH Dr

Transit Cargo Van Interior

The interior of the Ford Transit was designed with the driver in mind. As a result, the controls and gauges are all placed ergonomically. The driver's seat provides excellent visibility and is manually adjustable. Both front seats are comfortable, as long rides are not uncommon with work vans. Infotainment is limited, however, with only an AM/FM radio and four-speaker sound system being offered as standard. As a workhorse, the Transit features a pretty basic interior, but it is built to be durable, comprising mostly vinyl and robust plastics.

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Steering Wheel Controls
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Driver Seat
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Front Seats
See All 2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Transit Cargo seats only two. However, this can be reduced to just one by deleting the passenger seat in favor of even more cargo room. The seats are upholstered in vinyl as standard, with cloth and leather upgrades available. Comfort is not lacking, despite the use of cost-effective materials, with seats remaining comfortable over long distances.

Headroom is more than ample, with 40.8 inches allotted in even the LR model. The HR model offers an impressive 56.6 inches. In the cargo area, the HR body allows six-foot adults to stand upright. Legroom is equally generous, with 41.3 inches available upfront. And with 67.9 inches of shoulder room, you wouldn't even notice you had a passenger if they didn't speak up. The unusually low step-in makes entering and exiting the vehicle a surprisingly easy affair for a van.

  • Seating capacity
    2-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The interior of the Transit is outfitted in vinyl as standard with a plastic dashboard and door panels. The floors are also vinyl but can be upgraded to carpets. The Interior Upgrade package changes the seat upholstery to cloth, while the Premium package further upgrades this to leather. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is also optional. Two interior color schemes are available. Pewter is standard with the vinyl interior, while the cloth and leather alternatives allow you to choose between pewter and charcoal.

Transit Cargo Van Trunk and Cargo Space

Cargo space in the Ford Transit is dependent on body configuration. As such, it can vary from 246.7 cubic feet in the smaller RWB body to 487.2 cubic feet in the extra-length body LWB. This maximum capacity is class-leading, being 200 cubic feet more than GM vans, and around 20 cubic feet more than the nearest competitors. With the LWB, it is possible to haul up to 4,640 lbs.

Internal cargo dimensions vary with different body configurations, although width between wheelhouses is standard at 54.8 inches. The RWB offers a floor length of 126 inches, while the LWB offers 143.7 inches and the extra-length body caps this at 172.2 inches. The LR supplies 56.9 inches of interior cargo height, with the MR increasing this to 72 inches, and the HR offering the best-in-class height of 81.5 inches.

As if the cargo space in the rear wasn't enough, there is also ample space around the cabin to store items. There are five cupholders in the dash and an extra one in each door pocket. There is also plenty of space in the glove compartment.

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Cargo Space
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Rear View
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Side View

Transit Cargo Van Infotainment and Features

Features

The Transit Cargo Van doesn't come standard with many features. If you don't install any packages, all you can expect is frontal air conditioning, a rearview camera with trailer hitch assist, keyless entry, hill start assist, cargo tie-down hooks, an airbag cut-off switch, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. Optional add-ons include lane-keeping assist with driver alert, a reverse sensing system, trailer sway control, ten-way power-adjustable heated front seats, D-pillar assist handles, 12-volt power points, and high-capacity upfitter switches. Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services can also be added to optimize fleet performance. There are add-ons for almost application you can think of using the vans for.

Infotainment

Standard infotainment equipped to the Ford Transit is extremely spartan, limited to an AM/FM radio with a four-speaker sound system and an auxiliary audio input jack. If you want anything more than this, you will need to pay up for add-ons or entire upgrade packages. With these, you could add Bluetooth functionality, a CD player with an upgraded six-speaker sound system, SiriusXM radio, USB ports, a four-inch multifunction infotainment display, or at the top of the pile, Ford's Sync 3 with voice-activated navigation, a 6.5-inch LCD touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Transit Cargo Van Problems and Reliability

The Ford Transit is a hardy and reliable work van. It received a few complaints in 2015/16 but has maintained a mostly spotless reputation since. There were minor recalls in 2019 for faulty seats that might not maintain position during a crash, minor recalls in 2017/18 for defective trailer tow modules that may allow water to enter the system, and a serious recall in 2017 for driveshaft coupling failure. Ford offers a 36,000 mile/36 month bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 60,000-mile/60-month powertrain warranty, and 60,000-mile/60-month roadside assistance.

Transit Cargo Van Safety

The NHTSA rated the Transit Cargo Van four out of five in its frontal barrier crash test. No other tests were performed by the NHTSA. The IIHS has not evaluated the Ford Transit.

Key Safety Features

The Ford Transit features the bare minimum safety features in its standard offering. These comprise of four airbags (dual front and front side), a rearview camera with trailer hitch assist, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, side-wind stabilization, a center high-mount stop lamp, and an SOS post-crash alert system. Optional add-ons include a back-up alarm, a perimeter alarm, reverse park sensors, lane-keeping assist driver alert, a SecuriLock anti-theft system, MyKey technology, and trailer sway control.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van a good van?

The Ford Transit is undeniably a good van. Sure, there are other vans that beat it in specific areas, but as an all-rounder, it leads the pack. Vans like the RAM ProMaster may offer more body configurations, but the Transit offers more than enough, especially when the choice of three engines is added to the mix, along with refined driving dynamics.

The Ford also comes standard with better safety features than most of its rivals, while maintaining a competitive price tag. There are a plethora of optional add-ons and packages to choose from, meaning you can design the Transit Cargo Van to suit just about any application.

With the choice of the EcoBoost V6 engine or turbo-diesel five-cylinder, you get best-in-class torque for those jobs that require a real powerhouse. And if moving large amounts of cargo is your priority, the HR LWB configuration gives best-in-class interior cargo capacity. While specializing in one area would typically mean compromising in others, the Ford Transit manages to maintain decent all-round performance, regardless of configuration.

What's the Price of the 2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van?

The Ford Transit is competitively priced, with the standard model starting at $33,135 MSRP on the LR, with the MR being $455 more and the HR and additional $5,280. The LR long body will cost you $875 more, while the extended body will set you back an additional $6,580. As body dimensions increase and features are added, the total price can rise to as high as $43,745. These prices exclude tax, registration and licensing, and Ford will add a $1,495 destination fee.

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Models

Only a single trim is available for the Ford Transit, but multiple body configurations are on offer. There are three standalone configurations that each carry different GVWRs. These are the 150, 250 and 350. The 3.7-liter V6 engine is standard on each model, along with the six-speed SelectShift transmission and RWD.

Each model comes equipped with the same basic features: 16-inch steel wheels, a full-size spare tire, cargo area tie-downs, power accessories, keyless entry, air conditioning, a rearview camera with trailer hitch assist, a four-speaker audio system and an auxiliary audio input jack.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
150
3.7-liter V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$33,135
250
3.7-liter V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$34,085
350
3.7-liter V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$35,790
350 HD
3.7-liter V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$41,205
See All 2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There are multiple single add-ons available for the Transit Cargo Van, as well as a variety of packages designed to specialize the vehicle for a specific task. Examples of these packages include the Heavy-duty Trailer Tow Package ($485), which adds trailer wiring provisions, a frame-mounted hitch receiver, a four-pin/seven-pin connector, and a tow/haul mode. Trailer brake control is optional and this package maximizes the van's towing capacity to 7,500 lbs.

The Ambulance Prep Package does precisely what it sounds like by adding dual heavy-duty batteries and a heavy-duty alternator. The Modified Wiring System package is standard with the ambulance package, and adds a limited-slip axle to improve handling and safety.

In terms of improving comfort, opting for the Interior Upgrade Package ($1,495) will add floor mats, a vanity mirror in the sun visor, AM/FM stereo with a CD player and a four-inch multifunction display, as well as cruise control. The Premium Package ($1,730) incorporates the Interior Upgrade Package and adds leather seats with 10-way power-adjustability. Adding this power-adjustability to the base vinyl seats as a standalone feature will cost $385. Other useful standalone features include cruise control ($325) and lane keeping alert ($375)

What Ford Transit Cargo Van Model Should I Buy?

There is only a single trim to buy when it comes to the Ford Transit Cargo Van, but the body you choose depends on what you want to use the van for. If you're going to use the van for really heavy-duty applications, you might opt for the larger 350 LWB versions with the optional EcoBoost V6 or turbo-diesel engine. However, if you want to use the van for more day-to-day operations for more extended periods of time, then a 150 or 250 RWB model with the turbo-diesel inline-five engine might be preferable. Considering the base Transit Cargo Van is just the foundation, it's up to you to decide what you build onto it with add-ons and packages.

Check out other Ford Transit Styles?

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van Comparisons

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van
2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van vs Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van

The Mercedes Sprinter is a respectable competitor in the full-size van segment. It offers a variety of configuration options with four sizes, three roof heights and two engines to choose from. While the Transit focuses more on utility, the Sprinter emphasizes Mercedes' reputation for luxury. This is a bonus when using the van for passenger applications, but since we're comparing it as a cargo van, the Sprinter falls short. The Ford Transit has stronger engine options and still manages to handle better than the Sprinter. The Ford also has better maximum cargo capacity, although both vans are equal when it comes to towing when optimized to do so. Overall, the Transit is the better choice as a cargo van, with the proof being that it sold five times as many units as the Sprinter in 2018.

See Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Review

2019 Ford Transit Cargo Van vs Ram ProMaster Cargo Van

The Ram ProMaster comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that can match the torque on the Transit's base engine while offering higher horsepower. However, the turbocharged EcoBoost available on the Transit blows this engine out of the water. With more body options than the Transit, Ram's van has a higher maximum payload of 5,160 lbs but its weaker engine means it can't tow as much. The ProMaster offers the absolute minimum in safety features, lacking the lane departure warning or driver attention alert available on Ford's van. The ProMaster comes with FWD, which is unusual in the segment and allows it to have a lower floor height while also improving road grip and allowing for tighter turning circles, but at the expense of towing capacity. The ProMaster is one of the easiest vans to drive, but the Transit comprehensively beats it in a wider spectrum of capabilities.

See Ram ProMaster Cargo Van Review

Ford Transit Cargo Van Popular Comparisons