While some SUVs can transport up to eight passengers at a time, the need to move even larger groups will continue to necessitate passenger vans. Only a few vans remain, so the Ford Transit Passenger Van only has a few competitors, like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or the Chevrolet Express Passenger Van. Neither the most affordable nor the most luxurious option in the segment, the Ford carves a place for itself by being better than average in a variety of areas. It is affordable for most businesses to use it as a shuttle but also comfortable enough that it could earn in place in a dedicated transport fleet. In either application, a choice of two V6 engines offering up to 310 horsepower, as well as access to all-wheel drive, ensure that the Transit Passenger Van has enough power to get the job done.
The new 2023 Ford Transit Passenger Van has received only the most minor of updates. The upper-tier XLT trim now comes fitted with high-intensity discharge xenon headlamps as standard and a virtual rearview mirror - which displays a camera feed of the area behind the van on the mirror, regardless of whether you can see clearly out the back - is now available across the range.
The prices of the new Ford Transit Passenger Van's trims vary based on the selected size, and how much you'll pay for yours depends on the extras to select. The starting price of the cheapest XL trim is $49,275, though the medium roof increases this to $50,405. The high-roof body will cost you at least $51,850, while the same roof with the extended-length body comes to $53,770. Similarly, the XLT starts at $51,785 and rises to $52,910, $54,360, or $56,265, respectively. If you want to swap the engine for the turbocharged V6, you'll need to pay an extra $1,775. These are the MSRPs of each Ford Transit Passenger Van model and do not include taxes, registration, or the destination charge of $1,795.
See trim levels and configurations:
The Transit Passenger Van aims to deliver an easy-to-manage and, more importantly, comfortable driving experience. In this regard, it doesn't disappoint. The steering is light and accurate around town, improving otherwise poor maneuverability. But, when the van picks up speed, the steering wheel gains some heft. But that shouldn't encourage you to press on too much, as cornering at speed leads to some serious body roll. The available intelligent all-wheel drive improves grip, but it can only do so much before physics takes over.
A lot more attention is paid to comfort, and, for the most part, the suspension does a good job of soaking up bumps in the road. Combined with supportive seating, this makes longer trips more bearable. The smaller variants of the van do a better job of staying poised, and they also don't feel as sluggish when fully laden. If you intend to transport 12 to 15 people, then the stronger EcoBoost V6 is the way to go, although it becomes rather thirsty when working hard.
Its high level of customizability and practicality makes the Ford Transit Passenger Van extremely capable, which is all that most people want in this segment. The fact that it gets a good helping of safety features at such a reasonable price point is just a nice bonus. Both of the engines on offer can move the hefty van without too much fuss, though the EcoBoost is definitely better if you opt for the 15-seat layout. Fuel economy is not bad, all things considered, so the long-term cost of ownership is easy enough to live with, although the EcoBoost can be a bit thirsty when you make use of the extra power.
However, the van is far from perfect. Though the ride is comfortable, it's not luxurious. For that, you'd be better of with a Sprinter from Mercedes. Similarly, the XL trim has only the most basic infotainment suite as standard. The overall quality of the cabin is also subpar. Upgrading either of these features quickly pushes the price up to that of more premium rivals. In review, the Ford Transit Passenger Van may not be the best at everything, but it's definitely good enough to earn a spot on any shortlist.
There is no single right answer to this question. How many people you need to transport and the amount of cargo space required will all play a part, along with the features you desire. For a small family that spends a lot of time on the road or that goes camping for extended periods of time, a five-seater XLT should suffice, but if you need to transfer a lot of people short distances, a 15-seat XL is preferable. Regardless, the turbocharged engine is definitely desirable, as it helps the van move around town or on the highway with little effort. Longer trips will also benefit from the upgraded infotainment suite. We regard the XLT as a worthwhile upgrade, as it includes all the most important features we miss on the bare-bones XL, such as the improved safety features and Sync 4 infotainment system with smartphone integration.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Ford Transit Passenger Van: