Transit are one of the most successful van models in Europe and have been the best-selling van for more than 40 years. The Ford Transit is a range of Light Commercial Vehicles produced and sold by Ford Motor Company since 1965.
The birth of this van was in Ford Cologne in Germany and was known as Ford Taunus Transit (FK1000). It had 1.3 litre engine (extended to 1.5 litre in 1955) and was very similar to the VW Transporter.
First Generation - Transit MK-1 (1965 - 1978)
Its success had to start somewhere and when the first Transit hit the UK it was a revelation. Space was one of the main advantages of Transit, boasting more room than its competitors. The style very American with its wide body and square shell, which seemed to make a great impact on UK customers. Buyers had so much choice in the Transit offering: pick-ups, minibuses, panel vans, crew-cab versions, with the choice of diesel or petrol engines.
Second Generation - Transit MK-2 (1978 - 1986)
The 1978 upgraded Transit MK-2 was given a facelift, including a new nose and updated interior. The mechanics of the vehicle were also updated, introducing the Pinto engine from the Cortina. The first 'fast' Transit was also manufactured, utilising the Essex V6. An automatic transmission was also available for the first time.
Third Generation - Transit MK-3 (1986 - 1991)
For the third generation of Transit the appearance was totally modified. With its windscreen distinctively slanted to match the angle of the bonnet, and a simple box-like design, it stood on its own on Britain's roads.
Quality of ride and handling was improved by having an independent front suspension system (only on short wheel base models) and load space was increased. The accessibility and visibility were improved, whilst the engines stayed the same. However, the 'fast' Transit engine was replaced with a modern 2.9 fuel-injected Cologne unit.
Fourth Generation - Transit MK-4 (1991 - 1994)
This model had some quite distinct features compared to the MK-3. Aesthetically the same, but the front has slightly rounded headlamps. The fully independent suspension was introduced to the whole range of Transit.
The long wheel base models featured a single-wheel rear axle instead of a paired rea wheel setup, making more room in the already spacious Transit. This was the first time Ford Transit manufactured a turbocharged diesel engine as well.
Fifth Generation - Transit MK-5 (1994 - 2003)
The fifth generation didn't introduce any dramatic changes to its features, and already having 30 years of success why would they want to change. The main additional features were to introduce more comfort into the Transit.
They added options such as; air-conditioning, central locking, airbags, electric windows and electric mirrors to embrace the updated technology at the time. With its spaciousness and comfort combined, Transit was not just seen as a commercial vehicle, but as a handy and practical van for private use.
Sixth Generation - Transit MK-6 (2000 - 2006)
The MK-6 was available in either front- or rear-wheel drive, which was a first for a Transit. This enabled buyers to have the choice between a lower loading height and more space, or improved towing and load carrying capabilities. The Transit also received sharp styling that mirrored that featured on the company's cars of that period, such as the Ford Focus. To gauge their success, in 2005 the fifth millionth Transit rolled off the production line.
Seventh Generation - Transit MK-7 (2006 - Present)
Launched in 2006, the Mk7 Transit featured a host of upgrades and improvements. As well as the facelift, the interior was revamped to make it more comfortable and ergonomic.
This was introduced as a Sport Van, with the sporty trim, racing stripes and large alloys, it made the Transit a different animal. With the new TDCi engines introduced, improving economy and emissions, the Transit was immensely admired among younger drivers.
Eighth Generation - Transit Custom (2012 - Present)
Now the Transit range has split into two with the introduction of the Transit Custom, a one-tonne vehicle which sits between the little Transit Connect and the regular Transit in Ford's van range.
Still in two wheelbases and a variety of cab styles, the Custom takes its design cues from Ford's car range with an interior reminiscent of the Fiesta and Mondeo. A passenger version has also been manufactured, named the Tourneo.
The Future of Ford Transit
The Ford Transit has gone from strength to strength and its ability to embrace the latest technologies in its models will advance the Transits capability and efficiency by leaps and bounds.
To experience the technology, capability and efficiency of Ford's Commercial Range, make sure you book your place at the Transit Show Live between the 16th and 25th May. You can easily book in at one of our many branches in the UK.
There are a total of 40 branches in the UK, you can find a dealer near you:
- Ford Bedford
- Ford Blackburn
- Ford Burnley
- Ford Hull
- Ford Lincoln
- Ford Preston
- Ford Wolverhampton
Ford Transit centres:
- Ford Coatbridge Commercials
- Ford Manchester Commercials
- Ford Glasgow Commercials
We will also have our advisors on hand to demonstrate technologies such as Ford Telematics and provide advice on choosing the best, most affordable van for you.
Book your place