Review: Ford Transit (2006 – 2014)
The most popular van in the UK, superb in-cab refinement, tight turning circle and impressive handling, huge choice means there's something to suit all needs, ESP standard.
Load bay not as big as some rivals, curious that speed limiter can be switched off, some interior plastics feel flimsy.
Recently Added To This Review
7 June 2019
Report of timing chain failure in 2.2TDCI engine of 2011 Ford Transit at 90,000 miles. Put down to plain wear and tear. Van had been serviced annually at 8k-10k miles a year. Read more
9 November 2011
New 2.2-litre turbodiesel becomes only engine option in Transit and meets Euro 5 emissions regulations. It comes in 100PS, 125PS, 140PS and 155PS guises with emissions ranging from 173g/km to 252g/km,... Read more
12 April 2011
New 3.2 litre 5-cylinder 200PS Transit Supervan shown at Commercial Vehicle Show at NEC. Also a new generation of Duratorq TDCi engines and comprehensive range of new ECOnetic technologies, including... Read more
Ford Transit (2006 – 2014): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 91% of the official MPG figure
Backbone of Britain, best selling van for more than 40 years, a byword for light commercial vehicles. Call it what you like, the Ford Transit is the van by which all others are judged. Just when it looked like the competition was nipping at heels at the end of 2011, Ford pulled a blinder by launched the Euro 5-compliant model, which features a 2.2-litre turbodiesel in various power offerings that replaces all previous engine choices.
At a stroke, Ford put itself back at the head of the class and it also took the chance to address criticisms of in-cab noise. The Transit is now easily one of the most refined vans to drive and it also features a superb gear shift for its standard six-speed manual gearbox.
The rest of the Transit is much as it was when launched in 2006, which means rugged mechanical parts and strong reliability. There are also good deals to be had from Ford dealers.
All of this makes the Transit a very sound choice for any owner operator, but it gets better still when you know every Transit comes with ESP traction control as standard.
Then there’s the choice of front, rear and four-wheel drive, short and long wheelbases, different body lengths, various roof heights and a number of off-the-shelf body configurations from Ford. If there isn’t a Transit that suits you business’ needs, the chances are you either don’t need a van or should be buying a much heavier vehicle.
What does a Ford Transit (2006 – 2014) cost?
Ford Transit (2006 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?
As we’ve come to expect of the Transit, it offers almost limitless options to its buyers to suit every need. There are three wheelbases to choose from, three roof heights and four body lengths. Gross vehicle weights start at 2.5-tonnes and go all the way up to 4.6-tonnes, while payload maximums start at 772kg and carry on up to 1655kg depending on the model you choose.
The Transit can carry from 6.6m3 up to 14.3m3, again based on which version you buy. These figures are not quite as generous as a Fiat Ducato, which can carry more volume in its smallest and largest configurations. However, the Transit does compensate to some extent with the variety of body options available over the counter to customers. It can be bought as a panel van, minibus, side tipper, Luton van, and pick-up, as well chassis cab and double chassis cab. There are also crew cab versions on offer to make the Transit suitable for just about every user’s needs.
You can also specify heavy duty axles and suspension for more weighty needs and there is also a double rear wheel option for those who need the strongest possible vehicle. To get into the Transit’s load bay, there are side-hinged rear doors that open at up to 180-degrees on the standard models and as wide as 256-degrees on the Jumbo versions. A sliding rear side door is standard, with twin sliding rear doors an option. An optional Protection Kit provides MDF side panels and a full length rubber mat to keep the interior free from scrapes and scratches.
Plenty of securing hooks and lashing points help tie down loads, while Ford claims the distance between the rear wheelarches of the Transit is biggest in the class.
In the front cab, the Transit has supportive seats and a fine driving position that is more car-like than many vans. The gear lever is mounted high on the centre console and close to the steering wheel for stress-free shifts. There’s also plenty of storage boxes, cubbies and trays spread around the Transit’s cabin, though some of the interior plastics feel less durable than some rivals.
Still, the dials are easy to read and Ford will sell you its Premium Visibility Pack as an option that includes electrically heated door mirrors, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers. Better still, every Transit comes with Ford’s simple but effective Quickclear windscreen that does a great job of demisting or de-icing the windscreen in no time at all. A CD stereo with remote controls, electric windows, central locking and tinted glass are all standard on every model.
You can pick from Standard, ECOnetic, Trend, Limited and SportVan trims, and each comes with increased 20,000-mile service intervals, extending scheduled halts from the previous 15,000-mile mark.
What's the Ford Transit (2006 – 2014) like to drive?
Ford updated the Transit at the tale end of 2011 and added Euro 5-compliant engines to the whole range. Every engine on offer is now a 2.2-litre turbodiesel and they come in 100PS, 125PS, 135PS, 140PS and 155PS guises. If you’re wondering why there is such a spread of engines, it’s because not every engine is offered with every version.
This is due to Ford offering the Transit with front, rear and all-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive model is only sold with the 125PS, 350Nm version of the 2.2-litre engine, which is the least common choice among Transit buyers. Much more common is the 125PS 2.2 TDCi that is offered in both front and rear-wheel drive models, alongside the 100PS low-power engine. For front-wheel drive Transits, there is also the choice of a 140PS engine, while rear-drive models can be had with a 135PS engine with either 355Nm or 385Nm of low-rev shove.
All of these various engine options come attached to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. This transmission deserves special mention for the quality of its shift action. It may be a small detail, but when van drivers spend so much time and so many miles at the wheel it’s the details that count. The revised Transit’s gear shift is a pleasure to use and in fact puts many passenger cars’ gearboxes to shame.
It’s also worth mentioning the Transit now comes with engine stop/start, switching off the engine when the vehicle is at a standstill with the gearbox in neutral and the clutch disengaged. It helps saves fuel and could have a significant bearing on fuel costs for those who spend a lot of time in urban traffic conditions. Ford also now fits regenerative charging, so the battery is charged up as the van slows, saving otherwise wasted energy.
Ford’s ECOnetic technology has been expanded further across the Transit range with the new Euro 5 engine. You can now have a 280S short wheelbase front-drive model or 350L long wheelbase front-driver with this fuel-saving technology. It also helps lower carbon dioxide emissions, with the 280S emitting 173g/km and the 350L a respectable 189g/km.
All of this is welcome stuff, but at heart this Ford remains great to drive. The engines pull strongly and the popular 125PS front-drive model makes light work of heavy payloads. It deals with hills and steep inclines easily, rarely requiring a drop down from the higher gears to maintain momentum.
Comfort is another Ford Transit strong point thanks to supple suspension that deals with almost every type of lump and bump without fuss or distress. This is all the more impressive when you notice the Transit doesn’t display any untoward body lean in corners, even when laden, while the steering is direct and responsive yet light around town. It also has a tight turning circle at 10.8m in short wheelbase form to better the Fiat Ducato’s more than decent turning ability.
New for the revised Transit is a standard speed limiter set at 70mph. More unusual is the button on the dash to disable the limiter, which seems to defeat the purpose of having such a device in the first place if a driver can switch it off the moment he or she is out of sight of the depot.
But Ford has addressed the Transit’s noisy cabin. By carefully isolating every potential source of noise intrusion from the engine, as well as the road and wind at higher speeds, Ford has made the Transit’s cab easily the quietest and most refined of any its sector. It may seem like a small matter on first acquaintance, but the reduction in noise inside the Transit has a big impact over long days on driver fatigue, making it a more pleasant place to spend the working day.
Real MPG average for a Ford Transit (2006 – 2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
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