Ford Transit VO van review

By: Matt Wood

The Ford Transit range has quietly expanded with the addition of the Transit VO, a larger rear-wheel drive variants to compliment the front-wheel drive Transit Custom.

Ford Transit VO van review
Ford Transit VO.


The 1-tonne capacity Ford Transit Custom was launched last year and has been priced to compete against the Toyota monopoly on the urban van market.

But the 1- to 2-tonne capacity variants take the fight to the Volkswagen Crafter, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Fiat Ducato and the Renault Master.

As you’d expect a 12-seat capacity bus variant (410E) is also on offer to compete with all of the above.


Under the bonnet the entire range uses the same 2.2-litre turbo diesel common rail injection (TDCI) Puma engine found in the smaller Ford Transit Custom.

Power output is slightly higher though with 114kW at 3,500rpm and 385Nm at 1,600-2,300rpm on tap.

A start/stop engine function is standard equipment across the range.


Like the smaller model, the Ford Transit VO is only available in 6-speed manual guise which puts it at a huge disadvantage in comparison with the competition.

All manufacturers competing for a slice of the pie in this part of the market have either and automated or torque converter automatic option available.

Cab and Controls 

Like the smaller Custom, the Transit does have a few clever little tricks up its sleeve.

The Transit VO range uses the Ford Sync based emergency assist function that detects when both the airbags have been deployed and the fuel pump shut off in an accident.

This system is also used across the car range; the system will then call Triple 0 automatically. However, this will only work if you have your phone connected to Sync via Bluetooth. It’s also dependent on mobile coverage.

The layout of the cockpit of the new van is extremely car like and identifiably a member of the global Ford family.

There are a couple of 12-volt power outlets to charge things on the go and there’s also another located back in the cargo area as well.

Under the passenger and centre seat lays a massive storage compartment for those needing even more places to lose stuff.

Outside there’s not a lot of variety in the colour schemes available with white and Moondust silver the only options.

From a safety perspective the Ford Transit VO gets the full suite of stability control features including dynamic stability control (DSC), anti-lock braking system and (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), traction control system (TCS), rollover mitigation, load adaptive control, torque vectoring control and trailer sway control. So it should be pretty hard to crash.

A city pack option for the van and bus models is available for an extra $1,500.

This includes front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera and front fog lamps.

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Dubbed the Ford Transit VO, the bigger van models start with the 350E (1,295-1,267kg payload) and leap up to the jumbo 350L (1,122kg payload), which are available in single or dual wheel guise. The 4.5-tonne GVM 470E is available as a jumbo van (1,946kg payload) and as a single or double cab-chassis (2,500kg payload).

Wheelbases start at 3,750mm and top out at 3,954mm. The jumbo 350E and 470E van models are standard with a high roof while the rest of the range makes do with a standard mid-roof.

The high roof is an option on the long wheelbase 350L van.

Load volumes range from 11 cubic-metres to 15.1 cubic-metres.


We’ve only driven the Transit Custom model to date and it proved to be nippy little van to punt along.

The 2.2-litre engine is a willing performer though it’s performance may be dulled a little in the larger variants even with the higher output for the Ford Transit VO range.


The big Achilles heel of the Ford Transit range is the lack of a two-pedal option; the Australian market demands at least the choice of a selfshifter.

The concern in Australia is not around the product itself but more around the company’s lack of will to really market it effectively.

The lack of visibility of the Ford in the market place is a tad perplexing.

The Transit really is a better van than that.



Make/model: Ford Transit VO

Engine: 2.2-litre Puma TDCi

Power: 114kW / 385Nm

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Payload: 1,295kg-2500kg depending on variant

Capacity: 11 cubic-metres to 15.1 cubic-metres

GVM: 3550kg-4490kg

Price: $47,680-$52,680 GST incl. Manufacturers List Price

Warranty: five years / 200,000km factory warranty



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