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Ford loads up with Transit 12-seat Bus

On the buses: The Transit 12-seat Bus has a few rivals in Australia including the Renault Master, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Toyota HiAce Commuter.

New-generation Ford Transit 12-seat Bus arrives from $57,680 plus on-roads

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Ford logo19 May 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

FORD’s 12-seat Transit Bus has arrived in Australian showrooms offering a lengthy standard features list to help it compete against the top-sellers in the small but competitive segment.

Priced from $57,680 plus on-road costs, the Transit 12-seat Bus features a flexible 2-3-4-seat configuration for easy access behind the three seats up front.

This price undercuts a couple of key rivals, including the Renault Master Bus ($59,990) and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter ($79,990), but Toyota’s dominant HiAce Commuter bus is priced from $53,490 for the petrol and $57,490 for the diesel.

The Chinese-built diesel-powered LDV V80 Bus is priced at $39,990 driveaway for the 11-seater and $46,990 driveaway for the 14-seater.

The Transit bus was spied by GoAuto undergoing engineering testing at Ford Australia’s You Yangs proving ground in early 2015, but it remains unclear if that work was for global markets or to ensure it is better suited to local conditions.

It is based on the Transit mid-roof van but has an uprated gross vehicle mass of 4100kg, up from 3550kg, to make up for the additional nine seats.

Ford says the layout makes for a “significant” cargo area behind the fourth seating row.

The 12-seat Bus brings the Transit line-up in Australia to six variants, including 350L LWB Van, 350E Jumbo Van, 470E Jumbo Van, 470E Single Cab Chassis and 470E Double Cab Chassis.

Power comes from a 2.2-litre Duratorq turbo-diesel engine that produces 114kW of power and 385Nm of torque, matched with a six-speed manual gearbox.

It is fitted with Ford’s ECOnetic fuel-saving features, such as idle-stop, regenerative charging, economy gearshift indicator and battery management system that Ford says improves battery durability.

Ford says it is targeting schools, sporting clubs, community groups, members of the transport and travel industry, local councils, rental companies, and government departments with its Transit 12-seat Bus.

“Ford has a Transit model to suit many applications and the arrival of the Transit 12-seat bus further expands the opportunities in this segment,” Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman said.

“The Transit 12-seat bus presents a great option for customers who require an economical, well-equipped and comfortable bus who make a living moving groups on trips big and small.”

Inside, Ford says it has better visibility and a more comfortable driving position than the previous model and the steering column can be adjusted for height and reach.

The new interior features a range of stowage compartments and door storage pockets that can fit an A4 clipboard and a 2.0-litre drink bottle.

Ford engineers worked hard to improve noise, vibration and harshness levels as well as on-road dynamics.

Interior comfort and safety features include the Sync infotainment system with voice control and emergency assistance, cruise control with a speed limiter, leather steering wheel with phone and audio controls, hill-start assist, trailer sway control, a 2500kg towing capacity, torque vectoring, roll-over mitigation, heated and power-folding door mirrors, emergency brake assist and driver, front passenger, side seta and side curtain airbags.

It is available in Frozen White and Moondust Silver – the latter is a $500 prestige paint option – and Ford offers an optional City Pack for $1500 that includes front and rear parking sensors, electro-chromatic rearview mirror, reversing camera and front foglights.

A single front passenger seat that replaces the standard three-seat bench is a $150 option.

2016 Ford Transit pricing*
350L LWB Van$47,680
350E LWB Van$51,180
470E LWB Van$54,180
470E Single Cab Chassis$49,180
470E Double Cab Chassis$52,680
410L LWD Bus$57,680
*Excludes on-road costs

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