2019 Ford Transit – Automotive Review

2019 Ford Transit – Automotive Review

The 2019 Ford Transit is a multi-purpose cargo van that makes a great addition to any size business. The all-new van was presented to fleet customers at the National truck equipment associations Work Truck Show.

Looks:

The Transit Connect looks small, but with 3,670 liters of cargo volume and rear doors that open 180 degrees (optional 255 degrees), there is lots of room for people and materials. The cargo van version is available with no side windows in the sliding side doors and privacy glass in the rear doors. You can also order it with no side or rear windows.

It also lends itself to becoming an office on wheels. Ford Work Solutions is a system that runs Windows CE 6.0 designed to access an office workstation computer remotely to download customer information or view a work order or delivery invoice. You can send and receive text messages. The Navigation screen pinpoints your delivery locations and the system allows hands-free calling via the Bluetooth. The in-dash computer tracks your tools through a program called Tool Link, by De-Walt. Using a radio frequency identification tag attached to each tool you can scan them as you load them into the van and know exactly what is on board and what you left behind.

In The Cab:

The driver’s seat is manually adjustable (six-way) with built-in armrest, while the passenger has a four-way manually adjustable seat. Just like most cargo vans of today, the cab has all the features once reserved only for a car. An AM/FM radio with a bonus CD player and audio input jack. Available SYNC system to make hands free calls, embedded 4G LTE modem,(WIFI for up to 10 devices) rearview mirror backup camera, reverse sensing system, forward sensing system, and a 4.2-inch productivity screen that keeps you informed on fuel economy numbers as well as towing information. When you open the split rear doors, you get a true sense of this van’s functionality. The cargo areas floor to ceiling height is 150 centimeters and the width is 121 cm between the wheel wells. The load length is 184 cm and additional access is offered via the dual sliding doors. The cargo payload is an incredible 726 kilograms, more than some full-size pickup trucks. Optional second row, three passengers, split folding 60/40 cloth bench seat, and optional third row two passenger seating.

Safety first:

Standard front and side airbags will keep you safe in the event of a collision. Pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping system that can alert you if the vehicle drifts into another lane. You can select between steering vibration option or directional steering torque that guides you back into the lane, four-wheel anti-lock brakes and a tire-pressure-monitoring system are standard. For security, Ford has developed a locking latch shielded door lock system to help keep your contents safe. Ford MyKey technologies allow you to set speed limits and restrict audio volume.

Power:

This vehicle is powered by either a 2.0L GDI I-4 engine or a direct injected 1.5L EcoBlue engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It puts out 162 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque.

Pump Frequency:

  • 12.75L / 8.7 L/100 km (city/highway)  1.5 Litre Diesel
  •  2.0L TBA

Roadworthy:

While driving this Ford Transit Connect you feel like you’re driving a 2WD Ford Ranger. You’re able to maneuver around vehicles in tight parking lots and park in small parking spots, the only difference is you have a walk in cargo box on the back. This van would be perfect to convert into a special purpose van; it would be easy to add a wheelchair ramp or a lift without having to do too much modification.

Verdict:

Although this van has been available in the UK for many years it has only been available in North American since 2011. The popularity has increased and judging by its versatility and size, I think it is here to stay.

Sticker Price:

  • XL Van  $26,329
  • XLT Van $27,589
  • XL Passenger Wagon $28,399
  • XLT Passenger Wagon $30,109
  • Titanium Passenger Wagon $34,159
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Automotive Reviews
2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda Odyssey – Review

2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda Odyssey – Review

The 2018 Honda Odyssey van is equipped to take you and your family on their next big adventure, including the tools required for all the messes that might happen along the way.

My first impression of this vehicle starts with the stylish hood that sweeps down towards the grille. The headlights are angled up and back giving the profile a sculpted look.  Not only does it provide an exclusive appearance, but also adds increased visibility for third-row passengers.

Very nice interior, everything laid out nicely. So many bells and whistles you almost would want to run through a checklist before driving. Eight passengers seating with a total passenger volume of 4887 litres, and all those passengers get thirsty, so Honda put in 15 cup holders. The third row is a one-motion 60/40 split Magic seat that can accommodate three passengers and still leave 1087 litres of cargo volume. The second row is a three-mode seating with fold down center console.

Driver and front passenger seats are captain’s chairs that are very comfortable. My tester included a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, channel selector, cruise control, and hands-free telephone button. The instrument panel is easier to read, thanks to little tweaks by the engineers. Satellite-linked Navigation screen with trilingual voice recognition, 3D map, and FM traffic is also available that uses GPS technology and a 60GB hard drive based operating system that provides the driver with turn by turn voice guidance to their chosen destination. The screen also is used for the backup camera that offers three different views, Normal view, wide angle, and top down. Both side sliding doors open automatically via the key fob or a switch on the dash. A 550 watt AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/Windows Media audio playback and 11 speakers including a subwoofer is standard the EX-L. 

The i-MID or intelligent Multi-information Display can display your incoming text messages while the vehicle is in park and also read out too you while driving. I had one driving home late one night, and it said “your dinner is in the garbage, have a nice day,”  I think that must have been a glitch. The available rear entertainment system features a huge 16.2-inch screen that includes two wireless headsets with personal surround sound. The Honda Odyssey also features an in-car vacuum system called the HondaVac. It comes complete with a replaceable filter, canister bag, nozzle accessories, and a hose that can reach the front seats. So mothers everywhere can not only drive the family to weekend activities but once there can do the vacuuming. I feel an email coming on.

Safety is paramount with mini-van owners; the Odyssey has a blind spot information system with cross traffic monitor, vehicle stability assist, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and active front seat head restraints that are designed to help reduce neck injury in the event of a rear collision. There are also five lower anchors and tethers for children. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and tire pressure monitoring system is also standard. An available lane departure warning system that utilizes onboard cameras to determine if you’re drifting too far out of your lane without using your turn signal.

The engine is a 3.5 litre, 24 valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V6 that produces 280 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. The engines variable cylinder management system allows the engine to run on three, four or six cylinders depending on the requirements. All models receive a 10-speed automatic transmission. The combination makes the drive that much more comfortable and enjoyable.

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Automotive Reviews
2017 Ford Transit Exterior

2017 Ford Transit – Review

2017 Ford Transit - Review

2017 Ford Transit Exterior

That high roof is an unusual look for a van, or is it?

Driving down the road, you see quite a variety of work vehicles, Cube van’s, Flat decks, Service trucks, and pickups to name but a few. The days of the traditional van have gone except for a few that have seen more than a little action in its life. Consumers looking for a work van want more headroom in the back to carry out products to the job site or perhaps use as a portable office or shop. Enter the European vans that to us in North America look different. The Sprinter van is a classic example.

It started with a few driving the streets and now the template for other vans to inspire to be.  The 2017 Ford Transit is relatively new to us but has been around for many years in Europe, a success there and very possibly on its way to becoming a huge success here.

The looks scream European, but it fits right at home here in Canada. The headlights and front grille look just like most Ford products, and in fact, I found myself doing a double take when I first came across one.

In the cab, I found plenty of room and could see myself working in this all day, jumping out to make deliveries and working very comfortably. The Transit Van is available in three body lengths, 320 cm (126”), 363 cm (143.7”), 436 cm (172.2”), and three roof heights 211 (83.2”), 255 cm (100.7”), and 279 cm (110”).

There is an available Crew Chief option that helps you track your fleet. A GPS enabled black box is mounted in the vehicle and records detail information like location, speed, and fuel economy. It can also tell if the driver seat belt is in use.

Power:

The available engines are 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 with 275 hp, 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 310 hp and a 3.2L I5 Diesel with 185 hp all mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission

Safety:

A work van should be just as safe as a cubical when it comes to being a part of the workday. The Transit van offers driver and passenger airbags, side curtain and front thorax side airbags, anti-lock brakes, and 3-point seat belts. If the SYNC option is chosen a distress call is made for you when the airbag goes off.

Roadworthy:

The power rack and pinion steering set up helps this van drive like a dream. Turning is very easy, and backing into loading bays is a piece of cake. The optional backup camera helps to dial in the proximity of the rear bumper and a wall. I thought a van of this height would be more problematic on the highway with the crosswinds but a trip across the Port Mann being passed by a large semi I felt very comfortable. It is very much like driving a minivan.  I highly recommend a test drive.

Key Features:

  • 16.9/ 12.5 L/100 km (city/highway)
  • Starting at $30,052
  • As tested $54,000
  • 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 with 275 hp
  • 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 310 hp 
  • 3.2L I5 Diesel with 185 hp
  • Available in three body lengths

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