The Ford Transit Connect is a small commercial van aimed squarely at small business owners. Also available in passenger-oriented Wagon and green Electric models, the Transit Connect was brought over from Europe as part of the Blue Oval's "One Ford" global strategy and features a good balance between interior space and a modest, maneuverable size.
Two sliding side doors, vertical 180-degree-opening cargo doors, a low floor and a high ceiling differentiate the Transit Connect from its rivals. Ford claims the vehicle offers 155 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats. The load space can accommodate items up to 6.5 feet long and five feet wide. Consistent with its utilitarian purpose van's interior is simple, spartan and durable.
The Ford Transit Connect van is motivated by a 2.0-liter Duratec four-cylinder that produces 136 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, and fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
While not exactly sporty, the Transit's handling is a safe, predictable and far more nimble than that of traditional full-size vans.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Transit Connect is available in either base XL or more upmarket XLT trim.
The XL is somewhat sparsely equipped with an AM/FM stereo, cloth seats, roll-up windows and manual door locks.
The XLT trim level adds a CD player, optional reverse sensing, power windows and locks and body-colored bumpers. It also comes with a 270 degree hinge.
Optional on all trim levels are various elements of Ford's Work Solutions system, which helps commercial users run their business by creating invoices, work orders, and track tools. Ford's exclusive Tool Link system which tags tools with RFID tags to insure no tool is left behind at a job site. Transit Connect also has optional Crew Chief, a program to track vehicle location and maintenance needs.
Ford dealerships also have three different industry leaders in cargo management available to help create custom cargo management systems for each Transit Connect.
The Transit Connect van is equipped with dual front and front side airbags along with traction and stability control systems and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The only current rival to Transit Connect is the Ram Cargo Van, though the Nissan NV200 will join those two vehicles in the small commercial van segment in early 2013.