Ford has finally added an automatic option to its Transit commercial van – almost two years after it first arrived in Australia.
The new six-speed automatic transmission is part of a raft of updates for the 2017 Transit and Transit Custom that also include a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel EcoBlue engine. Also new is wind stabilisation technology that helps keep the van steady in a crosswind.
Ford claims the addition of the two-pedal option will expand the market for the Transit from just 34 per cent of current medium-sized van buyers to 85 per cent.
“The arrival of an automatic variant for Transit and Transit Custom widens our small business opportunities and expands consideration to include large fleet and Government buyers,” said Graeme Whickman, Ford Australia president and CEO. “We’re enabling customers to make a real go of things with a broader range and even stronger offering with a vehicle that’s recognised globally as the benchmark. On top of this, longer service intervals mean less time off the road, while a longer warranty brings peace of mind so owners can focus on their business success.”
The new 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine replaces the existing 2.2-litre turbo diesel but despite being smaller in capacity is has more power and more torque. The EcoBlue produces 125kW of power and 405Nm of torque, compared to 114kW/385Nm of the older engine in the Transit models. In the smaller Transit Custom range the EcoBlue produces 96kW/385Nm while the 2.2-litre has 92kW/350Nm on offer.
The EcoBlue will be available paired with the new automatic gearbox (or six-speed manual) and front-wheel drive, while the 2.2-litre will remain available with the manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.
The EcoBlue also cuts fuel uses down from 7.4-litres per 100km in the Transit Custom 340L model to 6.6L/100km in a direct manual-to-manual comparison.
Ford has also extended the service intervals from 12-months/15,000km to 30,000km with the new engine for reduced operating costs.
The blue oval has also introduced the option of its SYNC3 infotainment system for the first time on the Transit Custom 350L automatic model. If customers select the optional City Nav Pack then SYNC3 is included, bringing a 6.0-inch touchscreen as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as other functionality to the van.
Both the Transit and Transit Custom will continue to be available in more than 100 colour options, something Whickman believes is important for would-be customers.
“It’s another thing we’re doing to help consumers buy not just a van, but a vehicle that works for their brand and really stands out,” Whickman said. “It’s not just a van, but a part of your life, and a vehicle to actually want and desire.”
2017 Ford Transit Custom pricing
290S FWD 2.0L EcoBlue manual – $39,690
290S FWD 2.0L EcoBlue auto – $42,440
340L FWD 2.0L EcoBlue manual – $41,690
340L FWD 2.0L EcoBlue auto – $44,440
2017 Ford Transit pricing
350L RWD 2.2L diesel manual – $47,680
350L FWD 2.0L EcoBlue auto – $51,380
350E RWD 2.2L diesel manual – $51,180
470E RWD 2.2L diesel manual – $54,180
Single Cab Chassis 470E RWD 2.2L diesel manual – $49,180
Double Cab Chassis 470E RWD 2.2L diesel manual – $52,680
Bus 410L RWD 2.2L diesel manual – $57,680