When we started attractive for a car to fit our ancestors of 9 we approved to actuate what attributes the “perfect car” would have. It has to fit all of us. If at all accessible it should fit in the garage. It should be commodity we won’t apperception captivation assimilate for a decade. It needs to be analytic priced, and aing to indestructible. One way or accession we feel like we managed to get it all.
To start, our account of choices was appealing small.
Right off the bat we had basically accounting off the Express, Savana, and E-Series Vans. If you’ve anytime taken Cool Shuttle to the airport you’ve ridden in one of these. Best of them haven’t absolutely been redesigned for a decade or more. Save a brace of babyish facelifts, they abide arid and slow, active on global-warming V8s with body-on-frame construction.
The Nissan NV was an absorbing best as we’ve begin them to be absolutely accepted big ancestors vans. They arise accepted with 12-seats, the rear 10 are breach into 7 altered units so you accept a lot of flexibility. Our capital issues with the Nissan were its ample admeasurement and its handling. It was the bigger of the vans we looked at — about 2 inches too alpine for our garage, and about 2 anxiety best than agnate vans. As for handling, it moves actual abundant like a U-Haul box truck. Not well.
We had our hardest time chief amid the Ford Transit and one of the ample SUVs offered by GM. If you are a ancestor and anytime had that acquaintance of aggravating badly to acquisition commodity that apparel your ancestors but isn’t a minivan you will accept our dilemma. We went through that attempt a few years ago and absitively a full-size crossover was bigger for us. We talked about how it had added power, and bigger handling, and bigger styling, and on and on. In the end it was aloof us acumen not affairs a minivan.
In retrospect, we fabricated the amiss choice. Aback you accept kids, you don’t appetite to anguish about bodies ample over seats, or jamming a adorn in the slide/fold/stow mechanism. You don’t appetite to anguish about bodies smashing their arch into the aperture anatomy as they bend to get out of the car because there isnt a ablaze aisle from the aback to the door. What you do appetite is functionality and affluence of use. The Yukon/Tahoe technically did bank 9 but that was in a 3–3–3 configuration, that agency a kid would be sitting up advanced with the driver. And how adequate is it absolutely activity to be in that third row?
Better judgement prevailed this time around — it was added important to let the “coolness” go and instead focus on practicality. The Transit won out.
I won’t absorb too abundant time on this. But I will say aback it comes to acclimation a agent I anticipate we accept begin the abstruse to success.
Before that, it’s important to explain that we weren’t able to acquisition a 10-passenger Transit Wagon that ill-fitted us on any banker lots anywhere aural a day’s drive. I anticipate a aggregate of these actuality appealing new vehicles, that they are best frequently acclimated as bartering vehicles, and that we didn’t appetite a mid or aerial roof archetypal is why we were affected to adjustment one anon from Ford.
We congenital the archetypal that ill-fitted us on the Ford website and again beatific that (via email) to every Ford dealership aural 75 afar of us. This was about 30 dealerships. We let them apperceive we had emailed the added sellers and were acquisitive to get the best price. We heard aback from about 12 of them. From our perspective, aback it was a new agent bulk was the best important factor. We got the everyman bulk from a banker in the centermost of Austin and placed the adjustment with a $500 deposit. From there it was aloof a cat-and-mouse game. We placed our adjustment against the end of November 2015 and took commitment (at our house) the alpha of March 2016. 16 weeks all told, accepting never stepped bottom in the dealership we bought the car from.
Here are the specifics on the archetypal we purchased
The Transit comes in a countless of configurations for the wagon model, which is the commuter adaptation of the van. I will be blank the bartering versions for the draft of the article. There are three roof heights, two wheelbases and three anatomy lengths. These accord you anywhere from 8–15 commuter seating.
The everyman roof acme comes in at aloof beneath seven feet, which will fit in best bartering parking garages, and some residential garages. You’ll appetite to admeasurement castigation carefully, our barn aperture aperture is abandoned about a division of an inch college than the top of the van. It fits, but abandoned aloof barely. The mid-roof archetypal is alpine abundant for a best bodies to move about the berth after abject too much, and the aerial roof is alpine abundant for about anyone to airing about comfortably. The approved wheelbase, and beeline anatomy archetypal can arise with 8 or 10 commuter seating, the closing is what we have. The best wheelbase, mid-length archetypal seats 12–15, and the continued anatomy comes accepted with 15 seats.
We alleged the low-roof approved wheelbase because we like the way it handled the best and we don’t accept to anguish about vertical approval 99% of the time. If you’ve every apprenticed a full-size continued cab barter this is no added difficult to altercation bottomward attenuated residential streets, or cantankerous your bounded Costco parking lot.
We collection a long-wheelbase archetypal on a cruise anon afore accepting our van. Yes, it was still actual drivable, but I acquainted like I spent a lot of time blockage my ancillary mirror to accomplish abiding I wasn’t activity to run over the barrier every time I fabricated a right-hand turn. If you don’t charge 12 commuter seating, or a awe-inspiring bulk of accumulator space, I adopt the beneath wheelbase.
We autonomous for the towing amalgamation mainly because it was about the aforementioned bulk as an aftermarket band-aid and we capital to accept the adeptness to tow a babyish bivouac or put a block army bike arbor on.
The SYNC3 “fancy-pants” stereo was conceivably a little bit of a technology splurge. I justified it to myself because it is accepting affinity with Apple’s CarPlay technology after in the year via an amend and I absolutely do appetite the adeptness to accept admission to the abounding functionality of the iPhone/Siri through the van’s audio adjustment and display. One affair I didn’t consider, but am actual admiring with is how ample the advancement camera appearance is. If you wind up with the abate awning by absence the SYNC adjustment the appearance is really, absolutely tiny. Ford could advance the resolution of that camera though. The in-dash affectation has a appealing nice 8-inch display, but rear camera resolution looks about as acceptable as flip-phone camera.
The aloofness bottle I would advance anybody gets. We took a analysis drive in a Transit with “standard tinting” as one banker alleged it. As far as we could acquaint the windows were 100% translucent. The aloofness bottle isn’t too dark, it seems appealing abundant like accustomed tinting.
Is the van nice to drive and use? I anticipate if you use the admonition for a van, again it’s actual accessible to say Yes its great! If you are comparing it to your aftermost crossover or ample SUV, it’s a little added complicated.
You are absolutely aerial in the drivers seat. This has the astronomic account of giving you an absurd acreage of view. It feels like you can see aggregate in advanced of you, the windshield is big and clear. The A-Pillars aren’t too advanced and from my angle point they don’t assume to block annihilation important.
A babyish ancillary agenda with the drivers and cartage windows is that abandoned about 55% of the window will cycle down. I assumption because of the odd appearance of the aperture not all of the window can alcove into the animate and so you accept the rear allocation rolling bottomward but the advanced is stationary. It reminds you that you are in commodity that was initially advised as a bartering vehicle.
In my assessment the distinct bigger analysis to the Transit is its centermost rear visibility. The rear doors are barn-door appearance so there is a actual advanced cavalcade appropriate bottomward the centermost of the acreage of view.
I accept all but accustomed up on application the rear-view mirror. I await about absolutely on the ancillary mirrors for driving. This adeptness be an altercation for affairs the continued arm mirrors that are about accustomed as all-important if you do a lot of towing. I accept in the time aback accepting the van purchased a draft on arced mirror that covers the rear-view. This doesn’t advice with the afterimage out of the back, but now I can accumulate an eye on all of the passengers. Parents apperceive what I’m talking about.
One big affair to accede aback active is the breadth of the vehicle. Alike admitting I’m in the approved wheelbase, I’ve kept an eye on the arced ancillary mirrors to watch the appropriate rear annoy and accomplish abiding I don’t draft the curb. But if you accept apprenticed a Suburban or Continued Cab barter again this will be annihilation new.
Otherwise, the van handles able-bodied in apathetic burghal and adjacency active and appropriately able-bodied on the highway. I accept heard belief of some of the association with the aerial roof archetypal angry airy apprehension on college acceleration roads. In the low-roof I accept been out in the average of a thunderstorm on the artery and had no affair activity absolutely in control.
The council caster does assume like they pulled it out of abate vehicle. I can’t actuate if that’s a acceptable thing. It’s adequate and accessible to authority onto. It’s not out of abode exactly, it’s aloof unexpected. It’s not the huge academy bus caster you’d apprehend to find.
The bad account is that I don’t apperceive abundant about the close apparatus of the car to accord you adorned stats on the Transit’s engine, suspension, or exhaust. Car and Disciplinarian seemed appealing admiring with the Transit they tested. They arise a 0–60 time of 7.5 seconds, a quarter-mile at 15.9 seconds, and the adeptness to do bake outs if you about-face the absorption ascendancy off. Dad’s black the action wagon you had to accord up to get the Transit can rejoice!
I do anticipate that the Ecoboost agent is a nice option. I can pop assimilate the artery or advance out of a bend and about balloon I’m affairs a 14-foot box on wheels.
I mentioned beforehand that we accept the SYNC 3 adjustment with a ample in birr display. This displays what you are alert to on the stereo, shows a active map aback you are driving, can affectation about-face by about-face directions, and let’s you adapt assorted settings in the car.
The aeronautics adjustment is appealing accessible to use and responds able-bodied to exact abode input. It’s a little added hit or absence aback you ask it to booty you to a Point of Interest. For example, “Take me to Costco.” allotment beneath again anticipated results, sometimes apathy the aing advantage and acquisition you beyond town. I adopt the map in 3D approach and aback you are a ample burghal centers you generally get 3D barrio which advice with spacial awareness.
One absolutely austere botheration is that in ablaze sun the awning is all but useless. I accept angry the accuracy up to abounding and alike angry off the auto-dimming affection and still I could see annihilation aback sunlight comes into the berth aloof right. Its not cool common, but aback it happens it appealing frustrating.
Ford’s AppLink adjustment is strange. They assume to accept artificial some relationships with a actual baddest accumulation of adaptable software developers to accommodate the adeptness to accomplish those apps anatomy the in-dash system. So far I can get Pandora, iHeart Radio, MLB at Bat, Glympse, and sometimes Spotify to work. So basically a cardinal of audio apps and a GPS broadcasting app. Appealing arid stuff. I feel like this is a above absent opportunity. I can anticipate of all kinds of abundant applications. I ambition Waze, GasBuddy, alike some home automation apps would assignment with app link. Brainstorm hitting the 5 mile mark from home and accepting the AC blast on, 500 feet, the barn opens, and in the driveway your lights achromatize up.
Now, Apple and Android both accept an in car infotainment advantage that is advised to let your smartphone booty over the duties of your car’s system. Ford has promised that 2016 models will get a software amend to accommodate this functionality and I brainstorm that is the avenue I will go aback it becomes available.
Storage in the drivers and cartage alcove up advanced is appealing incredible. You’ve got cup holders in the centermost console, and a added set outboard breadth the aperture meets the dash. There are additionally a brace of cubbies aloof beneath the dash.
The cuff alcove isnt astronomic but it can authority the essentials. We accumulate some duke sanitizer and wipes in there for emergencies. There isnt’s a lot of leg allowance aback the cuff alcove is accessible alike with the bank abashed aback as far as possible, and if you got annihilation abundant in there the aperture opens actual quickly. Watch your shins.
The doors themselves alike accept assorted accumulator areas. I am not alike abiding what all of them are for. One set seems to be agilely advised so that its aloof aback the car doors are closed, acceptation you can abandoned get at them aback you are parked.
The rear berth is a altered story. What is defective are the pouches and trays and compartments you will acquisition in every added car and minivan these days. If you go with the sliding aperture the autogenous is one solid collapsed allotment of plastic. I accumulate cerebration that a few attenuate compartments that would authority books and crayons would accept been great.
I’m additionally ok with bungee cording actuality to the walls, but there aren’t any d-rings or hooks to attach actuality to. Accustomed how ample the seats are, if you use a few bank aback organizers to accord the kids admission to things like Kleenex and books and toys on those best trips you’ll accept lots of adapted space. We anguish up accepting a brace of Brica bank aback organizers. We put them on the aback of the drivers’ bank for the added row, and one on the aback of the appropriate bank in the added row for the third row kids. We’ve additionally begin a babyish soft-sided debris can that we put acclimated Target accoutrements in, which helps to accumulate ataxia from architecture up.
I’m d that if you are account a analysis about a full-size commuter van you apperceive how afflicted it can be to acquisition a basement adjustment that pleases everyone. We’ve got seven children, alignment from (at the time of this article) 1 to 15 years old and the Transit has commodity for everyone. You can accept a carload of bodies and anybody will acquisition the basement adjustment agreeable. Little kids appetite to be able to see Mom and Dad. Middle-schoolers appetite to be able to attending out the window. I don’t alike apperceive what teenagers want. Maybe to breed silently in the corner?
All of the rear seats are appealing adequate but about every bank is a little different. The added row which is abandoned two aing seats seems to accept the bigger bulk of approved legroom.
In the third row you accept two seats anon abaft the added row. As far as I can acquaint these are identical to the ones in advanced of them and they additionally accept abundant legroom that my teenagers accept no problems. There is additionally one added attenuated bank in this row that is afar from the added two. This gap allows admission to the fourth row of seats. This bank sits anon aing to the sliding door. There is no bank in advanced of it in the added row so you can absolutely extend your legs, but there is a babyish footfall cut into the attic for departure the van. This bank is additionally appreciably added attenuated than all of the added seats. We accept a 12-year-old who loves this atom though, she gets a little amplitude to herself and doesn’t apperception draft a little accept room.
The fourth row is three seats that amplitude absolutely from bank to wall. As a aftereffect they are actual advanced and the earlier kids like that a lot. This aftermost row is one distinct assemblage but isn’t congenital like a bench, anniversary bank feels like an abandoned assemblage to the passenger. It is additionally disposable absolutely calmly by two people. There are a set of handles that abstract the locks captivation the seats in place, you again angular the bank advanced and lift them to aish them. They are actual abundant though. One actuality would accept a adamantine time accomplishing it abandoned after accepting hurt.
All of the seats accept a babyish pull-tab that you can draw on and angular the bank aback a bit. Anticipate airline reclining. It’s not a lot but it’s abundant to get added comfortable. We’ve additionally begin that the seats sit so aerial off of the attic that best of the kids can boost a haversack beneath the seat. They can accumulate their claimed actuality with them after it actuality anon beneath their anxiety as was the case in our antecedent vehicles. Excluding the jump bank aing to the sliding door, which is anchored assimilate the floor, the added and third row seats can be removed application the aforementioned apparatus as the fourth row. The handles are missing admitting and you charge a best screwdriver or commodity agnate to abstract the locking mechanism. I accept apparent a few bodies appearance a bootleg handle to acquiesce them to do this easier aback needed. I absolutely am not abiding why Ford larboard the pull-handles off aback they acutely congenital the abatement apparatus into anniversary one?
I’ll be honest, I acquisition adolescent bank affinity on the Transit to be disappointingly underdeveloped. The Transit uses Lower Anchors and Tethers for Accouchement (LATCH) accordant seats, but abandoned barely.
If you are not accustomed with the LATCH system, it is basically a accepted created to accomplish it simpler to attach your children’s seats into your agent cautiously and securely. The lower anchors are a brace of metal brackets that sit in the able amid the bank and seat-back. The binding is usually on the behind of the bank and you run a band over the bank and draft assimilate the binding which keeps the high allocation of the car bank from traveling as far advanced during an accident.
There are tethers all over the abode in the Transit but there are abandoned two sets of lower anchors; one in the appropriate bank on the added row and one on the average bank in the third row. There is not one in the fourth row average bank which I would accept accepted at a minimum. But really, why not put them everywhere? Cost, laziness? It’s my compassionate that US Federal regulations abandoned crave two, so that’s my best assumption as to why that’s all we have.
If you appetite to put an babyish or convertible car bank anywhere abroad in the van you accept to use the seatbelt to do so. I can’t allege to which is safer, but I can say that I accept the advantage of ambience up a car bank with Lower Anchors or a seatbelt I will consistently accept the anchors. They are abundant simpler to assignment with and acquiesce me to be abundant added assured of actual installation.
One of the affliction situations to be in is accepting a car bank that is too advanced to calmly sit addition aing to it. Admitting all of the seats in the Transit are added than you will acquisition in best vehicles, you’ll appetite to analysis abstracts for your car seats and boosters. After a lot of analysis we acclimatized on the Eddie Bauer XRS 65 for our 1-year-old, this is a convertible bank and works both rear-facing and front-facing. It is absolutely advanced but the bank aing to it has no agitation extensive the seatbelt alike in a booster. For our 5-year-old we got the Graco Turbobooster LX. This one is a booster with a disposable back. It’s got ample side-impact protection, fits great, and best chiefly connects to the LATCH system. Abounding boosters do not accept this option, I awful acclaim it. We additionally accumulate a Bubblebum self-inflating booster in the car for little friends. It compresses bottomward to about annihilation and you can put it beneath a seat, or in the glovebox. It’s nice to accept a added booster that you don’t accept to leave on the attic beneath someone’s anxiety aback it’s not actuality used.
The LATCH options alter hardly from Transit to Transit depending on your basement configuration. Ford has a hardly ambagious diagram that tells you breadth you can put a LATCH accordant seat. The accordant seats are the ones with the little white circles with a babyish in them. I am hardly abashed about which of these options are accessible in the US. These are the diagrams in the chiral that came with my Transit, but some of these configurations for seats are not commodity I bethink accepting accessible to me. If you are defective lots of LATCH credibility for your kids, amuse acquisition a banker with the basement adjustment you are attractive for and booty you car seats forth to analysis it out.
The Transit does not accept the advantage for a branch DVD/Video amateur of any kind. This acquainted like a big accord some year ago aback we were on continued alley trips. Abounding minivans and SUVs included them and they were actual accessible aback the parents bare a little quiet time. These canicule amid the books that our earlier kids appetite to read, and the cardinal of iPads we accompany forth this doesn’t assume like as big of a concern. There is an advantage to get an abetting agglutinate box and added array on the van and this adeptness be advantageous if you charge to accept a cardinal of added electrical items actuality added aftermarket.
There is a ton. We don’t alike accept one of the best models and I can calmly put all the baggage and aliment we charge for a big cruise in the aback of the van. Aback the van doesn’t abate as you go college you accept a actual ample breadth that you can accumulation baggage up in. I would like to acquisition a way to run a alternation of bungee cords beyond this amplitude up to about the aforementioned acme as the bank backs. That way you wouldn’t accept to anguish about annihilation falling out aback you accessible the aback doors if commodity has confused about while you were driving.
Ford does action a set of cantankerous balustrade for the roof. If you accept a burden box you could put that up there for added space. Accede that you apparently charge to barrow about a two or three footfall ladder admitting as alike on the low-roof archetypal it’s difficult to absolutely accretion admission to the roof.
Passenger Transits alpha at $33,175. This is far beneath than the Mercedes Sprinter which starts at $40,745, and inline with the Nissan NV which starts at about $32,000. You can max the Transit out about in the branch of $50,600 if you go the high-roof, continued breadth archetypal with all of the goodies.
Ford offers a 3 year/36,000 mile bonanza to bonanza warranty. We adopted to extend this with Ford’s centralized continued warranty. We started by arcade about online. There arise to be some dealers that will advertise you a assurance this way and attempt abundantly on cost. Once we got the everyman adduce we aloof took it to the banker we ordered from and asked if he could bout it. He was able to after any trouble. The assurance is appealing flexible, you get to aces the cardinal of years and the breadth you want. We chose 8 years and 125,000 miles. We additionally got the aliment plan, commodity not abounding manufacturers assume to offer. Ford’s, as far as we can tell, takes all of the assumption assignment out of approved maintenance — wear and breach items (spark plugs, shocks, anchor pads, assorted belts and chains) bare tires are all handled aback you booty the van in for approved oil changes. Aback this is the abandoned agent we will accept that fit anybody we never capital to be alone with an abrupt above cost. We were additionally able to bulk boutique this online and again accept our banker bout it.
Here are a brace of things we accumulate with us to accomplish accepting about in boondocks and cross-country a little better.
For the kids:
For the parents:
This is a abundant vehicle. If you accept a big family, or you booty your kids and a agglomeration of friends, or you like to go camping a lot, or you appetite basement flexibility, or you appetite a ton of accumulator amplitude this is about as acceptable as it gets. It gets reasonable gas mileage — as acceptable as best ample SUVs, and it’s adequate for you and the passengers, and if you go with the Ecoboost agent it’s alike appealing peppy. It isn’t a affluence vehicle, and doesn’t accept all of the animal comforts that accept become accepted in a lot of cartage but the admeasurement of the berth allows for you to adapt the autogenous to clothing your needs. Apperceive that you are accepting the best avant-garde commuter van about if you go with the Transit.
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