Overview & Reviews
Suppose you're a business owner drawn to the form and function of a utility van like the Sprinter, but you operate in confined urban settings or just don't need its full-size capacity and full-size price tag. With the relatively compact and affordable Ford Transit Connect, your search could be over. This Euro-derived cargo (or passenger) van offers impressive functionality in a maneuverable and fuel-efficient package.
A scaled-down alternative to traditional full-size work vans, the Ford Transit Connect features a car-based architecture and an economical four-cylinder engine. Its payload and towing capacities are pretty meager compared to a regular van, but in return the Transit Connect should woo commercial buyers with its affordable price, maneuverable size and remarkably practical interior.
Current Ford Transit Connect
Redesigned for 2014, the latest Ford Transit Connect compact commercial van is available in two different wheelbases. Compared to the previous-generation Transit Connect, the smaller one is 6.7 inches shorter in length while the larger one is 9.1 inches longer. Both of the new versions, however, are nearly 7 inches shorter in height compared to the first-gen Transit Connect, which means taller folks won't have it as easy moving around inside as they did with the older van.
Besides the different wheelbases, the Transit Connect is offered in cargo van or passenger-oriented wagon body styles. Trim levels are comprised of base XL, midlevel XLT and, for the wagon only, the plush Titanium. All the cargo vans can be had in short- or long-wheelbase form. The XL and Titanium wagons are long-wheelbase only and seat seven; the XLT wagon can be had in either short- or long-wheelbase versions and as such seats five or seven, respectively.
Standard power is provided by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 169 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A turbocharged 1.6-liter four with 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque is optional on select variants. Both engines send power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is quite good, as EPA estimated combined fuel economy ranges from 23-25 mpg.
Standard feature highlights of the XL cargo van include air-conditioning, vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front windows and door locks and a two-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack. The XL wagon has second- and third-row seats, a center console and power second-row windows. The XLT cargo van adds body-color bumpers, foglights, heated power mirrors, cloth upholstery, a 4.2-inch multifunction display, cruise control and a CD player. The XLT wagon features rear privacy glass, a rearview camera and rear climate controls. The Titanium wagon adds alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, heated front seats, four speakers and Ford's voice-controlled Sync system.
Major options include a compressed natural gas engine prep package, front and rear parking sensors, a towing package, a fixed panoramic sunroof, a roof rack, the MyFord Touch electronics interface (includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen and a navigation system) and the Crew Chief telematics system designed for fleet operators.
While we've yet to spend any time behind the wheel of the latest Ford Transit Connect, we know enough to suggest that the standard 2.5-liter engine will likely prove adequate for most buyers' needs. We also expect this small van to possess relatively nimble handling, especially in short-wheelbase form. Check back for additional driving impressions as they become available.
Used Ford Transit Connect Models
The first-generation Ford Transit Connect was produced from 2010 through 2013. The front-wheel-drive compact commercial van was offered in two styles: Van (with or without side and rear glass) and Wagon. The former's rear compartment was strictly for cargo hauling, while the latter featured a bench seat for transporting passengers. Both came with dual sliding doors, though these could be deleted upon request. The trim levels (depending on year) consisted of XL and XLT for the Van, and XL, XLT and XLT Premium for the Wagon.
All models were powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 with 136 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimated fuel economy stood at a relatively frugal 23 mpg combined.
The Van XL came with the basics, such as 180-degree-opening rear doors, stability control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a two-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. To that, the Wagon XL added a two-person bench seat. The Van XLT featured body-color bumpers, full power accessories, heated mirrors, cruise control, a cargo area 12-volt power point and a CD player. The Wagon XLT model further included a 60/40-split-folding three-passenger second-row bench seat. The Wagon XLT Premium also featured flip-open rear side windows, storage pockets in the rear doors and a four-speaker audio system.
Cargo vans could also be equipped with a tool tracking and inventory system, as well as customizable rear shelving for optimizing cargo management. Other options included rear parking sensors, 255-degree-opening rear doors, remote start and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
In reviews, we praised the first-generation Transit Connect's excellent cargo capacity and carlike maneuverability. The maximum payload is just 1,600 pounds, but the cargo area's 135 cubic feet of storage includes lots of useful vertical space. On the road, the Ford Transit Connect is extraordinarily agile for a work van, and its relatively compact footprint enables it to squeeze into spaces that full-size vans would have to pass up. The diminutive 2.0-liter engine struggles against the van's 3,500-pound curb weight, though the payoff is relatively impressive fuel economy.
Changes were minimal for this generation. The Wagon XL trim was only available the first model year, while the XLT Premium debuted for 2011. Most notably, stability control was made standard across the board for 2012; previously it was standard on the Wagon but optional on the Van.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 46.00
Euro Van for the 2010's - 2010 Ford Transit Connect
By BW - December 3 - 6:13 am
I was wanting a Transit Connect since Debut. Ford does plenty of commercial business with these and as of now the dealer discounts to consumers are not huge. The different Window configurations intrigued me, but I chose windows and Silver Metallic, because I think upwards of 75 percent of the cargo vans are white. Windows are a good thing in today's busy driving world but for those who opt windowless the customizing options inside are even more endless. The extras in the XLT do not grab me and the CD radio is still half garbage, so I went with an XL and up fitting the van to taste. A Better aftermarket Stereo is mandatory. Alloy wheels merit consideration; basic steel wheels come on all.
Nice low cost wheelchair van - 2010 Ford Transit Connect
By lazybum - November 7 - 6:43 pm
I am a physically challenge guy who uses a power w/c. Since I'm 6'2" tall I require a vehicle with a lot of headroom. My faithful 92 E-150 had a raised roof but after 16 winter road salt seasons, it was getting all rusted out underneath. Not safe anymore. New w/c vans cost $50K+. I was able to put a Bruan lift in a new Trancon for just under $30K total, and Ford sent me a rebate for $1,200. I get 23 mpg in mixed driving with the A/C on and thats what the Trancon is all about. The headroom is perfect for me. My main gripe is the rear springs are very stiff. Going over some interstate overpasses at 70 mph even with the 330 lb w/c lift in the back is brutal rough, but hay, it's a work truck.
Huge improvement from last years Model - 2014 Ford Transit Connect
By okshaw - November 3 - 12:30 am
This vehicle performs excellent in almost every category that I have thrown at it. We also own the exact same model in 2013 and by far this Van has better acceleration, load space, and the features for Sync are much easier to use then the previous versions. The van now drives like a car then a van and handles like a dream at all speeds. This vehicle is much more stylish then any previous version. The gas mileage on it is much better then the model from last year.
Plenty of power - 2010 Ford Transit Connect
By mark - October 30 - 2:20 am
Had mine about 1 mo. Use it for a/c service, it is a fine vehicle, if you do not need a full size van this is perfect, 25 m.p.g, plenty of power, easy to park, very easy to work out of the back of it. Easy to load units in and out the whole rear of the van opens up. All around excellent service van.
The cargo van of the future - 2010 Ford Transit Connect
By soundman - October 7 - 2:00 am
Have put 7000 miles in less then a month. Ride is decent, mileage is good, handling is good, reliability has bin great so far, radio & wheels dumped after one week! Needs a turbo, upgrades on interior options would be nice, bigger wheels & mirrors could be useful options. Overall a great first attempt, now let's fine tune the details, give us the options needed to brig it up to full potential!
can't understand possitive reviews - 2010 Ford Transit Connect
By hatethislemon - August 20 - 3:50 am
I've had this for a little over a year. The body of this van has started shaking at 45mph and faster. Reviews from Europe say this is caused by the drive shaft or the CV. I've had it into Bay State Ford, South Easton, Ma, and they claim that it isn't shaking. Ford Motor Co. says the mechanic is an expert and if they say it doesn't shake then it doesn't shake. If I take out another Ford mechanic he is going to be holding a cup of hot coffee.
It's designed for work - 2010 Ford Transit Connect
By henrickson - August 11 - 4:49 am
I've carried more cases of wine, beer, soda, computer equipment then I can shake a stick at. This vehicle is designed for that and excels at it. It's amazing what it swallows. I just finished hauling 27 fully loaded 18 gallon totes in one load. I'm sure I was pushing the hauling weight capacity but it worked perfectly. When it's empty it rides like a washboard but it hauls cargo with the best. I've had zero mechanical problems and the divers side is comfortable for a full day's work. I've overloaded it and driven it for 10 hours on the interstate and it did well. It's not great on the interstate in high winds but again it's really designed for around town.
SWALLOWS CARGO SIPS THE FUEL - 2010 Ford Transit Connect
By TIM - July 6 - 9:20 pm
Great to drive large size Windows make it spacious. Great for parking in the city. Gets the job done!
you get what you pay for! - 2011 Ford Transit Connect
By siz113 - October 24 - 2:01 am
OK $23,000 for a van so, you know. Bought it today, seat seems comfortable. Need it for a small business and to tote an almost adult kid or 2. 4 cylinders and I could bearly get up a steep hill with only me in it and no passengers or payload. That scares me. Probably won't return it, cause I traded in my car. Shoulda shopped more! Yes, turning radius good. Ugly too. Still mileage good. Price good. Little scared about being able to get up to speed on highway or change lanes. If I can't get up a hill at 25 miles an hour, what will happen on the highway?
Great dog-hauler, but amenities back to 1980s - 2013 Ford Transit Connect
By porchsteps - October 17 - 9:14 am
Here's my huge complaint about this vehicle: It doesn't turn off its own lights. The problem is that I haven't driven a car made since 1990 where it was even possible to leave the lights on so that the battery ran down. Other things they NEED to improve: can only unlock the rear cargo doors with key fob. It's impossible to lock the keys in the car (good) but keeping the fob handy at all times is annoying. Back seats: can fold down one, or all, but can't leave 1 up and fold down 2, which would be my preference. Otherwise, it's nimble, pickup is good enough for my purposes. I miss some other amenities of my 2006 hhr but the price was good here.