New Engines and All-wheel Drive Coming to 2020 Ford Transit

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
new engines and all wheel drive coming to 2020 ford transit

Ford is sexing up its sexiest vehicle, the Transit van, for the 2020 model year with a bevy of new powertrain options and added safety tech. Two new engines are a base 3.5-liter V6 and a 2.0-liter EcoBlue bi-turbo diesel four. Thanks to direct-and-port injection, Ford claims the V6 PFDi will offer greater efficiency than the 3.7-liter unit it replaces. Meanwhile, the hard-working 2.0 liter will do the same while offering improved power and torque against the outgoing 3.2-liter diesel.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 will persist as the preferred option for getaway drivers and thrill-seeking plumbers. All models will come with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission, with gasoline models (including the beastly EcoBoost) having the option of all-wheel drive.

While you’re no doubt chomping at the bit to hear about the output of these new engines, you’ll have have to wait. Ford plans to release power ratings for the engines and pricing information sometime before the launch — which is scheduled for the fall.

What isn’t being kept a secret is the new tech the automaker plans to bake into the 2020 Transit as standard equipment. Cargo and passenger versions of the van receive pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping, and auto high-beam headlamps. Ford Co-Pilot360 will be offered as standard on the XLT trim, adding blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage and an upgraded version of cross-traffic alert.

Additional options include active park assist (allowing the vehicle to navigate itself into and out of tight spots while you work the pedals), adaptive cruise control, front and rear split-view camera, and an adjustable speed-limiting device for fleet managers or incredibly nervous parents handing the keys over to a new driver.

The new Transit also comes with FordPass Connect embedded, allowing for the vehicle to serve as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices (with USB charging points throughout the cabin) and/or perform as a fleet vehicle utilizing Ford’s new data services. Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services allow business owners to keep a downright dystopian eye on their employees — displaying information regarding fuel economy, GPS location, seatbelt use, and speed compliance to the management team while Ford advises on how to best improve fleet-wide efficiency.

There’s also a minor visual refresh for the 2020 model year. Take a close look and you’ll see that the Transit has a new grille (which varies between trims) and gently redesigned fascia. Extra-fancy LED headlamps have also been added, but those remain optional.

On our way to the interior, Ford provided an available power sliding door to make entry less taxing. Once there, Ford promises that passengers will find upgraded materials and better ergonomics everywhere, while the driver enjoys a revised dashboard.

While we can’t see much of a difference on that front, the Transit still has the cupholder situation locked down. Knowing you can still have immediate access to no less than four separate beverages should be praise enough. And, if you’ve a mind to share those drinks, the 2020 Ford Transit can be equipped with optional swivel front seats. Just don’t use them while in motion.

Expect more information and pricing from the manufacturer in the months to come.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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9 of 35 comments
  • Cdotson Cdotson on Mar 06, 2019

    I would still like to know what's keeping the tow rating down on these things. The payload rating, powertrain, wheelbase, and curb weight are all in league with a pickup at the top end of the 1/2-ton class and nearly to 3/4-ton class. Yet passenger Transits top out at 5100 lb tow rating. What gives?

    • See 5 previous
    • Ce he sin Ce he sin on Mar 06, 2019

      @Luke42 Just to thicken the plot somewhat the Transit is made with both transverse (for fwd) and longitudinal (for rwd and 4wd) engines, thus making it one of few vehicles with the full range of drive possibilities available. The 10 speed is obviously only going to longitudinal versions.

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Mar 06, 2019

    Give me the 8 passenger low roof 150 EcoBoost 3.5 AWD with nice cargo area behind the last passenger row. Do I need it? Not really. It's just an insane alternative to all other multi row people haulers.

    • Luke42 Luke42 on Mar 06, 2019

      The Transit can tow, too. Family RV trip!

  • Zipper69 I got the form letter from Kia a few weeks ago and booked a time for the software update.Took around 1 hr 15 mn and you get free nifty stickers on the front door windows telling the thieves you are protected.
  • Dave I also only support companies that don't steal my tax money because they are "too big to fail"
  • Da Coyote GM has been dead to me for years - since I want my car paint to stay on and things to fit. Matters not to me.
  • Spamvw My '02 Jetta Wagon is starting to look a little rough. Some of the plastics are degrading, rust is starting. BUT, show me another 21 year old daily driver that looks perfect.
  • Syke Sorry, off-roading holds no interest for me. Besides, vehicles like these will normally get used in traffic where they can push around two-wheeled (motorized and not) vehicles with impunity.