Originally Posted by etex211
There may be some confusion here between the Transit and the Transit Connect.
I was thinking the same thing.
Ford Transit Van or Wagon = Full sized rear wheel drive van.
Ford Transit Connect = Small(er) sized front wheel drive van.
For a while I was thinking about going to a used Ford Transit van with standard height roof. The similar names make searching for deals/information a real PIA.
The Ford Transit, Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter, and Dodge Promaster vans are all Euro type design. They are not the heavy built Detroit iron. (Perhaps overbuilt for many people's needs?) Within the tow rating the Euro style vans will tow decently. As has been mentioned, they will not tow at high speeds without working a bit hard. The engines are relatively small displacement especially when compared to many Detroit iron V8's and diesels.
That said, my Euro style Sprinter has held up to towing just fine. It now has over 293,000 miles on the clock. I just picked up a 2006 Sprinter fairly rust free replacement with 146,000 miles. I won't have time to prep the new to me van for travel and towing so we'll likely be taking the 2004 293,000 mile one down and back to Florida twice this year.
If you are willing to slow down a little while towing, a Euro style van would work very well for many people. I personally bought a 2006 model year Sprinter replacement because those diesel engines have less emissions controls. The complexity of the required emissions controls on all brands of the newer diesels have moved them down a notch from the run forever without issues diesels of old.
When I was looking at Ford Transits I concentrated on the gas engine models. I'm pretty certain that the same gas engines are used in the Ford pickup trucks too. To me that means that the dealerships will be familiar with the Transit engines.