By on December 17, 2014

2015 Ford TransitIn November 2014, for the first time in its six-month North American existence, the full-size Ford Transit was America’s best-selling commercial van.

A number of special circumstances made the Transit’s sudden rise to the top of the leaderboard possible, besides an increase in the number of available Transits and, yes, increased demand for the Transit itself.

First, sales of its predecessor, the traditional best-selling Ford E-Series, declined 59% from November 2013 to just 4151 units in November 2014. The E-Series’ decline was an anticipated one, but it had been averaging 7748 monthly sales over the Transit’s first five months.

Second, the Chevrolet Express slid 23% to just 4478 units. Had Express volume remained level – it’s up 3% year-to-date – at 5779 units, it would have clearly been the top seller for the fourth consecutive month. Sales of the Express’s twin, the GMC Savana, fell 53% to just 716 units.

Third, the attention typically generated by the Transit’s top-selling rivals was more divided than usual. Ram had its best ProMaster month in that van’s 14-month tenure with 3290 sales, 76% better than its previous best month. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter volume was up 26%.

U.S. commercial van sales chartFinally, the smaller quartet of vans, which for the first time included the Nissan NV200-based Chevrolet City Express, was up 36% to 5050 units, thereby grabbing 19.3% of the overall category, up from 14.9% a year ago.

Yet while the stars aligned for the Transit’s best-selling performance, we must expect that any Ford commercial van will become a dominant commercial van. Still, does the Transit have what it takes to pick up where the E-Series left off? The E-Series has been a massive seller for Ford in the United States, and even in this surprisingly fruitful month for the Transit, total full-size Ford commercial van sales slid 11%. Transit Connect included, Ford van sales were down 10%. The Transit has a long way to go if it’s to ever sell like the E-Series. The old van averaged 138,000 annual sales in the decade leading up to 2014.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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91 Comments on “The Ford Transit: America’s Best-Selling Commercial Van In November 2014...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    The E-Series was such a steadfast money maker for Ford, what with the tooling and development long, long paid for. Heck, some design elements date back to ’75. Many a plumbing company will be sad to see them go.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      …until they look inside a Transit and see just how much more space they’re getting for the same footprint and fuel budget.

      The packaging effectiveness of the E-series also dated back to 1975.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      If you are talking the u-joints and lug nuts then yes some elements date back to 1975. The only things other than made the transition from the Nantucket van to the final series were the u-joints, lug nuts, rear brake parts on 250/350 models and the power trains in the early years. The engines ended up being replaced early on while the brakes ended their 40 year run in 05.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        E Series Chassis cab variants will linger until Ford brings in Transit versions for those applications.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Yessir. These were under my umbrella when I was with Ford.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Scoutdude – Navistar picked up their toys and went home. Mexico. The F-650/750 MDs were their trucks anyways. The cab was all Ford, but the chassis was hecho de Navistaro.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Denver Mike the Chassis for the F650/750 was jointly developed by Ford and Navistar as part of the Blue Diamond Venture. It was Ford that was as much behind walking away from that venture as Navistar was. The Blue Diamond Joint Venture was also what produced the Citystar and LCF trucks that were quickly discontinued. Again they were jointly developed and used components from both maker’s parts bins. The chopped off version of the PS6.0/VT365 known as PS4.5 or VT275 built by International Truck and Engine Corp was the power plant and the trans was the Ford Torque Shift as used behind the 6.0 in the F series. International even noted that it was a Ford Torque Shift transmission in their brochures and on their website.

            The Navistar purchase of AmTran is only a part of the equation that led to the discontinuation of the B series. The other part is the sale of the Louisville line to Daimler Trucks (Freightliner) which included no compete clauses that meant that Ford had do discontinue the B series and F850.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          When they go to the proposed heavy duty T450-T550 then the Transit will start making strides.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Let’s see it is already #1 so what strides does it really need to make? The cutaway chassis versions of the E-series have always been a small portion of sales. Yes the total Transit numbers should go up with the last of the E-series is put to rest but not significantly.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            Not much effort I think in maintaining number #1 Will accelerate when the Cab Chassis variants disappear, thinking of the Class C Motorhome base that is dominated by Ford

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Why would someone use the E-series cab chassis for a motorhome when Ford makes an F-series cab chassis available? It seems most ambulances and such have switched over to the F-series. I’m not up on the motorhome happenings.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Why would someone use the E-series cab chassis for a motorhome when Ford makes an F-series cab chassis available?”

            Because Class C motorhomes use a cutaway cab which Ford only offers in an E-series and Transit at the moment.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oh ok. I’m getting cutaway cab and chassis cab confused then. The only experience I have with commecial vans is Step Vans I have purchased used. They are cheap giant rolling tool boxes.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            I do not know what the equivalent to a step van would be here, as several different vehicle types would do the same job

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            A Chassis Cab has a rear wall, which you can get in a Transit or of course Pickups. They are used to put a vocational “body” on the back.

            A Cutaway Chassis does not have a rear wall, they are mainly used for motorhomes and minibuses though they also use them for high cube vans. You can not get those in in pickup form from the factory though there is nothing stopping you from taking a sawzall to one and that is becoming more common. You can get a Transit Cutaway as well as an E-Series.

            A stripped chassis is a chassis with no real body per se they have a structure that supports the steering column and radiator. You can get those in both a E series version for building step vans on and an F series version with a dedicated one for step vans the F59 an one dedicated for motorhomes the F53.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            Similar here, but the only emerging trend is the Euro based Van with a Utility bed, they are enormous. 6000-10,000 payloads. Quite incredible

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            RobertRyan-

            When I say step van or box truck I mean something like this:

            http://www.truckpaper.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=4957709

            My constuction company would always have one around because they hold a ton of tools, can be locked, and can be picked up for cheap on the used market.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Forgot to mention the other style of incomplete vehicle that is fairly common the cowl and chassis. Those have the front end sheet metal and dash but no windshield, doors or roof structure. They are mainly finished as school buses and are currently only available on Medium Duty chassis. Ford no longer makes any since Navistar bought the sole remaning independent school bus mfg that build on for Chassis. Those were the B series though they shared the basic front end with the F650 up. At one point you could purchase a 1/2ton cowl and chassis from most manufacturers.

            @ Robert, no clue what they build step vans on down under, I’m guessing that the Isuzu would be a popular choice. In the US we are down to Isuzu, Freightliner and Ford. GM sold their step van chassis to Navistar who renamed it Workhorse before closing it and selling the remaining assets to a company that was supposedly going to make EV step vans.

            Technically they are called walk-in trucks since Step Van was a GM model designation, but it became the generic term that everyone uses like Kleenex or Band-Aid.

          • 0 avatar
            scottcom36

            The van cab is also more desirable for motorhomes because it adds less length than a pickup cab would.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        Not to mention the Twin I-Beam suspension. Nothing says “Econoline” quite like the toe out/positive camber/negative caster (I think I have that last one right) of an E-Series van with a worn out front suspension.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          No one will miss “the wander”, tire wear or pounding out seized alignment bushings.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            I spent a weekend changing the right kingpin bushings on my 77 E150 in the parking lot of an apartment complex in 1990. A real bear of a job (without the right tools or work space). Four years later when the other side seized (now living upstate NY), I laid under it staring up at the kingpin contemplating the job when I saw the rusty spring pan had a crack 1/3 of the way across. Off it went to the junk yard.
            One owner, 17 years and 250,000 miles not bad for $5400.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            I had a 1977, IL6 with a column shift (manual steering also) that my father bought new. In 1990, I pounded out a right side kingpin bushing in the parking lot of the apartment complex where I lived. A bear of a job in that work environment and with the tools I had at the time. Junked it 4 years later 17 years and 250,000 miles under one family ownership. Not bad for $5400.

        • 0 avatar
          Brian P

          Ah yes, a beat up Econoline, the van that randomly changes lanes by itself depending on wind direction and road camber …

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Yes they appear to be unique to the U.S. Obviously look “home built”, and locally fabricated. Either smaller Vans or a light 4 x4 Japanese Truck would do similar here

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            You get car Utes with tool boxes, quite a variety of vehicles here that do something similar as well as Vans and trucks
            http://static.wixstatic.com/media/39b35a_42236fc7eab54573be092d311986a9dd.jpg_srz_315_225_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Scoutdude,
          Isuzu ,, Hino, Mitsubishi etc light trucks Hyundai, Toyota,, Sprinter, Iveco , older Ford Transit vans and a whole host of others including Peugeot and Citroen

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            A Sprinter Tool Van

            http://www.toolvanservices.com.au/images/Ross%20Large%20Van%20fieldFW.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            One last one a MDT Truck with a tool, section
            http://www.shakanda.com/vehicle-bodies-ute-trays-accessories/unique-custom-truck-bodies

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Robert the Stepvan or walk in truck is much more efficient than those other vehicles for a number of purposes. I used to do fleet maintenance and my big customer had a fleet of 50+ Step vans until they got sold on the Sprinter by a local Dodge dealer. The ended up buying 15 or so of them. The drivers hated them because as commissioned sales people it added 1-2 hours to their day so there were working longer for less pay since the Sprinter could not carry anywhere near as much product meaning that their route had to be smaller than the guy in the Step Van. Yes they look crude and they are pretty crude to drive but for some applications they are by far the best tool for the job. After that initial batch of Sprinters they stopped buying them as they found out that the fuel savings were minimal thanks to the higher per gallon cost and the maintenance and repairs were much more frequent and expensive.

            The bad thing was that the Dodge dealer’s presentation was that the 10K greater cost would be made up for in the fuel savings over the life of the vehicle. The reality was that they cost about an extra $2000 per year to run vs the ancient Step Vans they replaced. The Sprinter is just not designed for Multi-Stop service which is another name for those types of trucks from their early days.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            You can use a Sprinter, but people usr a lot of other alternatives, depending on what they want to do.
            Seen a lot of Hyundaii’s, Toyota Hi Aces, Hilux , Rangers, Falcon Utes, ISUZU trucks etc depends on what your job requirement is

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The van’s TIB has less camber/caster/toe changes throughout its range of motion b/c of its huge span, vs short conventional A-arms. If it was as bad as claimed, it wouldn’t have been such an unsurpassed popular choice with professionals, schools and rescue services. Never mind private use, church, custom vans and molesters.

          The problem is the TIB’s huge rubber donut radius-arm bushings. They don’t age well and require aftermarket prothane bushings replacement. Simple few minutes swap, if you know what you’re looking at.

          Great design concept, but cost cutting happens. Today, F-Super Dutys use TIB, but with vastly updated radius-arm bushings. They’re like motor mounts for a small engine. Otherwise similar geometry to the old TIBs.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yeah one of the reasons that the Econoline was so popular with commercial buyers was the TIB front suspension. It was way more durable than the A arm suspensions in the competitors. It also gives much better control and handling than the competitors. Is it perfect? No but it was the best thing going if you wanted a vehicle that would stand up to abuse for the long haul.

            If is much cheaper to replace the radius arm bushings than constantly replacing the ball joints, A arms and control arm shafts on the GM vans. Can’t say I’ve ever had to do anything other than tie rods and radius bushings on the Fords but I can’t count how many GM vans I replaced all those aforementioned pieces on.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            While my old 1977 had kingpins didn’t later model vans have ball joints on the end of the TIB front suspension?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        @Scoutdude. I was referring to the VN platform in general that launched in ’75 which stayed mostly true to form until the end. You’re right that little to nothing directly carries over between the first and last.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I was referring to the Nantucket platform which is the 75-91 version and despite the fact that 92+ looks similar underneath the interchangeable parts are limited to those I mentioned, basic fasteners ect excluded. Oh I forgot the ring & pinion and other differential parts. The frame and suspension are different though quite similar in appearance.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Some steering and suspension parts carried over too, or were at least close enough for interchange. It was a revision to an existing platform, but it stayed true to form.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        The twin I beam front end dates to 1963

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Yeah the TIB concept is old as the hills but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t change or that parts interchange between all of the decades it was used. The reality is that there are only a handful of basic basic suspension designs, so many of they have been used for decades but that doesn’t mean that they are the same.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Wow, really?, I have yet to see one of these in the flesh. Lots of big Sprinters and Nissans, and the little Fords with the utilities, but no big ones yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Really? I see them all the time and at $30K for a commercial van I think you’re going to see a lot in the future

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I’ve only seen them at dealerships, but I’m certain if I actually went to a large city (150,000+) I’d see a few.

        The Transit Connect, OTOH, has become almost ubiquitous in some medium-sized cities, particularly older ones with narrow alleys between buildings.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I work in Chicago, so maybe that’s it, but all the new Fedex home delivery trucks in my are these

          http://1stimpressions.com/images/beforeandafter/lg/fedex-lettering-side-after-lg.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I work in Chicago, so maybe that’s it, but all the new Fedex home delivery trucks in my area are these

          http://1stimpressions.com/images/beforeandafter/lg/fedex-lettering-34after-lg.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Around here the new small FedEx trucks I’ve been seeing are Rams. They Sprinter was pretty popular for a while but they found that they were the most expensive option. In general the operators around here are still using step vans with a fair number of the new Isuzus showing up recently.

            Most FedEx drivers are independent contractors who purchase their own vehicles though they do have to meet certain standards set by FedEx.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude The Isuzu Van you get in the US, is only a U.S. model only. They only sell the NLR very light truck with the same 3 litre diesel you get in the Isuzu Pickup DMax. No Vans

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          I don’t know about that Doc. I live next door to the fourth largest city in the country and just saw my first one last week. Did not know what it was till I saw the picture on this article.

          Don’t think it was this tall and it was rigged for passengers but it had the same face as this.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I see them all over the place. I’m not expert, but I think these things come in as many variants as the F-150. OK, not as many, but a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      The Connect is often wrapped in the companies logo, pictures etc. So it’s very visible.

    • 0 avatar
      scottcom36

      Maybe they haven’t sold that many in Maine yet, as I do a 74 mile commute four times a week and I haven’t seen one yet either.

  • avatar
    pragmatic

    The full size Transit is a big gamble on Ford’s part. The Econoline has been a large money maker for a long time (low cost to make and very predictable sales). Owners of the Transit will have to adjust to a less powerful vehicle that is more maneuverable, space efficient and hopefully more fuel efficient. This is a market that is resistant to change so while I expect it to succeed, I think it will take a little while.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I was just about to dismiss your comment as another “hurr durr Ferd is thtoopid fer dropping the Econoline (a name which hasn’t been used since 2000),” but then I actually read the whole thing. I think your username is quite appropriate.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      You can get the Transit with the 3.5EB. That should be better than the 4.6L and the 5.4L.

      It’s hard to compare specific payload and tow ratings though. Most former E-Series customers should be happy with the Transit. There is always the HD E-Series, E-Series Cutaway, F-Series Chassis Cab, and stripped chassis for more heavy duty users.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I saw one of these at the local Petsmart, where someone was loading up some rescue dogs after an adoption event. The interior on these is huge, way bigger than the E series. Still, I’ll miss the E series, having grown up in the 70’s, vans still hold a place in my heart.

    It does look like it would make a very nice Class B RV.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Starting to see them around here in Southern Maine. So far I’m seeing a lot of Promasters in use but I saw my first Transit in person the other day and it was actually owned by a heating company, not sitting at a dealer.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    “Does the Transit have what it takes to pick up where the E-series left off?”

    It should do a lot better. More space, lower cost than a Sprinter, better fuel economy (or about the same with the 3.5TT), proven reliability from years of service in Europe.

    It’s really astonishing how long it took to get commercial vans with modern packaging into America at a mainstream price point.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      It should clean the Sprinter’s clock. Sprinter reliability is incredibly poor, if the six units we have are any indication. My friend’s Sprinter is just as bad as those six at work…

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The fleet I used to maintain purchased a bunch of Sprinters and they did not hold up well for them either. Brakes, including rotors required yearly replacements. They would eat through a set of tires every 20K or so. Had to replace a couple of alternators on 2-3 year old units and the wholesale cost on them was like $650. The plastic mess of components that are the latch in the sliding doors would break and we would have to wait sometimes weeks for the parts. The door check mounts would rip right out of the door jamb. They also had an incredible appetite for light bulbs which I have never been able to figure out why. Sure they might have put low quality bulbs in at the factory but quality replacements would not last either. When they finally looked at the numbers they stopped buying them because they found the overall cost per year was around $2000 more per year than running ancient carb equipped step vans.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Needs more tall.

  • avatar
    Lynn E.

    This is terrible news. In my walks to the local Home Depot I find lots of treasures that have fallen out of pick ups. If people start buying vans I will have to start buying sockets, boxes of hardware, tubes of silicon, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Interesting point, but vans aren’t about to cannibalize the pickup market too much just yet. Or at all. It’s quite possible displaced E-series customers are now F-series buyers.

      A few years in, a pickup still has plenty resale value. Just remove the used utility camper or hightop, and slide it onto the new truck. The value of used vans just torpedoes. Never mind no 4wd on most models.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        That’s also partially because there generally is no such thing as a “used” van, only a “used-up” van now that the conversion market has been dead for 20 years.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It reminds me of this funny story going around. OK not so funny. Texas plumber’s F-250 goes to auction and currently doing the Islamic militant thing in Syria with mounted ground-to-aircraft missile launcher. Probably not the 1st time it’s happened, but OOPs he forgets to peel his company name and phone number off the truck. Great. OK. Then its photo turns up on a j!had!st twitter page feed seen ’round the world.

        i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/12/17/241A8A8C00000578-2876735-This_truck_once_owned_by_Mark_1_Plumbing_in_Texas_City_Texas_is_-m-30_1418825573245.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Yes somehow that sort of use ,I think could ruin your warranty claims
          http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8eO5p3-mPLw/VEhTKDio6xI/AAAAAAAAPP4/7n5sXFVOwCY/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2014-10-23%2Bat%2B9.58.02%2BAM.png

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’d think they’d remove the missile launcher before taking it in for warranty work???

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Seems to me that missile launcher could come in handy if they try to deny your warranty claim.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Actually the same Russian 25mm Anti Aircraft gun as seen on the F250. You see them on KIA’s, Hilux’s as well as L70’s and F250’s/Silverado 2500/3500’s in Syria.Mainly used as a ground support weapon, in Syria and elsewhere. Does make you wander how cheap second hand US Pickups are finding there way to the Syrian conflict?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I wouldn’t say it is a big surprise, inventory of E-series is finally dwindling while inventory of the Transit is finally at good levels. Ford has owned this market for several decades so there are some very loyal Ford van buyers. I’m sure most figure that it can’t be as expensive to own as the Sprinter and that the FWD on the Ram and the fact that it is a Ram(Fiat) scares a number of fleet operators.

    I saw my first Promaster up close last week when I walked out of the office to find the landscaping crew had shown up with one of those and two pickups to check on a leaking sprinkler that the crew that was already there had found. The idiots decided to totally block our loading docks by parking those 3 trucks sideways in front of both of our doors. This despite the fact that there were 20 plus open slots that weren’t in front of a loading dock.

  • avatar

    Commercial vans are work tools. Depending on the application different vans work best. The higher roof “European” vans are ideal for applications where shelves, and stand up room is required.

    The higher roof vans can be considered an hybrid between the regular van and the step van. Where volume, interior height is a higher priority than weight.

    If a large fleet requires a quote for a few hundreds of a specific van, there will be serious price considerations from all manufacturers, as well as other considerations for in house warranty.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Our dealer group just picked up a pair of Ram ProMasters to supplement the MB Sprinter they use to deliver wholesale parts. When I asked whether they considered the Transit, the guy who did the purchasing said they hadn’t because they knew the ProMaster was based on an old Fiat and had been around for a while, while the Transit was new and they didn’t want to deal with the first-year glitches. When I mentioned that the Transit had been around in Europe for as long as the Econoline was here in the States, and that the Transit was only new to us, he just shook his head and walked away.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      And the funny thing is that the ProMaster we get, at least the gas powered versions have a power train that is totally unproven in this sort of use while the Transit has gas engines and transmissions that have proven themselves suitable for truck use. Personally I’m expecting the ProMaster to be known for eating transmissions since it is based on the same transmission used in their minivan that hasn’t shown to be the most reliable. Sure they claim it has “heavy duty” parts in the ProMaster application but if they can’t build it strong enough for minivan use why should we think that the “HD parts” are really going to make it stand up to a vehicle that may near double the total weight. I’m betting it will be a case of replace every 50-60K in actual commercial use.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I wonder how much the lack of a diesel has hurt their sales vs GM, especially in the heavier duty applications? My Fire Dept switched from Ford to Chevy Chassis for our ambulances in least in part for that reason, as have several ambulance companies in this area.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah the lack of a diesel in the cutaway models has probably curtailed the sales of the Econoline for those applications. On the other hand many fleet operators are going to gas from diesel as they have found that they have lower overall operating costs. Around here the UPS fleet is almost all gas powered now. You know that UPS wouldn’t have switched to gas power if it didn’t save them money overall. The amount of fuel they buy is huge.

      Of course the Transit will have diesel power but we’ll have to wait and see how suitable it is for real heavy duty use. I’m thinking it is going to be real slow something you don’t really want in an ambulance.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @Scoutdude:

        All the van chassis are slow. The use several generations old engines. A base model F150 V6 has more horsepower than a 6.8 Triton V10 in an E450 (less torque obviously) and an Ecoboost V6 will match it in torque with 65 more horsepower. The 6.6L Duramax that is our current go to oil burner only has 260 hp and 525 ft-lb of torque, which is dramatically below what current pickup truck diesels produce.

        Our department actually tried switching to gas powered ambulances. We bought both a 6.8 V10 E450 and a Chevy Express with I think the 6.0L. I thought the diesel Express 4500 is slow, but both these gas powered ones give a whole new meaning to underpowered, especially the E450. They’ve been less reliable than the diesels and the fuel economy went from bad (about 10-12 mpg diesel) to miserable (6-7 mpg gas). This isn’t just a cost issue but on a busy day, having to stop for fuel is a major inconvenience.

        That all being said, I don’t normally find myself needing more power. When you’ve got a top heavy 16,000 lb vehicle with a pressurized oxygen tank right behind you and an (oftentimes unrestrained) paramedic partner and ill patient trusting you to get them safely to the hospital, you rarely find yourself wanting to go faster. You really want brakes more than horsepower. That being said, one of the lessons I had to learn was the medics wanted a smooth ride that didn’t throw them off their feet and hurt themselves (we had two paramedics on light duty for a combined six months this year due to injuries suffered in the back of an ambulance when their driver slammed on the brakes) more than they wanted to have a couple minute faster transport time.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @tjh8042
          The Ecoboost is built for light duty, not heavy cycle applications. The others are modified for heavy cycle use, as the Duaramax is actually a light duty engine, contrary to what you think. So fair bit of downgrading.
          I know the E450 is slow, but it is good to see confirmation of the fact

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    I wish Ford would add some of my favorite variations to the US transit. While the crew cab chassis is unlikely, the crew van (already available on a Sprinter)and 4WD would both be very useful for both commercial and recreational use. There are a lot of jobs that need a box of stuff and 4 people and Sportsmobile sold a lot of 4WD converted E series campers.
    Personally I want something that can take 6 people and 6 mountain bikes to a trailhead and provide standing space to change out of your bike gear and cook lunch. A mid roof van with 2 rows of seats, some interior racks, a curtain, a kitchen cabinet and maybe a solar shower and camping toilet would do everything I need, plus doubling as a utility vehicle during the week.
    I’ve seen this setup in Sprinters but their reliability record scares me.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      There’s gotta be a way to order the Euro parts that will make it AWD. I have no idea what it would take or how much it would cost, but Eurpe does get an AWD version. I would bet that it would cost so much that it wouldn’t be worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Tricky thing is whether or not the unibody on the US models supports the AWD hardware. If it does, then it’s just a matter of spending ridiculous amounts of money on the parts and the computers to run them.


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  • Lie2me: Really? That explains why they use so much salt on the road toward the end of winter
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