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by Matt Campbell

There’s a new large van on the Australian scene, with a larger Ford Transit set to take on established players such as the Renault Master, Volkswagen Crafter and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

The Ford Transit will slot in at the top of the blue oval brand’s commercial vehicle range, above the recently added Ford Transit Custom that won CarAdvice’s mid-size van test. Ford has confirmed the larger Transit range will be offered with six different models, all rear-wheel drive.

All variants in the Transit range are powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, which is mated exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox. Despite using the same sized engine it produces more grunt than the smaller Transit Custom, with 114kW of power (at 3500 rpm) and torque rated at 385Nm (from 1600-2300 rpm) – the Transit produces 92kW/350Nm. All Transits have stop-start.

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Three vans will be sold: the entry model is the 350L, which has a 3750-millimetre wheelbase and standard height roof (high roof optional: $1500); the 350E Jumbo has the same wheelbase but features an extended body and has a standard high roof; the 470E Jumbo has the same wheelbase, a further extended body and features dual rear wheels. All vans feature a single sliding side door, and 270-degree rear barn doors. The van range cargo volumes are: 11.0 cubic metres for the 350L; 12.4mfor the 350E Jumbo; and 15.1 m3 for the 470E Jumbo.

There will be two cab-chassis utility models sold: the 470E single-cab, with a longer 3954mm wheelbase, extended frame and standard roof; and the 470E double-cab version, with the same wheelbase, roof and frame. Both cab-chassis versions have dual rear wheels, and the dual-cab version will be available from late September.

A passenger-focused 12-seat bus, known as the 410L, will also be sold in 2015. It rides on the same wheelbase as the vans (3750mm) and features a mid-height roof. The bus has a single rear wheel layout.

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Payloads for the Transit range start at 1122 kilograms for the 350E Jumbo, 1267kg for the high-roof 350L, 1295kg for the mid-roof 350L, 1946kg for the 470L van and 2500kg for the single-cab ute. The dual-cab’s payload is not yet confirmed.

Standard features include digital radio reception, air-conditioning, power front windows, rake and reach steering adjustment, cruise control with speed limiter, a trip computer, an overhead shelf and a hidden storage compartment under the dual passenger seat. There are two 12-volt power plugs that Ford says “can be used to charge tools or laptops without the need for special adaptors”.

All Transit models will be sold with dual front airbags, side seat airbags and side curtain airbags (which stretch to the second row in the dual-cab version), and a range of technologies including Bluetooth phone and audio streaming with auto-dialling for emergency services in the event of an accident, stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, roll-over mitigation, adaptive load control, trailer sway control and three-point seatbelts for all occupants.

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As is the case with the smaller Transit Custom, Ford is offering a City Pack for $1500, which includes front and rear parking sensors, a reverse-view camera, and front fog-lights. It’s only available on the bus and van models.

The van range has three seats as standard (a single passenger bucket seat can be optioned for $150), while the cab-chassis twin-cab model has seven seats (three front, four rear), matching its rival, the Renault Master.

Despite the provided images showing a number of different hues, the Australian Transit range is available with two colour choices only – white, or Moonlight Silver (adds $385).

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Ford is offering the same ownership protection on the Transit as it does on the smaller van, with a five-year/200,000km warranty.

2015 Ford Transit pricing (plus on-road costs):

350L van – $47,680

350E Jumbo van – $51,180

470E Jumbo van – $54,180

470E single cab-chassis – $49,180

470E double cab-chassis – $52,680

410E 12-seat bus – TBC