NewsArts & Culture / September 18, 2020

2020 Ford Transit Crew, F-250 Diesel Are Ready To Work With Luxuries

provided photo

provided photo

2020 Ford Transit 150 Is Fit For The Entire Crew

When I knew this van was coming for a review, I thought I’d be courteous, drive it home from work and park it in the driveway until I was ready to review it.  I had no plans of actually committing to morning commutes in this thing.  That would be beyond silly. 

But, as I was driving home, something strange happened.  I really started to like it.  I mean, for a big cargo van with a few extra seats, it drives quite nice.  A couple of key enhancements for 2020 will make fans of the van even happier.

In the past, the Transit either came in passenger configurations (i.e. airport shuttles and church busses) or cargo versions (plumbers, carpenters, food service, animal control…).  Ford came to realize there was a need for something between:  A van that takes four or five workers to a job site with enough space in the back to haul their gear.  Or, avid campers who like converting the backs of their vans for long get-aways with family or friends.  It’s called the “Crew” and that’s for what there is room on a second row bench.   

The business end of the Crew is accessed through two doors that open 180 degrees to accommodate loading docks and pallets from forklifts.  You can tell where to load because the nice headliner and flooring stops at the rear seats, but a high roof lets grown men stand upright inside.  As the lighter duty “150” version of the Transit on a 130-inch wheelbase, the van can carry 2,860 lbs. of payload or tow up to 6,300 lbs.    If you need to carry more, step up to the Transit 250 and delete the Crew option.

Up front, drivers face an instrument cluster, stitched steering wheel, and infotainment controls that could have come out of a Ford Escape crossover.  The rubber floors, hard plastic doors, and array of cubbies and cupholders not so much.  But that’s OK – the Transit is meant to be easily cleaned after a hard day at work.  Front seats with power lumbar, rain-sensing wipers, rear defroster, and ice cold air-conditioning provided comforts.  I’d only add a power sliding door. 

Devices connect easily via Bluetooth or 4G Wi-Fi hotspot.  A wireless charging pad would come in handy for those who are in and out of the van constantly while making deliveries.  There are multiple USBs and even a 110-volt plug between the seats.  Safety was a paramount consideration in this busy beast of burden.  Forward collision warning with auto brake, adaptive cruise, blind spot alert, and automatic parallel parking systems all do their parts. 

There’s plenty of engine to move this bus.  Behind the big grille is Ford’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 delivering a robust 310 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.  It makes its way to the newly available all-wheel-drive system through a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.  Ford is not required to post fuel economy figures, so we have none, but auto stop/start makes the best of liquid fossils.  Smooth torque from the engine has no problem easing through traffic or ushering up to speed on the highway.

With wide glass and blind spot mirrors, I never felt overwhelmed maneuvering in tight urban spaces.  One morning, I was planning on taking my daughter to run errands in my Smart car.  She saw the big van and insisted on taking it instead.  We went to the coffee shop, pharmacy, and grocery story with no issues.  It almost makes me want one, but the price gives pause.  The Ford Transit starts at $34,510, but came to $51,510 as tested.  That’s not bad for a working van, but represents far more capability than any sane person needs on a daily basis, even if it is pretty cool to drive.

2020 Ford F-250 Platinum Is Brimming With Luxuries

One person’s idea of luxury may summon sweet-smelling leather while another’s is realized with the ability to tow almost anything anywhere.  If these desires percolate in the same person, they are in luck because Ford offers its F-250 heavy duty pickup with a Platinum edition interior that rivals some of the finest luxury cars and crossovers.

It’s snazzy, but big.  Like, stretch the length of your suburban driveway big.  From the big chrome grille to the Crew Cab body and long bed, there’s nothing subtle.  It dwarfs its 20-inch wheels.  But, it is also a refined beast with power retracting running boards, glitzy chrome, spray-in bedliner, and LED lighting all around.  Steps deploy from the tailgate in case you want to actually use it.

Once inside, you’ll notice its overt poshness.  Soft leather upholsters the seats and steering wheel, sweet tunes flow out of the B&O audio system, and the sky shines through the dual pane moonroof.  Heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, voice activated navigation, and dual zone auto climate control add luxuries.  Connect devices through Bluetooth, 4G Wi-Fi, and wireless phone charging.  Adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, and blind spot warning enhance safety.

There’s only one proper way to move an all-capable truck like this.  Behind the big chrome grille is a big beefy 6.7-liter turbo-diesel whisking up 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb.-ft. of torque.  It routes to the four-wheel-drive system through a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.  Fully stoked, that’s enough to haul over 3,000 lbs. of payload and tow up to 18,600 lbs. with a gooseneck. 

I only needed to get my sister-in-law to the airport, and the truck had no problem carrying her, her 7-year-old offspring, and their two suitcases in complete regality.  Rear-drive F-250s have an independent front suspension to improve ride comfort and handling, but our 4x4 packed a moonbeam with coil springs.  Given the industrial underpinnings, the big truck and its long wheelbase did a reasonable job of pulverizing bumps and keeping the bouncing to a minimum.  Its behavior is more impressive when you realize this truck comes with the FX4 off-road package that includes underbody skid plates.

Loaded or unloaded, the powertrain is dreamy.  All of that torque from a smooth diesel and a transmission that knows how to make the most of it is intoxicating.  Step into it off the line and the truck jumps.  Clamp down hitting an onramp, or accelerating away from a pesky sport coupe, and the big truck streams down the road as propelled by a turbine engine.  Most people will need a good reason to own this truck, but you could be forgiven for having none at all other than a desire to throttle that engine at-will.

If you ever doubt this is a full-blown luxury truck, check the window sticker.  While a base F-250 starts at $34,035, our fully loaded Platinum edition came to a robust $82,850.  Competitors include the GMC Sierra Denali 2500, Chevrolet Silverado High Country 2500, and Ram Limited 2500.

Storm Forward!

Send comments to Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow him on YouTube @AutoCasey.

 

2020 Ford Transit 150 Crew

  • 5 passengers, AWD Van
  • Powertrain: 3.5-L TTV6, 10-spd trans
  • Output: 310 hp/400 lb.-ft. 
  • Suspension f/r: Ind/Solid axle
  • Wheels f/r: 16”/16”
  • Brakes f/r: disc/disc                  
  • Must-have features: Utility, handling
  • Fuel economy: Guess!
  • Assembly: Kansas City, MO
  • Base price/As-tested: $34,510/51,510

 

2020 Ford F-250 Platinum

  • 5 passengers, 4WD Pickup
  • Powertrain: 6.7-L T-Diesel, 10-spd trans
  • Output: 475 hp/1,050 lb.-ft. 
  • Suspension f/r: Solid axles
  • Wheels f/r: 20”/20” alloy
  • Brakes f/r: disc/disc                  
  • Must-have features: Luxury, Hauling
  • Fuel economy: Mysterious
  • Assembly: Louisville, KY
  • Base price/As-tested: $34,035/82,850
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