• More carlike design
  • Roomy interior
  • Impressive interior quality
  • Less space than a minivan
  • Few active-safety features

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Transit Connect in 2014

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect is all new this year and is a considerable improvement over the outgoing Transit Connect...
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Vehicle Summary

The Ford Transit Connect arrived in the U.S. for the 2010 model year, having been sold elsewhere around the world for some time. The compact, utilitarian, and affordable cargo van was aimed squarely at businesses whose fleets generally carry smaller loads and don’t need a large van like the Ford E-Series. The Transit Connect was based on the same architecture that underpinned the previous Ford Focus. When it was introduced in the States, it was available in two-, four-, and five-seat variants. It wasn't until the 2011 addition of the XLT Premium Wagon that the Transit Connect became a legitimate people hauler; that model added rear side windows and more plastic trim in the cargo area. The 2014 Ford Transit Connect and Transit Connect Wagon are all-new models with significantly improved styling, space, and equipment.

Overview

The all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect and Transit Connect Wagon were revealed in fall 2012, but they won't go on sale until later this year. The compact vans are based on the C1 platform that underpins the new Ford Focus, and some of that common DNA can be seen in the Transit Connect Wagon's very carlike, open-mouth front grille. It can also be seen inside, where cabin materials and technologies are on par with the likes of the Focus. The standard-wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon seats five; the long-wheelbase model can fit seven occupants. Even with the long wheelbase, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect is a foot shorter overall than a Toyota Sienna minivan. Cargo space is only adequate, so many families will probably still gravitate toward traditional minivans instead. The 2014 Ford Transit Connect can tow 2000 pounds.

Transit Connect buyers can choose between a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 1.6-liter turbo four engine, both of which are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Ford expects the turbo engine to return more than 30 mpg on the highway, an improvement over the outgoing model's 27-mpg highway rating. The new, more powerful engines should also improve acceleration, which in the old Transit Connect was best described as "eventual." We have yet to drive the new van.

There is also a cargo-only model, which forgoes rear seats and carpeting in favor of durable hooks, tie-downs, and attachment points for shelves. It is a great choice for delivery drivers who need to carry only modest loads and must traverse congested, tight urban streets.

Key Competitors

  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Mazda 5
  • Nissan NV200
  • Ram C/V

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