Ford's Transit Connect, named Green Car Journal's 2019 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, is available in both cargo van and wagon variations. This popular commercial vehicle emerges as an all-new generation in 2019, with changes in its overall appearance at both ends and inside, through changes were minor. It continues to be offered in both short and long wheelbase versions. The larger van has more cargo volume and an increased payload capability of an additional 60 pounds over the smaller van's 1510 pounds. There are rear-door options - liftgate and panel truck style – as well as dual side doors. It’s available in XL and XLT trim.
Three engine choices are available, two of them new. One new offering is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, direct-injected flex-fuel (gasoline/E85 ethanol) engine producing 160 horsepower and 144 lb-ft torque, featuring 24 city/27 highway mpg. Also new is a 1.5-liter EcoBlue four-cylinder turbodiesel slated to arrive later in the model year. Auto stop/start is standard on both new engines. Six-speed automatic and new eight-speed automatic transmissions are offered. The Transit Connect’s carryover 2.5-liter Duratec four-cylinder engine features 169 horsepower and 171 lb-ft torque, delivering 20 city/27 highway mpg fuel economy. Fleet buyers can get the 2.5-liter engine prepped for propane or compressed natural gas conversions. The family of EcoBlue engines was developed by Ford engineering teams in the U.K. and Germany to replace the current Duratorq diesel engines. They offer improved fuel economy as well as reduced CO2 and NOX emissions.
Since connectivity is important, especially for fleet managers who use it to enhance productivity, the Transit Connect has a standard 4G LTE modem capable of connecting 10 devices to the internet. A charger for wireless devices and two USB ports are also standard.
This compact van’s list of standard driver-assist features includes pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, rear view camera, and automatic emergency braking with forward collision warning. Available systems include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver impairment monitor, and lane-keeping aid with lane departure warning. Standard Ford MyKey technologies allow fleet managers to preset warnings, set speed limits, and restrict audio volume. Also standard is a rear view camera, curve control, torque vectoring control, trailer sway control, and side-wind mitigation.
Ford’s 3.7-liter V-6 equipped-150 pickup is now available with a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package, making Ford the only manufacturer offering a CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup. The $315 engine prep package includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons, and rings so it can operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.
The light-duty Ford CNG pickup is now being offered as a ship-thru option by Michigan-based Venchurs Vehicle Systems, the first of several Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers (QVMs) that will be marketing the 2014 F-150 as a natural gas vehicle. QVMs supply the fuel tanks, fuel lines, and unique fuel injectors. Ford has a rigorous QVM qualification program to help modifiers achieve greater levels of customer satisfaction and product acceptance through the manufacture of high-quality alternative fuel vehicles. Conversions can be financed through Ford Credit.
According to Ford, upfitting to gaseous fuel operation costs approximately $7,500 to $9,500. Ford maintains the engine and powertrain limited warranty (five years or 60,000 miles) while the modifier is responsible for the system component warranty.
Conversions can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices as well as lower operating costs. CNG sells for an average of $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and as low as $1 in some parts of the country. The F-150 CNG/LPG can travel up to 750+ miles on one tank of gas.
Since reintroducing the option in 2009, Ford has established itself as the leader in CNG/LPG engine sales. It is on track to sell over 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles this year, an increase of over 25 percent from 2012.
With the F-150, Ford will have eight vehicles running on CNG/LPG. These range from Transit and E-Series vans, wagons, cutaways, and chassis cabs to F-Series Super Duty pickups and chassis cabs.