Ford’s popular Transit Connect, a European compact van model introduced to the U.S. in 2010, continues to find a ready market with tradesmen, delivery services, and fleets seeking an efficient and easily maneuverable van for urban and suburban use. It’s available as either a short- or long-wheelbase van, both with the same 1,620 pound payload capacity.
The long-wheelbase version adds an additional 25 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the front seats. Those operating in tight city environs may prefer the shorter model with its 36.1 foot turning diameter versus 40.0 feet for the longer variant. The Transit Connect is available in base XL and upscale XLT trim levels. Ford also offers short- and long-wheelbase wagons with that can accommodate up to seven.
Both wheelbase versions can be ordered with a traditional liftgate or split cargo doors that open up to 180 degrees. Twin sliding side doors are convenient for making sidewalk deliveries. A passenger-side power running board is available. Roof rails and a roof rack are now available options for both XL and XLT series vans. A perimeter alarm, which is included when optional remote start is ordered, detects security threats through impact and shock sensors and activates an alarm to help protect vehicle contents.
The Transit Connect cargo van is available with optional second-row seating to increase versatility beyond cargo. The wagon version also features a versatile approach by delivering cargo capabilities along with five to seven passenger seating. It features more than 100 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded on the long-wheelbase model. All Transit Connect models feature first-row front and side airbags, first-row side curtain airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system. A low-profile center console option is available on all Transit variants for making it easier to install computer equipment in the center console area and to walk from the cab to the back of the vehicle.
SYNC 3 is optional on Transit Connect XLT cargo van and Transit Connect Wagon XLT. The system features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, and a more innovative smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface. Ford Telematics is also available to enable fleets to simultaneously monitor several Transit Connects in real time, including location, speed, and excess idle duration to help track productivity and efficiency.
The Transit Connect’s 169 horsepower 2.5-liter Duratec engine delivers up to 27 highway mpg and can be ordered with a gaseous prep package to run on compressed natural gas or liquid propane. This engine is also capable of running on E85 ethanol. It connects to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. The optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost I-4 turbocharged engine available in previous years has been discontinued.
This compact van’s affordable $23,020 entry point make it an appealing option for delivery services and tradesmen, with 20 city/27 highway mpg an important bonus for those with an eye on operating costs and the bottom line.