Here are Ford Transit Van Years to Avoid and Best Models to Purchase (Facts & Stats)

Patrick Oziegbe
Published On:

For those looking to own a great work vehicle, the Ford Transit van has always remain a top dog in America and Europe.

This guide is filled with latest facts and information to help you make best decision. Yes the Ford Transit will always remain a top force to reckon with among families and business, but some model years have not lived up to the expectations.

Now before you slip open your wallet, it also wise to have an ample knowledge of which years to avoid and years to pick one to invest in. So sit down to gulp the details in this guide!

TIPS: Our editors also detailed alternative brands with bad and worst years, including sprinter van years to avoid and lesser known brand like Chrysler Town and Country worst and best years and Toyota Sienna to avoid and best models Years to Buy?

Model Years to Avoid and Issues They Have

ford transit years to avoid
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

We’ve compiled a helpful breakdown of some problematic years, as well as specific issues found in those years.

2015 Issues

The 2015 Ford Transit has a handful of reported problems that could make it an unfavorable option for you.

Some of the common issues reported include faulty door latches, electrical system problems, and transmission concerns. Make sure to thoroughly research and inspect any 2015 model you consider.

2016 and 2017 Issues

The 2016 and 2017 models are known to have a few more concerning issues when compared to the 2015 model.

In 2016, there were reports of the 3.7-liter V6 engine abruptly losing all power, which could be dangerous if you’re driving in challenging conditions like heavy rain. It’s crucial to keep these issues in mind while considering a 2016 or 2017 model.

2018 Issues

While not as problematic as the earlier years, the 2018 Ford Transit still has a few concerns that you should be aware of.

Some of the reported issues in the 2018 model involve the braking system, steering, and engine cooling systems. Be sure to inspect and inquire about these areas before deciding on a 2018 Transit van.

2020 Issues

The 2020 Ford Transit marked a new era for the van, with significant changes including new engines and transmissions. While this is exciting, these new features have yet to be tested for long-term reliability.

It’s essential to bear in mind that the 2020 model could potentially face issues related to these new components.

Summary of Model Years to Avoid

Model Year Common Issues
2015 Door latches, electrical system, transmission concerns
2016 3.7-liter V6 losing power, similar issues as 2015
2017 Similar issues as 2016
2018 Braking system, steering, engine cooling systems
2020 Engine and transmission, new component reliability

Keep these model years and their specific problems in mind as you search for your Ford Transit van. Remember, a thorough inspection and background research on any vehicle you’re considering is crucial for a safe and reliable purchase.

Best Used and New Model Years to Buy

In this section, we will discuss the best years of the Ford Transit cargo van to consider when buying. These model years have been praised for their reliability, driving experience, and features.


The 2018 Ford Transit is an excellent year to consider, as it offers both reliability and solid features. With its advanced technological components, it has become a popular choice among van enthusiasts.


Your shopping list should also include the 2019 FT because of its minor updates and improved reliability. This makes the 2019 version a notable member of the best years to buy.


Don’t ignore the 2020 Ford Transit before making your final decision. This model year received a full refresh, offering new engine options and minor cosmetic tweaks.


As you explore your options, the 2021 is worth considering. This model year is known for its sturdy construction and high consumer satisfaction scores, making it a strong contender in the best years to buy.


You should also take a look at the 2022 Ford Transit. Its advanced features and high reliability make it a must-have on your shortlist when searching for the best model years.


Finally, the 2023 FT is another standout in the best years category. Be sure to keep this option in mind while you decide which Ford Transit cargo van to purchase for your needs.

Common Issues and Reliability

There are certain model years that should be avoided due to common issues and high repair costs.

Now let’s discuss the worst problems associated with these models and provide suggestions for repairs and maintenance.

The Worst Problems Are…

Some of the most cited issues for the less reliable Ford Transit years include:

  • Sudden loss of power: Several owners of the 2016 Ford Transit have reported experiencing an unexpected loss of engine power, even on vehicles with low mileage.
  • Transmission issues: The 2015 and 2016 Ford Transit models are often criticized for their problematic transmissions, leading to costly repairs and reduced performance.

Repairs and Maintenance

There are ways to address and possibly prevent common problems and reduce frustrations:

1. Take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic for regular maintenance, including oil changes and inspections. This can help catch potential issues early before they worsen.

2. If you experience a sudden loss of power, check the engine’s timing chain and fuel pump as potential culprits. Consulting with Ford customer service or your mechanic for guidance can be helpful.

3. Should you encounter transmission problems, have them inspected and repaired by a qualified technician. This may involve replacing parts, reprogramming the transmission, or even a complete replacement.

Regular maintenance and prompt attention to issues can help extend the life of your Ford Transit and retain its reliability.

Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins

Are you aware the Ford Transit has been subjected to several recalls and technical service bulletins (TSBs) over the years?

Rearview Camera Recall

In some FT models, there have been reported issues with the rearview camera. A malfunctioning rearview camera can compromise your safety by not providing a clear image of the area behind your van.

If you own one, check to see if your vehicle is affected by this recall by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website and searching for recalls using your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Various Recalls

Other recalls and TSBs may affect your van. Some 2021-2022 Transit automobiles were reported to have issues with rear doors that do not open or close correctly.

Also, 2017-2023 Ford Transit models equipped with a 10R60/10R80/10R80 MHT/10R100 transmission may encounter whine noise at idle.

Stay informed about any potential problems by regularly checking for updated information on the Ford Recall page or using the FordPass® App.

Best Alternatives To The Ford Transit Cargo Van

Let’s now consider some alternatives to the Ford Transit Cargo Van. These workhorses are equipped to handle a variety of tasks, with excellent payload capacities and options for crew seating.

The Nissan NV stands out as a strong contender in the cargo van market with its powerful engine options and impressive payload capacity.

This van provides ample space for both cargo and passengers, making it an excellent choice for your business or personal use.

Here’s a table summarizing six alternative cargo vans, along with their average MSRPs for new and used models:

Alternative Van Average MSRP (New) Average MSRP (Used)
Nissan NV $30,000 $22,000
Ram ProMaster $31,000 $24,000
Chevrolet Express $32,000 $25,000
GMC Savana $32,000 $25,000
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter $34,000 $30,000
Toyota Proace $28,000 $20,000


Some ideal factors for choosing alternative to Ford Transit Van are intended use, budget, and the available features in each vehicle.

Consumer Feedback and Tech Features

One other vital step before buying is to consider consumer feedback and tech features. While some years tend to have more reported problems than others, it’s essential to take note of what actual consumers have experienced to make a more informed decision.

Many Ford Transit cargo van owners have reported issues with the 2015 and 2016 model years which most be avoided.

As you evaluate other years, be sure to read through reviews and listen to what other owners have to say about their experiences.

Modern Ford Transit cargo vans come with a range of useful tech features that have improved over the years. Some of these features include:

  • Advanced infotainment systems with smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto)
  • Driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Efficient and powerful engine options with different drivetrain configurations, such as front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive
  • Customizable interior configurations to suit your exact needs

As you traverses through the diverse models of Ford Transit cargo van models, it becomes imperative to thoroughly assess the tech features that are available, and their relevance to the everyday driving experience.

Remember to place your core needs and preferences at the forefront of this assessment, whilst keeping in mind that consumer feedback may be subjective and must be weighed against the features available in the various model years.


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