Ford Transit Van, Upgraded Transit Connect Ready for Late 2013 Debut
Ford's big European van offers better fuel economy and more cargo room than the 52-year-old Econoline. Plus, the smaller Transit Connect gets a makeover.
Anyone who has moved dorms or apartments has driven an Econoline at some point -- which is to say they've driven an outdated, sparse and terribly thirsty vehicle with sloppy steering. It's a tough, basic van, having outsold every other commercial van for the past 31 straight years, but the current Econoline hasn't seen a major overhaul since 1992.
The Econoline's large engines -- two V8s and a 6.8-liter V10 -- will be dismissed in favor of a turbocharged V6 found in the F-150 pickup and a 6- or 8-cylinder diesel. Ford says the new Transit will return 25 percent better fuel economy than a similar Econoline, thanks to the new engines, sleeker aerodynamics and a 300-pound weight loss. Multiple configurations of wheelbases and roof heights make the Transit far more flexible than the Econoline. While all-wheel-drive is offered in Europe, U.S.-spec vans will come only in rear-wheel-drive. Ford did not say if other Transit features offered in Europe, such as auto start-stop, would make it here.
The compact Transit Connect, introduced here in 2009, also delivers brand-new exterior and interior styling for 2014 (pictured at right). Active safety features such as blind-spot monitoring will likely be offered, according to Ford. Both vans will debut as 2014 models at the North American International Auto Show in January.
We can't wait for U-Haul and other rental agencies to place big orders. If you're feeling overly nostalgic for the old Ford vans, have a listen to country singer Nanci Griffith's "Ford Econoline," below. We're not missing it.
'Best selling commercial van in the U.S. for the past 31 straight years'. Apparently a lot of people who are paid to know their vehicles didn't think the design sucked. I've abused my E350's way beyond anything they were meant to do and they just keep on going. 14mpg is a little thirsty for a commuter but 11 mpg pulling 15,000# and hauling 14 people isn't bad. I hope its replacement is up to the task. Props to Ford for a vehicle that can still be a best seller in its class 20 years after its last redesign.
C'mon Ford...give us a diesel option on the Transit and a Manual shift option too.
Nope..we will get the Eco-gas powered versions,all automatics..and half the mileage.
Europe gets all the good diesels,right now.
Hey Ford, (or Chevy or Dodge) how about a small diesel powered pickup truck?
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