About two months ago, the authorised distributor of Ford vehicles in Malaysia; Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) launched the new Transit window van in Malaysia, aimed towards businesses, organisations, anyone looking for a window van to transport large number of people. With a seating capacity of 14 (including driver), the Transit is certainly up to the task.
Priced at RM148,888 on the road without insurance, the new Transit window van, which is available only in Frozen White in this part of the world, is definitely among the most expensive models in its segment that is currently being dominated by China-made 14-seaters that cost less than RM100,000.
So, in order to find out if it is worth spending close to RM150,000 for the Transit, we took it for a spin a few weeks ago to have a closer look and see what it has to offer, and among all the things, it is these five features that impressed us the most:
1) The engine
Powering the Transit is Ford’s proven 2.2-litre Duratorq turbo-diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, producing an output of 155PS and 385Nm of torque. For a vehicle its size, a 2.2-litre engine might sound inadequate but the way the engine pulls the Transit fully loaded with 12 adults both in the city and on the highway is nothing short of impressive.
2) Safety features
Normally, vehicles in this segment only come with the basic safety features. However, the Transit, unlike its Asian competitors, is loaded with features such as Electronic Stability Programme with Fail Boost Support, rollover mitigation, front and rear parking sensors, three-point seat belts for all passengers, second row ISOFIX child seat anchors, Hill-Start Assist, ABS, as well as EBD.
Features like the power operated side steps that automatically extends and retracts when the sliding door is opened and closed, the 180-degree opening rear barn door which comes with two steps, the wide seats, spacious cabin with a ‘walk-way’ for passengers to move around, and USB connectivity make the Transit a very comfortable and convenient vehicle for the driver, as well as passengers of all ages, shapes and sizes. And then, there are all the storage compartments and cubby holes for occupants to stare all their belongings.
4) The Refinement
Compared to the outgoing model, the new Transit’s cabin is significantly more refined, with reduced noise levels and improved ride comfort for passengers. In addition, it also features a redesigned instrument panel, incorporating a range of smart stowage solutions including a large hidden compartment under the dual front passenger seat and door storage pockets that can fit an A4 clipboard and 2-litre drink bottle. Although many components are made of hard plastic, the cabin doesn’t look or feel cheap at all.
5) The visibility
Manoeuvring a vehicle which measures 5.98m long, 2,474mm wide, and 2,481mm tall is no joke. However, thanks to the huge windscreen, windows, the rear ‘barn’ doors with integrated windows, the two-tier side-mirrors and what not, the level of visibility the driver has is top notch, making it easier to drive the Transit through narrow stretches, ‘Lorongs’, and parking lots.
In summary, these are only a few of the things that set the new Transit apart from a few of its rivals, and also put it on par with more premium models like the Mercedes-Benz Vito.
Complemented by its bold new design, car-like interior and outstanding driving dynamics, there is no doubt that the Transit window van will strike a chord with a broad range of organisations and small businesses.