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First of all, I'm very happy overall with my new Transit and happy I bought it. It's capabilities combined with relative economic operating costs are well suited to the things I need it for. I boasted about all the things I like about it in another thread. I've had it long enough now to mention a few of the less glorious things about it.

Here goes;

1) Now, consider my setup with rack and ladders installed which adds to wind drag. It's not the best highway cruising vehicle for people who like the 70mph + speeds. At 65 and below its pretty decent. Above that, wind drag makes the little 2.0 four banger work pretty hard. Because the smaller engine has less torque, the final drive gear is lower. It revs about 2600 rpm at 65mph. Come to a moderate hill and the transmission kicks down to maintain speed. Add a head wind and it happens more frequently. At speeds lower than 65mph this happens much less. Most of my driving is not on the highway so its not a big deal for me. When I am on the highway, 65 is good enough. But for those of you who like to boogie in the fast lane, pick a different vehicle.

2) My model is a passenger platform with a split rear bench seat. The rear seat makes a comfortable place to work on the laptop. So, I get out of the drivers seat, slide it forward for extra rear seat legroom and hop in the back. One awkward thing is closing the rear sliding while sitting inside. Other sliding door vans I have had you just grab the handle with one hand and yank the door closed. This method does not work with the Transit. You have to twist your body towards the door, simultaneously disengage the latch with one hand and grab the pillar with your other hand and pull the door closed. Its not hard for me to do but still quite awkward. From a passenger vehicle standpoint, they need to improve that.

3) Also related to the passenger model configuration, mine has the rear most side vent style windows. The latches are cheap and sticking your fingers under the weather stripping and pulling out on the glass feels like and easy way for a thief to get access. In reality though, a determined their will get into any vehicle. I do have a good aftermarket alarm system which has a bright blue blinking LED on top of the dashboard. Anyone can easily tell from quite a distance that its alarm equipped. My alarm has a Key fob that will page me from more than 1/4 mile away. The alarm siren is pretty loud too. But anyway, chincy rear vent windows on the passenger models.

4) The two front seat cup holders are located (inline) between the driver and front passenger seats. With the narrow design of the vehicle, the front passenger seat does not have an arm rest on the left side as it would obstruct the cup holders. There are no arm rests for the rear bench seat at all.

5) Because the interior cubic foot space is so big, it takes noticeably longer for the heat get you to that comfort zone. The AC function will probably have a similar struggle.

Thats the main things I've noticed so far.

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Thanks for the report. I wouldn't have much of a problem with most of those items but a shifting tranny at every head wind and overpass on the interstate would kill my interest in it. Using high gear to save the clutches would kill off the excellent fuel mileage.

Marc

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Thanks for the report. I wouldn't have much of a problem with most of those items but a shifting tranny at every head wind and overpass on the interstate would kill my interest in it. Using high gear to save the clutches would kill off the excellent fuel mileage.

Marc

Not every head wind. But add that with hills and the drag of higher speeds and the kick downs happen. It usually takes an extended incline to force the kick down. Up and down simple overpasses doesn't do it as long as your not driving too fast.

Move to the right and slow down a bit makes a positive difference.

The difference between 60 and 70 mph makes very little difference in destination arrival times.

But again, not a speed demon vehicle.

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Quit your wining, John. We're still jealous.

Hmmmm......I bet if you knew my overall debt level your jealously would fade.

I used to worry about it but now I just make payments on time....always.

.....and forever it will seem.

... And of the major reasons why I really like my 2006 Trailblazer. It has all of 101K miles and runs great. In town I still get 17-19mpg and the occasional $$ I have to spend now and then is far and away better than the payments.

I'm aiming for 200K with my TB. It also 'fits' very well with tools, ladders and simple comfort of driving with good visibility.

.

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I'm aiming for 200K with my TB. It also 'fits' very well with tools, ladders and simple comfort of driving with good visibility.

I had a 2005 Trailblazer. I thought it was the 2nd worst of the 10 inspection vehicles I've had so far. I traded it in after less than 2 years.

John, I had the same experiences with wind (and hills) with a Volkswagen Vanagon "Das Vanawiener". It had a 1.9 litre with a hydraulic three-speed.

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It's fine with me. I like making mechanical things work. An engine under load is music to my ears. I drove it home from the dealer and put the rack and ladders on top from the get go. I bet without that stuff on the roof the transmission kick downs wouldn't be happening. Quite a bit of drag at 70mph with that stuff up there.

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BTW, a good thing is, when it kicks down it stays down until you're at the crest of the hill. Ive had vehicles that would kick down and catch up before getting up the hill. They would continue doing that over and over until you got to the top. Some of the earlier overdrive lock up transmissions were poorly programmed.

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Does the warranty on the van cover commercial applications? It can't be cheap to replace OD clutch plates.

Marc

I've been in the bowels of thousands of automatic transmissions. Very, very few were apart because their clutch plates were worn out. The vast majority of issues are sealing ring failures, band failures and thrust bearing failures.

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It's fine with me. I like making mechanical things work. An engine under load is music to my ears. I drove it home from the dealer and put the rack and ladders on top from the get go. I bet without that stuff on the roof the transmission kick downs wouldn't be happening. Quite a bit of drag at 70mph with that stuff up there.

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I used to carry my 28' extension ladder 24/7. Nowadays I Google the house before the inspection to see what ladder I'll need for the roof. I'm going on close to 3 weeks without needing to load the ladder. I'm able to use my 15' Extend n' Climb for most everything.

I love driving around without the long ladder on my roof.

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Sounds like its performance is comparable to the Dodge Caravan with 4-cylinder I drove for the first 4+ years of this gig. I had that big ladder rack on the roof and used to run into similar experiences when climbing some of the hills around here or getting up to speed on the interstate.

Got a speeding ticket one time that I beat. Normally don't even bother to try but that one pissed me off. The guy was a Seattle city cop who rolled down on the interstate to get to South Seattle. He wrote me for 78 in a 55 and said he'd paced me and that it had taken him a mile and a half to catch up to me. I went downtown and told the magistrate that I'm a retired cop and don't mind getting tickets when I deserve them but to be ticketed on a pace by a city cop on the interstate. who was using closing speed as a pace speed, when I was driving a vehicle that starts shaking like the space shuttle trying to break free of the atmosphere when it reaches 70 mph was pretty ridiculous. The magistrate actually chuckled when he voided the ticket.

Wish that Seattle cop had showed up for that hearing; I would have like to have said, "Better luck next time, Rookie," to him.

It's amazing how much of a difference driving into a headwind can have on performance when one drives one of these vehicles with that big sail front profile. When I switched to the first Baja, which had comparable horsepower to the Dodge 4 cylinder, it had been like night and day - when I swapped that one out a couple of years later for the turbocharged version it was a light years difference - although burning premium with the lousy mpg that this thing gets can be painful sometimes.

John, how is that thing in side winds? My Caravan would try to cross lanes during high winds at speed if I wasn't paying attention. Does it come in a V6 version?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

Crosswinds do push it around a bit. Like you mentioned, just slow down and adjust to the conditions.

I'm not aware of a 6 cyl option but there may be a turbo 4 in the 2014 model. That would surely address the limited power issue. Probably add a noticeable difference to the price tag too.

Tom,

I realize I began the criticism of the power issue but consider this. If an engine is occasionally called upon to give all its got, and all it's got is just enough, isn't that a properly sized engine?

For all the things I do, personal and business, I'd buy this thing again if presented the choice.

The rpm jumps from 2500 to 3500 for short spells now and then. It's doing exactly what it's supposed to do.

But you're right Tom, if you like oversized engines, you won't like the Transit.

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It's about right sizing, not oversizing. If you have to downshift to maintain the speed limit on the interstate, it's not right sized. Looking at the mileage estimates indicates it's under powered too. I get that with my big V6 crossover, provided I'm burning gas and not ethanol.

I just looked at the specs, it's heavy too. See for yourself: http://autos.msn.com/research/compare/e ... &v=t115380

I put mine up right next to it for comparison.

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