Customers asked, presumably, and Ford listened. The company's European division took the Transit in a more SUV-like direction by expanding the range with two variants named Trail and Active, respectively. Neither are hardcore off-roaders, but the Trail almost looks the part with a grille that's reminiscent of the F-150 Raptor's.
Ford explained it developed the Trail for tough conditions. Visually, it receives a redesigned grille with lettering the company openly describes as "oversized," black plastic cladding over the wheel arches and model-specific 16-inch alloys. The list of standard features includes leather upholstery, air conditioning and a heated windshield.
Drivers can rely on the Transit Trail's mechanical limited-slip differential to power through difficult terrain. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, but motorists who regularly venture far off the beaten path can order all-wheel drive at an extra cost. The system doesn't compromise cargo space, and it adds two driving modes called slippery and mud/rut, respectively. Alternatively, the lock mode splits the engine's output 50:50 between the axles.
The only engine available is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. It's offered with 130, 170 and 185 horsepower. The smaller Transit Custom, which isn't sold in the United States, also receives the Trail treatment, but it can't be ordered with all-wheel drive. Buyers can pay for a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, however.
Although the Trail is surprisingly rugged when it's properly equipped, the Active is much happier to look the part. It follows the path blazed by the Active variants of the Fiesta and the Focus with 17-inch alloys, a model-specific mesh grille, body cladding and roof rails. Note that only the smaller Transit Custom and its people-carrying sibling, the Tourneo Custom, are offered in this configuration. It's not available on the full-sized Transit. Neither is eligible to receive all-wheel drive, though a limited-slip differential is found on the list of extra-cost options.
In the United Kingdom, Ford priced the Transit Trail and the Transit Custom Trail at £35,685 and £29,250, respectively, figures that represent about $45,000 and $37,000. Pricing for the Transit Custom Active starts at £30,000, which converts to approximately $38,000. Autoblog learned from a Ford spokesperson that there are currently no plans to offer the Transit Trail in the United States. All-wheel drive joined the list of options for the 2020 model year, so you'll need to browse your favorite overseas classifieds sites until you find a grille and a set of alloys if you want to build a replica.
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