Ford unveils 2016 Transit vans with more configurations, improved SYNC 3 interface

Updated Jun 8, 2015
A 2016 Transit high-roof model with dual sliding side cargo doors.A 2016 Transit high-roof model with dual sliding side cargo doors.

Though the pickup is still by far the king of the construction jobsite, Ford has enjoyed sizable success in commercial applications with its new Transit vans. In November, the Transit became the best-selling van in America. On Thursday, the automaker revealed the 2016 models.

Though the vans did not receive an exterior makeover for the upcoming model year, they do boast several key improvements that just may make them a bit more attractive for those contractors considering them as tool or service trucks.

Most notably, the Transit, medium- and high-roof vans will have the option of dual sliding side cargo doors for the first time. The addition brings the total number of configurations customers can choose from on the Transit to 58, up from 47.

Ford is also making the SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system available as an option on the vans. This is the latest version of SYNC which will debut later this year with the 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta. Ford says the new system is faster, does a better job at understanding commands and features a new, capacitive touchscreen that performs more like a smartphone or tablet. (Previous and current versions of Sync use the mushy, resistive screens.)

SYNC 3 will connect with your iPhone for eyes-free Siri support. The Verge reports SYNC 3 equipped vehicles will eventually be able to upgrade to Apple’s CarPlay Google’s Android Auto interfaces.

A rearview camera and a trailer hitch assist feature will come standard on the 2016 Transit. Ford says trailer hitch assist, “automatically engages when the vehicle is shifted into reverse and displays a graphical overlay on the screen that helps guide drivers to line up a hitch with a trailer.” Customers interested in the 2016 Transit cutaway and chassis cab models will have the option to display the area behind the vehicle on the rearview mirror.

The 2016 Transit, Transit Connect and Transit Connect wagon will all be available at Ford dealerships in September.