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2014 Ford Transit arrives in Australia

Ford's in Transit - the one-tonne Transit Custom gets a two-tonne stablemate. 

Meet Ford's new Transit. This is the two-tonne big Transit, joining the one-tonner that went on sale earlier this year. Somewhat confusingly, the small Transit is called the Transit Custom and the big Transit is just called Transit.

The Custom is a competitor for Hyundai's iLoad and Toyota's HiAce and the biggie competes against the likes of the Mercedes Sprinter and Renault Master.

The big Transit comes out of the same factory in Turkey as the Custom model but that's where the commonality ends. It uses a different chassis and is rear-wheel drive. The Custom is a front-driver, which is fine in smaller vans as it costs less and is more fuel efficient. Rear-drive better suits vehicles carrying heavier loads because more weight is on the rear of the vehicle and it is able to get better traction.

Cargo volume ranges from 11 cubic metres to 15.1, or up to five Euro-style pallets

Transit variants include three vans and two cab-chassis, one a single cab and the other a crew cab. The base 350L has mid- and high-roof options. Ford Australia says it will introduce a passenger van version, which has the largest curtain airbag in production, at some stage next year.

Prices start at $47,680 for the 350L with single rear wheels - all other models have twin rear wheels for better traction and load distribution - and rises to $52,680 for the 470E Double Cab Chassis The Transits all share a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, an updated version of that in the Ranger workhorse. It comes in one tune only, with 114kW at 3500rpm and 385Nm from 1600rpm-2300rpm, and is fitted with fuel-saving stop-start tech (Ford has not released fuel figures).

Initially, the transmission will be six-speed manual only. A torque converter automatic under development for both Transits may be up to two years away.The payload for the Transit ranges from 1122kg to 2500kg and the maximum combined mass is 4490kg. Cargo volume ranges from 11 cubic metres to 15.1, or up to five Euro-style pallets.

As with the Transit Custom, Ford Australia specified the local Transit models with an impressive amount of standard safety features including front, side and curtain airbags, trailer sway control and electronic stability control - which is configured to account for how the vehicle is loaded.

Paired to a mobile phone, the Transit can call emergency services automatically in the event of a crash.Cruise control is standard as is a digital radio, Bluetooth audio streaming and phone connectivity, airconditioning, 3.5-inch dashboard screen and steering wheel-mounted audio and phone controls.