2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Review: Unbeatable Versatility

by Deiondre van der Merwe

The 2020 Ford Transit is the Indiana Jones of passenger vans, with the American hauler boasting a few tricks up its sleeve. Arguably one of the most versatile in the segment, the van comes with two different wheelbase options, three roof heights, and an extended body option. You also have the choice between three engines and the option of RWD or AWD. It carries up to 15 passengers depending on what you want from it, and while the infotainment suite needs some improvement, the Transit offers excellent safety features even in its most affordable base model. A true utilitarian, it lacks the luxury offered by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter but is a far more livable option than the more affordable Nissan NV.

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Transit Passenger Van?

For 2020, Ford has given the Transit quite a few upgrades, the most notable being the addition of a new 3.5-liter V6. A ten-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing six-speed and all-wheel drive is newly available. The 2020 Transit also boasts more standard driver-assist features that include lane keep assist and forward-collision warning. The interior is improved with new vents and grab handles.

Pros and Cons

  • Three different powertrains
  • Highly configurable
  • Offers excellent space from its cabin
  • Commendable safety features
  • Comfortable ride
  • Bare-bones infotainment and convenience
  • Cheap cabin

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
150 XL
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$40,180
350 XL
2.0-liter Twin-Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
3.5-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$41,035
150 XLT
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,060
350 XLT
2.0-liter Twin-Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,920
350 HD XLT
3.5-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$47,040

Transit Passenger Van Exterior

The face of the Transit is dominated by a large grille flanked by upturned halogen headlights on both the XL and the XLT, the only difference being that the former gets a black grille and the latter gets a chrome one. The rear offers vertically elongated taillights and the van is typically shaped like a bread tin. All models come standard with black front and rear lower fascia made out of plastic for extra durability and sit on a set of 16-inch steel wheels.

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Side View Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Side View 1 Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Rear Angle View Ford
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Dimensions

There's a Ford Transit out there for everybody, and this is because the van comes in many configurations ranging from different roof heights, longer body options, and the availability of an extended wheelbase version. All models have an 83.2-inch width without the mirrors. Models with the standard 129.9-inch wheelbase can be specced with a low roof or a medium roof, while the longer 147.6-inch wheelbase can be had with any of the three roof options. Models with the extended body are understandably only available with the high roof. Transits with the regular wheelbase and the low roof have a length of 219.9 inches and a height of 82.3 inches. Medium roof models with the same wheelbase decrease the length to 217.8 inches and increase height to 98.8 inches. Long wheelbase models with the low roof have a 237.6-inch length and stand 99.9 inches tall, and when the medium roof is specced, the van is shortened to 235.5 inches and the height is decreased to 99.2 inches. Opting for the high roof on the long-wheelbase increases the total length to 235.5 inches and the van will stand 108.6 inches from the ground up. The long-wheelbase with the extended length body is the largest Transit in the lineup and has a sprawling length of 263.9 inches and a 107.7-inch height.

  • Length 219.9 in
  • Wheelbase 130.0 in
  • Height 82.2 in
  • Max Width 81.3 in

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Exterior Colors

  • Agate Black Metallic
  • Ingot Silver Metallic
  • Magnetic Metallic
  • Blue Jeans Metallic
  • Green Gem Metallic
  • Diffused Silver Metallic
  • Kapoor Red Metallic
  • School Bus Yellow
  • Oxford White
  • Race Red

Transit Passenger Van Performance

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Front View Driving Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Front View Driving 1 Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Gauge Cluster Ford

Engine and Transmission

A total of three engines are available for the Transit, and two of these are new for 2020. The standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that pushes out 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, but an EcoBoost version is optionally available, adding two turbochargers to the V6 engine. The boosted power plant delivers stronger power outputs of 310 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque and accomplished a 6.8-second run from 0-60 in real-world testing which is slightly better than the Nissan NV's seven-and-a-half-second accomplishment. If gas-fed engines aren't your thing, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine will be available in the near future. All three engines are coupled with a ten-speed automatic transmission and all can be equipped with AWD in place of standard RWD. The Transit is capable of handling a payload of 4,530 pounds, and has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Twin-Turbo Inline-4 Diesel, 3.5-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas, 3.5-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

We give credit where it's due, and one of the Transit's merits is that it offers quite a bit of comfort on your daily commute. The soft ride results in quite a bit of roll from the body when the van has to tackle a corner, but that's to be expected of any contender in the segment. The Transit makes up for it with commendable responsiveness from the steering wheel, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of accuracy it delivers. That being said, the van isn't the most maneuverable, and this is especially true for models with the extended-length body. Sticking to the smaller configurations will result in an easier experience with parking, and a better experience on the road. When the Transit is fully-loaded with passengers and a trailer, a significant decrease in motivation is present in any of the three engines, but the most capable turbocharged V6 engine manages the feat well enough to avoid being sluggish.

Transit Passenger Van Gas Mileage

The EPA tested the fuel economy of the 3.5-liter V6, and the standard engine returned estimated figures of 15/19/17 mpg city/highway/combined when RWD-equipped. AWD models drop these figures slightly to 14/19/16 mpg. The diesel engine hasn't been tested by the EPA. The 25-gallon gas tank allows for around 420 miles of range on FWD models with the naturally-aspirated V6 and 395 miles for the AWD-equipped version.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    25.1 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 15/19 mpg
* 2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van T-150 130" Low Roof XL RWD

Transit Passenger Van Interior

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Dashboard Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Dashboard 1 Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Cup Holder Ford
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Seating and Interior Space

The Ford Transit is extremely versatile, and for those who need passengers instead of just cargo, two options are presented in the form of the five-seater Transit Crew Van, reviewed separately, or the passenger variant. The latter can be configured in multiple ways, seating eight, ten, 12, or a maximum of 15 passengers. The seats throughout the van are supportive and comfortable, though there are a lot of hard plastics present throughout the interior. Driver visibility is good thanks to a large windscreen and short nose, and rear visibility would be poor if not for the standard rearview camera.

  • Seating capacity
    10-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.3 in
  • Front Head Room 40.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 33.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 41.1 in

Transit Passenger Van Trunk and Cargo Space

Greatly dependent on which configuration you opt for, the Ford Transit's cargo capacity varies greatly throughout its various guises. Those that have five rows of seats accommodate between 15.3 and 100.5 cubic feet of storage, while four-row models cater to 39.1-184 cubes. Three-row derivatives provide between 91.5 and 230 cubic feet depending on the roof and body configuration. Regular wheelbase models can handle a payload of 2,680 pounds, while the largest van ups capability to 3,420 pounds. In-cabin storage is generous thanks to storage boxes in the dash, deep door pockets and a cavernous glovebox.

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Interior Overview Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Rear Passenger Seats Ford
2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Trunk Space Ford

Transit Passenger Van Infotainment and Features

Features

It may be livable, but the base XL model is rather bare-bones in terms of features when it's compared to the XLT. At base-level, the XL comes standard with a back-up alarm, air conditioning two-way manually adjustable front seats, and a 12V powerpoint. One thing that the Transit does well at, even at its base level, is its standard safety features. The XL's suite of safety features is inclusive of post-collision braking, pre-collision assist, lane keep assist, and forward collision warning. The XLT adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse sensing system with active park assist and a side sensing system.

Infotainment

If you value infotainment, you'll need to fork out some extra cash to upgrade the Transit's offering. At the base level, XL models are absent of an infotainment screen and only offer an AM/FM stereo with an aux input. A four-speaker system is standard, with no speakers in the back. XLT models are only marginally improved with the addition of a four-inch color display. The addition of Audio Pack #28 vastly improves the offering with an eight-inch touchscreen that enables Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system, HD Radio and SiriusXM functionality along with Bluetooth and navigation. This setup also comprises Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration and audio is brought to life via an eight-speaker sound system. Two USB ports are standard.

Transit Passenger Van Problems and Reliability

At the time of writing, the 2020 Ford Transit has been at the center of three recalls, all worryingly centered around safety systems. Two of the recalls pertain to seatbelts that may not restrain occupants in vehicles equipped with Freedman GO-ES seats, while the third recall pertained to side curtain airbags that may not inflate properly in 68 Transit vans. To quell concerns, Ford offers a three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty, and a five-year or 100,000-mile corrosion and drivetrain warranty. Roadside assistance is standard for the same time period and mileage limit as the basic warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

Transit Passenger Van Safety

Depending on the roof configuration, the Transit Passenger receives varying scores from the NHTSA safety review. In low-roof form, an overall score of four-out-of-five is possible, but all other options yield just three stars due to severely reduced rollover protection. The IIHS hasn't rated the van as yet. The safety features have significantly improved over last year's model, and the base model comes standard with lane keep assist, pre-collision assist, post-collision braking, and forward collision warning. The XLT bolsters the suite with the addition of blind-spot monitoring, active park assist with side sensing, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van a good car?

The Ford Transit is worth considering if you're shopping around for a truly utilitarian passenger van. It's highly customizable thanks to an array of wheelbase lengths, roof heights, and body sizes, and the versatility doesn't stop there. You have the choice between three engines and two drivetrains for the van, making it hard to believe that you won't find one suitable for your needs. Whether you're after a small van for the odd family holiday or you're after a serious people carrier, the Transit has what you need. All three engines perform capably and all of them deliver relatively good fuel economy figures. While the base infotainment and convenience features could use a little work, the van offers an excellent safety suite on both trim levels, and the available Sync 3 system is one of the best you'll find in a commercial hauler. The Transit belongs on your shortlist if you're looking for a versatile van, but the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is worth taking a look at as a better option for a higher asking price.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van?

The most affordable way into the Ford Transit range would be the low-roof, regular-length XL with a starting MSRP of $40,180 while the XLT trim starts at $42,060. The medium roof increases the base asking price to $41,630, and the high-roof starts at $43,935 but requires a long body. On the low-roof variants, the long body starts at $41,035 while the extended length body requires the high roof selection for a base price of $45,160 in XL form and $47,040 in XLT guise. Adding all-wheel-drive to any trim adds $4,695 to the invoice. If you want the EcoBoost V6, you must spec a long-body Transit and budget an extra $1,495. A hefty $1,695 destination fee is applicable to your purchase of any Ford Transit.

See All 2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Trims and Specs

🚗What Ford Transit Passenger Van Model Should I Buy?

The answer to the "which one is right for me?" question ultimately relies on what you're looking for from your Transit. Are you looking for a spacious way to get the kids to school? Are you looking for a large van to add to your fleet as a shuttle? If you're looking for a Transit for those family holidays, the eight-seater XLT equipped with the standard engine will fare just fine. If you're after a dedicated passenger carrier, the 15-seater XL will perform well with the turbocharged V6 engine. A must-add for all models would be the Audio Pack that adds SiriusXM and Bluetooth functionality as well as an eight-speaker sound system and, crucially, Ford's Sync 3 with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.

Check out other Ford Transit Styles

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van Comparisons

Ram ProMaster Window Van Ram
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van Mercedes-Benz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ford Transit Passenger Van275 hp15/19 mpg$40,180
Ram ProMaster Window Van 280 hpTBC$36,995
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van 188 hpTBC$41,095

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van vs Ram ProMaster Window Van

To be a key player in the passenger van segment, you need to deliver capability and space at a reasonable price. Both of these vans do that, but the Ram comes in at a much lower asking price at the base level. With that said, it's difficult to beat the versatility offered by the Transit in terms of its wheelbases and roof heights and the Ram only comes with one wheelbase option. The standard 3.6-liter engine in the Ram is slightly more powerful than the 3.5-liter engine found in the Transit, but the latter offers better fuel economy. While the ProMaster may cost a lot less, it offers better infotainment from its base model but falls short at the higher end of the spectrum. It also doesn't handle anywhere near as well as the Transit, and overall, feels a little dated by comparison. The Transit may be more expensive, but unless you're shopping for the most basic spec possible, it's the better van overall.

See Ram ProMaster Window Van Review

2020 Ford Transit Passenger Van vs Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van

Similarly priced, the Sprinter Passenger Van is the Transit's toughest competitor. The Sprinter offers more luxury from its cabin, and its long wheelbase offers more cargo room. Like the Ford, the Merc also offers a maximum seating capacity of 15 passengers, and they'll be more comfortable there than in the Transit. The Sprinter also offers more modern additional packages and tech, leaving it up to you as to how well-equipped you want it to be. The German van boasts more attractive styling for both the inside and the outside and is well worth its premium price. While the Merc may not offer any choice in roof heights, it does well with the space it has and considering it's only slightly more expensive than the Transit and offers more luxury, it's the better buy in our books.

See Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van Review

Ford Transit Passenger Van Popular Comparisons

$40,180 - $54,340
Price Range (MSRP)
Ford Transit Passenger Van