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Discussion Starter #1
I am interested in buying a van to replace a worn out Chrysler Town and Country. I know the Chevy Express and the Ford Transit are not a typical consumer van like the Town and Country, but I was hoping to get another van that could be used for a multitude of purposes. Buying a new van like the new Pacifica or Sienna, etc is an option, but really they are too nice to use for some of the things I have subjected the old T&C to over the past several years - carp fishing, hauling dogs to vet, hauling plants and bags of mulch. That is why I am leaning towards either the Express or the Transit. The Transit is definitely nicer than the Express, but the Express seems to have fewer issues.

I have been debating on getting the cargo van vs a passenger van and just taking the seats out. However I hate the way Ford designed the rear HVAC - sticking out in the floor - in the passenger van. Even if you get 5 passenger cargo van the interior is not finished like it is on a Chevy Express 5 passenger option.

Please let me know your thoughts and experiences.


Thanks
 

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Over 4 years ago, we sold our Town & Country to buy our first used Transit wagon for personal use. It cost less than the other options we were considering and gets close enough to the same mpg as the T&C.
Now we have Two other wagons and have not looked back.
 

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Oh, and I drive the MR usually with most of the seats out and use it like I used to use my crew cab super duty. Last week I hauled two pallets of Venetian brick veneer from Miami for a friend. Just threw some plywood over the carpet. Now seats are in place and back to normal use.

Btw zero issues with any of the 3 Transits I've had, they are extremely reliable for us.
 

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I got the 350 XLT 15 passenger for family use. We like it overall but its just not as nice as a minivan. For your use you might consider getting the new 2020 Crew Vans. It would give you the 5 passenger room but also space for the cargo and outdoor stuff you mentioned. Overall the 5k miles I have one mine have been good but its definitely a step back in quality and comfort from my mid grade 2013 Sienna.
 

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Transit as a daily driver here. Planning to get a little compact car but after always having a few surfboards to choose from and instant hot water after my daily surf session its hard to go to a compact car. Oh and I can fit the whole family!
 

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The low roof passenger vans will ride better than a T350HD dually, so keep that in mind when looking at peoples comments. I looked at an Express before buying my Transit. I just couldn't justify the price for what is essentially a 30 year old design. The Express drives like a truck. The Transit, even my T350HD, feel like a big Ford Focus.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I got the 350 XLT 15 passenger for family use. We like it overall but its just not as nice as a minivan. For your use you might consider getting the new 2020 Crew Vans. It would give you the 5 passenger room but also space for the cargo and outdoor stuff you mentioned. Overall the 5k miles I have one mine have been good but its definitely a step back in quality and comfort from my mid grade 2013 Sienna.
The Transit is a lot more expensive than I thought it would be. I was thinking about a MR model but unless you have a taller garage it will never fit.
 

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The Transit is a poor passenger vehicle compared to vehicles designed for passengers like minivans and SUVs.
It is a delivery van, and in wagon form it is a delivery van with seats and wall panels.
It drives and rides like a commercial truck, because it is.
Even Ford pickups ride and handle better (using my brother's F250 4x4's as my example).
It's one advantage is internal size, you can take all 10 of your kids with you to the mall. Or four Shetland Ponies if you take out the last two rows of seats. But the seats are a BEAR to take out; the 3-seat bench must weigh 200+lbs, and the single seats require unbolting to remove. They are NOT like minivan seats!
And they're cheap. Compared to large size SUVs.
 

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Ya, my daily drive.
Can not fathom how people can bear to drive those teeny peanut cars and suvs.
Pickups make no sense either when a van mostly as good but all your stuff is covered.
Do not tell too many people though, the factory is already maxed out and if too many people buy Transits we will have a hard time finding our vehicles at the supermarket lot.
Best to tell everyone vans are really not that good....
.
 

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The Transit is a poor passenger vehicle compared to vehicles designed for passengers like minivans and SUVs.
Compared to such vehicles and modern crew cab trucks (all of which I've had quite a few), the Transit is certainly not as cushy for passengers, yet not poor by any means in our experiences with 3 of them for more than four years. They don't have all the bells and whistles, yet are far far roomier and much more versatile for passengers. Try sitting in the last row of an SUV 😨 or cramming 3 car seats AND adults into one.

Our first wagon had a big tree limb fall on it so we had a series of disappointing rental SUV's for several weeks and could not wait to get our van back. If you want a cushy ride get an Escalade but as for us, we were unhappy with the loaded Suburban we rented (which btw costs way more $$$$)

Once you handle the Transit seats a few times they are manageable, I regularly move, remove, store, and re-install them by myself and I am a small guy. I even did so with the triple seat just last week (150lbs).

I'm not aware of any better option on the market, which is why we happily have two as daily drivers. ymmv 😎
 

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I have the eco 350 15 pass high roof wagon. It is my daily driver, averages 18.5 mpg and is set up as a minimal camper. I can easily take out one small cabinet and put the 3 person bench seat back in. A raised queen platform bed with storage underneath can handle plywood, drywall and other things on. I put down a tarp and carry plants, bags of compost and even small amounts of brush to the dump. One of the dogs goes in a small kennel and the other climbs up on the bed to look out the windows. It can also tow trailers for larger or messier things. Love driving it and have no intention of any other vehicle. Only thing I would and am considering is conversion to 4wd since we moving to and area of more snow.
 

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@asdrew; my comment was directed at car/SUV drivers considering the Transit as a replacement. Most are disappointed in the ride and handling because they are using passenger vehicles as their yardstick. Obviously you and I are fine with the trade-offs. I haven't had a car/SUV as my primary vehicle since High School (80's), so I barely notice the ride...until I ride in someone's CAR! Our little Fiat 500e has a smoother ride that my Transit, and with the right ramps and interior platform could fit INSIDE my Transit.

But back to topic, my comments were things for people who haven't owned/driven a full size light commercial vehicle to consider, also as a disclaimer so they aren't alarmed by the ride. Remember the thread by the guy who was "devastated" about purchasing a Transit wagon because it was not luxury-car comfortable nor meticulously built like his Excursion? when I had a Sprinter, the forum was also filled with posts like that, because Merikuns all think Mercedes only makes luxury cars, so their delivery vans and semis must be luxury, too, right? 🤣
 

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Definitely not passenger vehicle class. But if you’re not to picky they drive well enough to be used as a passenger vehicle. I don’t drive daily but it is the vehicle I use when I do. It does have its challenges. Height (MR) being the biggest. Yes, the seats are very heavy. Changing them in and out I would not want to do often.
 

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My cargo Transit replaced my truck and toy hauler. It hauls stuff from the garden center, lumber, groceries and bigger things like my R1200RT, plus I can sleep in it. It's my multipurpose vehicle. I knew when I bought it, I was giving up some amenities that I had gotten used to in the past 20 yrs. Big difference is the Transit ride is not anything like my '15 F150 King Ranch... and I miss air-conditioned seats. But I'm ok with that, because the transit meets my current needs.
The ecoboost is 'zippy', the longer wheelbase and 100" roof height requires a little extra attention.
I'm happy with mine.
 

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My Transit is my daily driver. My mileage is 18.5 MPG with a fair amount of Seattle stop&go.

Other vehicle is a Mini Cooper. It has the automatic trans and gets about 21 MPG. (way less than expected). Uses premium gas so cost per mile ends up being a little more and I have a lot of trouble fitting even one mountain bike in it :)
 

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I continue to be shocked by claims of 18+mpg average with gas engine Transits. Me and 98% of other gas engine Transit owners must have bought lemons. I drive like an old man and have averaged 15.3 over 70k miles. Yes, I do get 18mpg on the highway at 65mph, that is my best MPG, not my average.
 

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I get up to 18 mpg in town. 15 mpg highway. Has to be the difference between wind resistance at 30-40 mph vs 70 mph. Apparently my small town (100,000 pop) doesn't have enough red lights. I got around 15 mpg around town when I lived in Milwaukee.

Your other point about appropriate expectations. I think the ride and handling of the Transit is incredible. Because I'm comparing it the old Econoline as one should, not a Sienna or E-Class or MINI or current trucks designed for mall cruising.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I got the 350 XLT 15 passenger for family use. We like it overall but its just not as nice as a minivan. For your use you might consider getting the new 2020 Crew Vans. It would give you the 5 passenger room but also space for the cargo and outdoor stuff you mentioned. Overall the 5k miles I have one mine have been good but its definitely a step back in quality and comfort from my mid grade 2013 Sienna.

I have looked at the crew van, but I wish Ford would have finished the rest of the interior instead of stopping at the 2nd row of seats. Chevy has a 5 passenger crew van and it is finished on the inside. The two tough decisions for me when deciding between the Transit and the Express are the roof options and the availability of AWD on the Ford. I tend to overthink things so I have a bad case of the "what ifs". Do I see a need for a medium roof van at first glance - probably not - but then I think I would rather have it if the need came around.
 
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