Ford Authority

U.S. Market Ford Transit Trail Differs Substantially From European Version

The U.S. market Ford Transit Trail was revealed earlier this month, but the ruggedized van isn’t entirely new – rather, the model originally debuted in Europe roughly two years ago. However, despite sharing a name, both versions of the Ford Transit Trail differ in a number of notable ways, with the U.S. variant sporting a traditional Blue Oval grille in place of the Raptor-like “Ford” script present on the European version. The U.S. market Transit Trail is also coupled with a trio of amber marker lights. In addition to that obvious difference, there are some other things that set these vans apart, too.

U.S. Market Ford Transit Trail

“The base Transit vehicle between Europe and North America is very similar, but there’s also a lot of uniqueness in different regions because we have different regulatory requirements like safety,” Ray Eyles, Transit Chief Program Engineer, told Ford Authority Executive Editor, Alex Luft, in a recent interview. “Europe is very much about front wheel drive, 7,700 lbs GVWR because that’s the licensing limit for most drivers.”

“So Europe has both the north-south [longitudinal] engine for the higher weights and the east-west [transverse] engine for the lower weights,” Eyles added. “East-west is FWD, and they have an AWD version but that’s a manual transmission on a north-south engine. This [North American] one is very different, there’s not a lot of commonality; we took the concept of what Europe did with the Transit Trail but we took it a lot further. It aligned with what North American customers are looking for in this space.”

European Market Ford Transit Trail

“So we can take the [Transit Trail] brand, since we have brand awareness already, and take what our customers want and kind of stir them up together to produce something like this which would be spot on for our customers [in the U.S.] and the Transit Trail brand. We want it to be more of a lifestyle brand than a product brand – Transit Trail is about the journey, not the destination.”

European Market Ford Transit Trail

In that sense, the Transit Trail is designed to take full advantage of the booming “van life” movement in the U.S. The rugged van, which sits higher is wider than non-Trail Transit models, is upfit-ready and comes equipped with drillable areas designed for the easy installation of things like shelving, cabinetry, and beds. An available Upfitter Package adds an exterior light bar and includes high-capacity upfitter switches, a larger center console, an auxiliary fuse panel with a high-spec interface connector, dual AGM batteries, and a modified vehicle wiring system. Additionally, buyers can also get their custom conversions done via the Ford Pro network of upfitters and interior installers across the U.S.

U.S. Market Transit Trail

The Transit Trail also boasts a a 2.75-inch wider track and 3.5 inches of additional ride height compared to the regular Transit, and is equipped with 16-inch black alloy wheels wrapped with 30.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse all-terrain tires. Power comes from the Ford 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine, which produces 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque in this guise and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission for up to 6,500 pounds of max towing capacity. Inside the cabin, the Transit Trail comes equipped with a 12-inch infotainment screen running Sync 4, a high-resolution digital camera, 110-volt, 12-volt, and USB outlets, and Ford Power-Up software update capability.

The 2023 Ford Transit Trail will be produced alongside other Transit models at the Ford Kansas City Assembly plant, and features a starting MSRP of $65,975.

We’ll have more on the 2023 Transit Trail soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Transit news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. David Dickinson II

    No, I don’t need a new van but…this looks very nice and seems to click every box I’d like in a new van. Does anyone know if you can get a second row of seats, or if it only comes configured as a cargo van? I went on the Ford site and could not tell.

  2. Eric

    I have an E-350 that is rated to tow 10K pounds. I really hope Ford eventually increases the towing capacity of the Transit to the same or more.


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