2020 Ford Transit: Is it Better?

For 2020, the Ford Transit cargo and passenger vans have seen some welcome updates. Though it isn’t a complete redesign, the popular full-size van gets a mid-cycle refresh. Some changes are cosmetic, while some of them go deeper. But is the new 2020 Ford Transit better than its previous models?

The AWD drive option allows this full-size cargo van to drive through snow
AWD provides enhanced traction on icy, snowy or muddy roads | Ford Media

Apart from the all-new grille and headlight updates, what else is new for the full-size 2020 Transit? Instead of just switching up the popular 150-Passenger and cargo vans, the entire lineup has seen improvements. What’s new and what does the new Ford van have on previous model years? How does the 2020 model year differ from its predecessors?

The Ford Transit leads the full-size cargo van segment

According to Autotrader.com, the Ford Transit is the full-size van leader in the US. In order to stay at the head of the pack, this cargo carrier is digging deep. From powertrain improvements to increased efficiency, the 2020 mid-cycle refresh covers a lot more than a few cosmetic changes.

Ford has released some brand new configurations. A first-ever crew cargo option gives this van a huge edge in the current market. Additionally, the cargo and passenger options offer completely fresh powertrain options––including available AWD to keep the Transit on a level playing field with its greatest competitor, the Mercedes Sprinter.

Blue 2020 Ford Transit Trail van driving through a construction site
2020 Ford Transit Trail | Ford

All-new powertrain options

In terms of a new powertrain, the 2020 Ford Transit sees an updated three options. These updates include increase power and efficiency. The full-size cargo van keeps the turbocharged 3.5 liter V6 from the 2019 model. This engine creates 310 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. New for this range-topping powerplant, however, is the addition of start-stop technology for better fuel economy.

That tweaked turbocharged V6 is where the carryover stops. The previous 3.7 liter V6 is replaced by a new naturally aspirated 3.5 liter and it’s said to increase fuel efficiency. This V6 gives up to 275 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, according to Car and Driver.

a white work van towing a trailer
2020 Ford Transit | Ford Media

The old 3.2 liter 5-cylinder diesel will no longer come as an option. Now, a 2.0 liter turbo diesel will take over. Autotrader says that Ford claims the new diesel engine betters the current 185 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque in addition to boasting increased fuel efficiency. All of the Ford Transit engine options are paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission that is now standard across all of the vans.

Does the 2020 Ford Transit have AWD?

One of the most exciting changes of the refresh is the all-new available AWD option. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter might be a little intimidated by the full-size Ford vans now. In order to compete as not only a cargo van but also an overlanding passenger vehicle, the 2020 Ford Transit introduces a factory AWD option.

This new AWD system that the Transit received is partial to the rear drivetrain but fully capable of sending all of its torque to the front. So if you need it, it’s there. But it’s not active all the time, which allows for better fuel ratings. It also includes a variety of traction modes. All this without increasing the height of the van, so stepping into or loading the Transit remains a simple task.

The 2020 Crew Cargo

The redesigned Ford Transit also gets a completely new option. The crew van option for the cargo Transit seats 5 passengers in two rows of seating up front. This is a gamechanger for work fleets that want to transport cargo and crew in the same vehicle.

A 2020 Ford Transit Cargo van on a construction jobsite
The 2020 Ford Transit Cargo | Ford Media

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How much does the Ford Transit cost?

The 2020 Ford Transit starts from $36,005 for the cargo van T-150, according to Car and Driver. The Passenger wagon starts at $41,675, and the crew van T-150’s price starts at $38,215. This is a little on the high end for its class. But the Transit van brings a lot to the table––including a long list of driver-assist and safety features––for its price-point.