2015 Ford Transit Wins Van Comparison

15FordTransit II

Our friends to the North that run the Canadian Truck King Challenge have just finished their first full-size euro-style commercial van test, and the Ford Transit, powered by the turbo-diesel 3.2-liter PowerStroke inline-five-cylinder engine, beat both the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ram ProMaster in a tightly held contest.

The test was conducted over two days with six experienced journalists driving more than 2,000 kilometers, including several maneuverability road tests, payload hauling and even making a few real-world deliveries. They also conducted a midsize category challenge, which included the Nissan NV200 and Ford Transit Connect. Unfortunately, the Chevrolet City Express and Ram ProMaster City were not available at the time of their test. The Nissan just squeaked past the Ford.

For more information about the 2015 Canadian Truck King Challenge Winner-Commercial Van division, click here.

Manufacturer image

2014 Transit 3.2L PSD II



Why will they not put this engine in the F150?

Lol! The Nissan NV200 was given the win over the Transit Connect because it was cheaper! Some tough criteria huh?

I know that a lot of people who comment on here really voice their opinion on not wanting to see vans on this website. However, I honestly enjoy the articles because a van is just as versatile of a work vehicle as a truck! I wouldn't mind seeing more articles about them. Just my 2 cents.

"six experienced journalists"

That right there says all you really need to know about all of these truck tests. Since when did a bunch of journalists really become experts on how a truck will perform in its life for a worker?

Sit back a moment and think about it. Journalists write for a living, yet they have been given this mantel that they are the authority over all things, in this case trucks.

I never base my buying decisions on what some journalist says, I always make my own decisions and that has served me well over the years.

Case in point TFL slobbered all over the Ford Power Stroke diesel F350 test a while back that they were only allowed to ride as a passenger and in that test conducted by Ford by the way a Ram 3500 Cummins diesel was just about to pass the Ford Power Stroke F350 when the driver let off the gas pedal so the Ram would not pass the Ford.

TFL should have been all over that but they laughed it off, in fact TFL should not have even posted that bogus Ford controlled test. If the Ford test driver was that open in letting off the gas pedal to ensure the Ford would not passed by the Cummins powered Ram what else would and did Ford rig in their tests that TFL reported as fact.

Take any of these tests with a grain of salt because any truck sold today from the big three will get the job done with no problems at all. This silly need to try and proclaim a winner all the time is just a way for them to justify their jobs.

I mean really the way so many posters crow about my brand of truck finished 15 seconds faster up a grade then yours just shows how juvenile most of the posters are on this and other boards.

None of these sites that test vehicles are trustworthy because all of them depend on the manufactures for their test vehicles.

The only way to conduct true independent tests is to purchase the vehicles and in the case of trucks use them in real world work environments for a three month to six month period.

Clearly the tests put on by TFL and PUTC don't even begin to tell the true story on how any of these trucks really perform.

After all if you went by the TFL and PUTC test no one would by a Ram 3500, yet it's one of the most popular trucks out there with the hot shot and RV crowd. That pretty much invalidates the TFL and PUTC reviews, opinions and tests.

The reality is the only ones who hang on to the TFL and PUTC conclusions are a few blowhards that live their life in these forums and wait for what ever TFL and PUTC say.

Thank god the rest of the world makes up their own minds.

Change your name if you are going to include vans. And include full size suvs too because they are closer to trucks then these unibody tin cans.

If your going to show van show SUV's as well. Just as the working man cross shops vans and trucks the recreational tower will cross shop SUV's and Full sized trucks.


Because the bigger Ford dealers simply do NOT want this. Hint: if they DID it would already be there.

Ford will NOT piss off the large dealers, period.

@Ram Big Horn 1500 - sour grapes much?

Hmmm - large front drive vans with gasser V6's loose to rear drive vans with diesel engines.

Better luck next time.

No sour grapes at all Lou_BC, just speaking the facts.

Not a single one of these so called experts use these trucks how their intended to be used.

In fact didn't Ram just win the 3/4 ton shoot out?

Having said that my opinion still remains the same about TFL and PUTC as well as other sites.

Not a single one of them comes close to emulating how people who buy these trucks with their hard earned money really use them.

You know car magazines and the online versions are really like political parties. They rave about their favorites and put down all others. Consumer reports now has become so bias I no longer trust them. As they have slandered certain brands (blue oval). These brands I have owned and had racked over 200K miles with now issues. It’s like being a Democrat and trying to watch Fox news.

Your brand sucks! All the time :(

@Al - tests are subjective but reliability data or durability data over 3 years is not.
People tend to get upset when their favorite brand gets poor reviews. It is human nature to get upset when one does not receive validation of one's preconceived notions.

If a test or shootout is transparent in nature and clearly explains ratings and criteria then one can extrapolate data to match their own end use.

Ford 2.7 ecoboost to average around 18.5MPG.

Years ago a friend bought a Olds FWD Toronado he also had a good size boat.

He also had a good size grade on his driveway that he had to slow down for at the gutter line.

Tornado did nothing but spin it's wheels. He had to get his 6 cylinder GMC pickup to pull the boat up the driveway. Tornado had much more power than pickup. But FWD provided no traction in his situation.

Because of that I have always questioned using FWD on anything that may tow. The ram may be fine for businesses. But I wouldn't want it for a rv chassis .

Those are horrible numbers for the 2.7. The 5.3s numbers were with the steel body.

And the diesel ram just kills the 2.7.

"Because of that I have always questioned using FWD on anything that may tow. The ram may be fine for businesses. But I wouldn't want it for a rv chassis ."

Typically, an FWD van of any sort is not expected to tow for the exact same reason you describe with the Tor(o)nado. On the other hand, a load-leveling hitch might have made that boat tow a little easier but I will grant that such is overkill for most boats. On the other hand, GMC led the field by producing an FWD Class A motorhome almost 40 years ago and to me it's still one of the most streamlined, beautiful motorhomes ever built. As far as I'm concerned, these expensive bread boxes with gigantic diesel or gasser engines are meant to sit in a campground--a luxury campground--99% of the time. But I also acknowledge that I would neither tow a car nor a boat behind even the GMC front-drive motorhome.

Ford Hype? When the 2015 F150 spanks all comers in the many comparison tests to come Ford haters can take comfort in their ever increasing incentives from GM, Ram, Toyota and Nissan.

Its gonna be a blood bath.

Loose means not tight or free from constraint.

To Lose means to fail to: (1) keep (2) win or (3) make money

I do think the comment that was furnished by the person regarding the towing with a FWD vehicle, especially the Ducato was quite uneducated.

One should look at the wheelbase for starters. Also you wouldn't just tow a trailer with van like you do with a pickup.

A van is commonly bought so goods can be transported within the vehicle, not to be towed behind. If the van is loaded then a trailer hooked up, then a front wheel drive will suffice.

I wonder how our road trains can pull a trailer, or even a semi trailer. It would have a greater disproportion of weight distribution than a FWD Ducato towing.

But, not everyone who comment on PUTC really looks at what they comment one. Especially when fanboi'ism is involved.

Wow those are not to good MPG (21 mpg) for the 2.7 ecoboost. This thing was hoped to hit 30 mpg in order to compete with the Ram ecodiesel 3.0

Ford blew it! Even with a 10 speed trans. It won’t even get close to 30 MPG.

I'll try again!!!! My comments appear to be submitted then disappear!!

The Transit has been quite a successful vehicle for decades outside of the US. This US Transit is basically an Americanised version of the Euro or global version.

The 3.2 is a good engine and delivers enough power and torque to drive this and maybe the aluminium F-150.

I do think after reading "Rick's" response regarding the FE that a tester got out of the new F-150 the truck should have done better. Why aluminium? Wasn't the primary reason for aluminium to gain better FE? Is the Ranger the better pickup by Ford? Disregard the bling in the new F-150 and look at it as a truck or vehicle.

As for the long rant by the obvious Ram fan. Maybe you should read as many reviews regarding vehicle you want to comment on. Use as much information as possible to paint a picture of the vehicle. If a common theme develops then maybe there is some truth.

Ram Big Horn

Why don't you tell the whole story? You conveniently left out the facts!
The Ford wiped the floor with the Ram when towing the same weight!
When towing considerably more weight, that's when the Ram was going to pass the Ford! That's why it was laughed off! The Ram had already been whipped!
Go troll somewhere else!

Sort of makes aluminium a little redundant. Aluminium can help, but the cost vs savings might not be there.

I read an interesting article regarding the use of aluminium in the transport industry. It stated that the payback for aluminium takes a couple of years vs several months with diesel. This survey was carried out in the EU by trucks that operate 24/7.

So in private or a low use situation aluminium might not give the expected returns.

Put the small Powerstroke in the f250.

My 1995 has a 351w and has worse numbers than that and it was a fine truck. The world is going nuts with power. Very few people need that kind of power.

Maybe the Transit won because Sabine Schmitz was driving it.

I said ages ago the 2.7 would not hit 30mpg, I don't know why people are surprised. Remember that engine is about $4k less than the EcoDiesel. So will the EcoDiesel win in terms of sales? I don't think it will. I rented a Fusion 2.0 EcoBoost and averaged 25 in that (mostly freeway). Why would an F150 2.7 get better than that?

My Fusion is a 2011 with the 3.0 V6. It gets 26-27 mpg on the highway. I'm a diehard Ford guy but please no ecoboost anything for me. Just got back from Virginia and yes I averaged 26-27 mpg. Good enough.


That TFL test was conducted by Ford Motor Company not TFL. Don't think they would have stacked the deck a little do you?

Funny how you blow off the Ram fixing to pass the Ford when the Ford employee/test driver lets off the gas and you think that was a fair test.

Ford came out looking like a fool when they did that.


We have Road trains in the U.S. In fact quite common in Nevada. The first trailer is a fifth wheel of course with it's weight loaded over the center of the drive axle.

You comparing a FWD van to a road train is quite 'uneducated' to use your terminology.

You are pulling situations out of your hat so that you can make an argument. It seems your entire purpose on the forum is to make argument.

For instance you seem to think loading a FWD van up will improve it's towing traction. If you load up a van. Where would the load go. Over the drive wheels where the engine is located? I don't think so. When you include the hitch weight the load would disproportionally be shifted further to the rear axle.

To just assume that a van would be loaded when a person is towing is not a real assumption. It's a uneducated guess, to use your terms.

Now lets throw in snow and ice.
Even rain. And the argument for not towing with front wheel drive gets even greater.

Front wheel drive has it's purpose. And I don't recommend it for towing or even racing for that matter.

I really don't consider my view incorrect. As for you comment regarding my argumentive style. I don't think I'm argumentive but assertive in my approach.

These front wheel drive vans are used extensively in the EU and it get as icy and snowy as the US and Canada. They do work fine there.

If traction is an issue then rear wheel drives will have significant steering issues. If there is enough weight to steer a vehicle with a trailer in tow, then there will be enough weight to tow a trailer with a front wheel drive setup.

As for prime movers. Our road trains can have a load in excess of 440 000lbs. This is driven by a minimum of two axles. The load on the axles if I remember correctly is 16 tons or 35 000lbs between them.

I do believe the Ducato/Ram van will have more than 8% of it's weight on the drive wheels like a road train does. To have a figure this low then a trailer is grossly overloaded. I do think they can only tow several tons. Which means 600lbs will be on the draw bar.

Your still trying to compare 8 drive wheels with 2.

If you would read my post. It speaks directly about acceleration from a stop or slow speed up a incline. Those are situations that a RV is going to encounter many times. For instance, a boat ramp. That is a common use for a RV in America.

You trying to compare apples to oranges.

You are making a uneducated argument

After looking at the Ford Transit Van I made an observation that enlightened me about the 2015 Aluminum F-150.
Looking at the high profile, high center of gravity of the Transit Van I made the conclusion that would cause handling problems like it would feel like it would tip over rounding a tight curve at high speed.
BUT: The way the F-150 is built with a lightweight aluminum top body and a heavy steel frame on the bottom will lower the center of gravity and make it handle and hold the tight curves like a race car.
I believe my observation is brilliant that nobody here ever thought of before.

Truck Crazy
The Ford Fusion is a great car!
Did you know they are selling like crazy where Ford can't build them fast enough and all the so-called car experts who trashed the Fusion are angry the Fusion is selling better than their most loved Honda Accord and Toyota Camry?
The Fusion is a small car with the luxury and feel of a BMW where the Accord and Camry has a cheap generic feel, uncomfortable seats, road and engine noise and the Camry has serious oil consumption issues.

The way you are debating is giving me a sense of deja vu. This is a recurring problem on this site.

I do think you are the one who's continually introducing new dimensions into the arguments. I do recall a guy called Rick made the initial comment and I made a passing comment to him and not you. You then become involved and state that I'm the aggressor?? WTF?? Maybe you should tend to your own back yard first. Are you the one who could be unnecessarily generating dissention?? Please spare me. This paragraph was written in a tone to be assertive.

FWD RV. This vehicle is actually the Fiat version of the Ram van. They are the most popular chassis for RV's outside of the US. I do think Robert Ryan who's a RV demi god could give you more information. The Ducato's are used throughout the EU and throughout the Alps, etc. Below is an Aussie version of the "Ram" in RV form.


First you talk ice an snow, then boat ramps. You then can't comprehend that on a road train the two axles havel less than 8% of the vehicles mass over the drive wheels.

These trucks do operate on slippery roads as well. There will be limitations, I don't disagree with you, but the bonuses will outweigh the limitations.


Boat ramps? I do see midsize front wheel drive cars actually put boats into the water here, I'm talking 18' boats.

So I do think a Ducato will launch a boat larger than 18'.

You can keep on upping the ante, but at the end of the day these vans don't tow much. So the tow argument is quite irrelevant. As I stated vans are generally bought to carry things in, but then again you introduced the "RV" angle, the FWD RV's do tow as well, quite well, I'll add.

Here is a tongue in cheek 5th wheeler.


Interesting that the torque for the 3.2l power stroke ( [195 cubic inches] 350lb-ft between 1750-2750rpm, max hp185@3000rpm) is lower than that of the 3.0l VM Motori ( [182 cubic inches] 369-to 421 lb-ft between 1700-3500rpm, base hp 221-268@2000rpm) . Excepting a few, we buy diesel engines for thier torque and durability. Horsepower isn't the 'grunt' you feel.
I'm a little unsure as to why the base hp rating for the 3.0l has a 47hp variance..........

Many of you have seen the article but here is the link to a most excellent article on the 3.0l

Before any of you jump on me for being a Fiat supporter I want to point out that the 3.2l power stroke if being made at Ford's Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

That leaves cummins. Problem is that although they list 14 locations in the USA, the 'what they do where' is general, not specific. I'm kind of curious about the diesel engine cummins was developing for Ram (then chrysler) before they went belly up. The 5.0l was listed at 300hp and 500-600 lb-ft of torque, which would have been way too much for a half ton.


The ram finished dead last in the test. I guess Europe and Australia don't count for many points in Canada.
Pull all you want with front wheel drive.

I say they are worthless for towing.

"I believe my observation is brilliant that nobody here ever thought of before."



Nobody here ever thought of before?


It is a good observation.

There are differences in vehicles. Have a look at the Sprinter vans. EU vans are very good where I've read that the US assembled vans are poorer.

The same for the Ducato/Ram vans. The same will be for the Transits vans, etc.

The EU and even here in Australia do tend to pay more for vehicles. But I do think sometimes part of it has something to do with quality.

Different countries have different expectations on cost and quality. The US wants the cheapest cars with lots of bling. The Escalade is a classic example of a cheap vehicle that $80-$100k. They would not sell outside of the US.

The VM and the 3.2 are two different engines. The 3.2 is tuned for more "truck like" characteristics and the VM is more a "car like" diesel tune. The VM was actually designed for GM cars in minds and not Fiat/Chrysler.

Also the 3.2 is getting 90% of it's torque at 1 500rpm. If I remember here in Australia the 3.2 in the Ranger is reaching peak torque at 1 500rpm and my Mazda is the same as the US version at 1 750rpm. The US 3.2 diesel is 12hp less than our version, but with the same torque.

Diesels have a much larger variation in engine tunes than gasoline engines. Take the 2.5 litre Navara diesel. They range from 95kw to 140kw.

@BAFO - No way the "bonuses outweigh the limitations" of FWD. Especially when having to deal with less than optimal flatland driving conditions and weather. Plus off road. The service industry, FedEx , UPS, rescue, to name a few, have to be prepared to travel un-maintained rural roads through riverbeds and roads so steep, they would be illegal if not easements.

You must be talking FWD "bonuses" like a low load deck.

Vans do quite a bit of towing in the US. Horse trailers aren't a problem. But tongue weight makes for an even smaller tire contact-patch on FWDs. That's unavoidable.

FWD RVs are different, in that they can avoid adverse conditions and situations. They do about zero towing too. And most of their weight is over the front wheels for optimal traction. Front kitchen, front bath, front holding tanks. They basically need the dual wheels up front. It's just a weird setup.

"Vans do quite a bit of towing in the US. Horse trailers aren't a problem"
Have you a photo reference?

@Robert Ryan,
Here's a very interesting photograph from Sweden. I do think Sweden is probably colder than most of continental US.


It appears to be a FWD Fiat Duato, aka Ram van towing a..................guess what??? Horse float. I could be a Swedish caravan or camper trailer. You know how backwards those Europeans are;)

Every street corner in the US has a 4x4 or 6x6 RV towing horse floats. Maybe you should go over to the US. Even the UPS vans tow horse floats everywhere;)

Interesting, there are also piles of photos on the net with Ducato RVs driving through the Alps.

I wonder how a prime mover and trailer in the US can drive in the winter, unless it's in the deep south, with all that snow? Beats me;)

Some people really try hard to sell. When they do, they talk rubbish.

@Rober tRyan, BAFO - Don't be silly. It's common practice to tow with fullsize vans in the US. Many are rented specifically to tow cars, including the dolly. It's cheaper to rent a van than a pickup truck.

Any time you have a broken down car to tow a long distance, you don't what to hire a tow truck. Renting a one-way van plus
trailer or dolly, is the way to go.



Face it, vans are just trucks and completely interchangeable with. As long as they're RWD (or 4WD). I'm sure you've seen the 5th wheel hauler conversions.


When it comes to simis/prime movers, they aren't FWDs. The tractor has the weight of the trailer, right on top of the drive axles. I'm not sure why you keep bringing them up. They don't help your case. They're no different than a RWD pickup and 5th wheel trailer. Optimal for towing. Do you need a picture? Diagram???

Quite common to see Vans pulling Caravans in Europe.and even a tractor.Best FWD was a Ducato based Motorhomes pulling a Porsche and several small Skiffs Yes I have seen Class C Motohomes based on Vans, pull fairly lightweight "dinghy's" in the US, but certainly not horse trailers.

@Robert Ryan,
I do agree with DenMick. Vans in the US do tow more than say a Focus or Camry. But do they tow more than pickups? Prime movers? Then again I don't really see large amounts of pickups towing or carrying anything in the bed with normally one passenger.

No, most vans I see aren't towing. If they did tow as much as this guys states do you think the manufacturers would begin introducing Euro style vans? They would design vans better able to tow large weights.

I do think there is, again some distortion in this guys argument. His arguments tend to not add up. Part fact, much dream.

@Robert Ryan, BAFO - I see fullsize vans towing horse trailers every day. But I wouldn't say fullsize vans do a lot of towing in general. I didn't bring up the topic. RWD is obviously better for that. Although most vans will tow at some point. And it's rare to see a fullsize van without a tow hitch. They don't come with them stock, so what does that tell you?

None of your URLs showed that. If you see them everyday, it should be easy to post a photo

Australian road train


Road trains in America


None of them are FWD


@Robert Ryan -





I could bring up dozens more, but I know it's a pointless exercise you're running me through. I know you're not stup!d and capable of searching yourself. Trolling no doubt. Or which is it?

But fullsize vans can tow anything you throw at them. Like towing cars, travel trailers, yachts, you name it. Why wouldn't they? They're trucks, Goofy...

Outside one of those you selected was not a full size Van(it was a Mercedes Sprinter), what they are towing is no better than what this FWD Ducato is. There are better tow rigs but a E350/E450 is not one of them

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