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Transit earns a standing ovation for its excellent 5-cyl. diesel engine, two wide-swinging rear doors, a side slider and a full-length vinyl floor covering that is heavy-duty, sweepable and easily cleaned.
Ford Transit van swallows up Exhaust Tones’ band gear.
Dig deeply enough into the WardsAuto editorial archive and you’ll find two vehicle test drives geared for a selective audience: rock stars. Or should we say, the people who transport gear for rock stars.
In 2011, it was the fullsizeNV 3500 cargo van that swallowed the amplifiers, drums, guitars, multiple speakers and other essentials for a rag-tag 7-piece rock band of auto writers known as The Exhaust Tones, which has been tormenting dogs in Metro Detroit with sensitive ears for 14 years now.
In 2012, the band tested the smaller but equally capable (and more fuel-efficient) Ram C/V cargo van, a converted and enclosed minivan outfitted for contractors.
Two years later, it’s time to take the all-new ’15Transit 250 HR Van on tour. This is the high-roof big brother to the Transit Connect, a compact and reasonably popular cargo van that competes with ’s Ram C/V, the NV 200 and Chevrolet’s new entry, the City Express.
’s new fullsize Transit is mammoth, going head-to-head with the Nissan NV 3500 we evaluated (and loved) in 2011, as well as the Ram ProMaster.
How big is the Transit? Big enough to fit two Lotus Elans from the 1960s inside, stacked on top of each other. Big enough to fit Keith Richards’ wardrobe and all of his on-stage amplifiers (a wall of nine speaker cabinets and amps) and guitars, as well as the medicine chest of tonics, pain killers and other substances necessary to keep him alive.
The verdict? Ford Transit earns a standing ovation for its two wide-swinging rear doors and a side slider that opens all sorts of possibilities for easy loading and unloading. The full-length vinyl floor covering is heavy-duty, sweepable and – it appears – easily removed for hosing clean.
Every inch of band gear, plus two old doors and a sheet of plywood necessary to stabilize the drum kit at a boat club party at the Lake St. Clair Metropark marina, settled down nicely after a few turns, finding its level much like water does.
The cargo hold is 81.5 ins. (207 cm) tall, but all this equipment didn’t even fill half of it. Some might call it wasted space.
But the driver can see over it through the rearview mirror and two rear windows with no problem at all. Overall visibility isn’t bad, either, even without side windows behind the front seats, thanks to standard and convex mirrors on both sides.