2023 Ford Transit Trail Will Get You the Hell Out of Dodge

This cargo-van model is upfit-ready from the factory, but it doesn't come cheap.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
2023 Ford Transit Trail
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2023 Ford Transit Trail

Adventure influencers, your van has arrived.


If you've ever watched a video of a #vanlife enthusiast prepping a standard cargo van for life on the road, you know it can be quite the ordeal getting the interior into a usable fashion. Thanks to a new Ford Transit variant, that might become a lot easier in the future.

Ford on Wednesday introduced the 2023 Transit Trail van. This cargo van is built specifically for those looking to upfit a cargo van into an adventure vehicle, heading as far away from society as possible and getting back in tune with nature (sounds nice, doesn't it?).

The Transit Trail will come in three different specs -- medium-roof, high-roof and high-roof extended. All models use the same 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine producing 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, which routes to all four wheels by way of a 10-speed automatic transmission. Opt for the Heavy-Duty Trailer Package, and the van will be able to tow up to 6,500 pounds. It also comes standard with a number of safety systems, including blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.

2023 Ford Transit Trail Is a Blank Canvas for Adventure

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A quick look at the Transit Trail's body makes it clear this isn't just for moving cargo to and fro. The van rides 3.5 inches higher than a standard Transit, with a 2.8-inch-wider track thanks to 16-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in 30.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse all-terrain tires. There's a skid-plate-style front bumper, splash guards, wheel arch liners, additional cladding and a black grille, as well.

In the high-roof variants, there's enough space inside for a 6-foot, 5-inch person to stand upright. The interior features a number of drillable areas able to accommodate cabinets, shelves or a bed. An optional Upfitter Package adds a little extra versatility with high-capacity switches, a different center console, an auxiliary fuse panel, dual batteries and beefier wiring. Owners don't have to do all this work themselves, either; Ford's upfitter website will help connect folks with companies that will help adventurers execute their visions.

The 2023 Ford Transit Trail isn't a cheap proposition, though. It starts at $65,795 before an unspecified amount in destination charges (current Transit models ask for an extra $1,795 there). If you want a taller roof or a longer body, that'll add to the bottom line, as will any upfitting that takes place after the fact. But if you want to build a rolling house that lets you peace-out at any time, the Ford Transit Trail looks to be a pretty great blank canvas for making that happen.