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2018 ford Transit Connect Wagon

Unlike its hauling oriented Transit Connect Van counterpart, the Transit Connect Wagon is meant to provide practical, economical, spacious and utilitarian-minded transportation for families.

The Transit Connect Wagon boasts a sleek look that falls in line with Ford's Kinetic design language. Its front end is characterized by elongated headlights, a rippled hood and a hexagonal air dam, while the rear end gains vertical lights and either twin doors that can open up to 270 degrees or a large hatch. Pronounced wheel arches on all four corners reveal a relatively wide track and make the van look bigger than it truly is.

Ford offers the Transit Connect Wagon in two wheelbase lengths. The short-wheelbase model stretches 173.9 inches long and 75.2 inches wide; the longer variant checks in at 189.7 inches long and 72.8 inches tall. Both models are 72.2 inches wide.

Life Aboard
Better finished than its cargo-hauling counterpart, the Transit Connect Wagon boasts a car-like interior with a sculpted dashboard, vertical air vents and a raised center console dominated by the shift lever. The instrument cluster consists of four analog gauges, and the steering is commanded through a four-spoke wheel.

Ford's Bluetooth-based SYNC connectivity system allows smartphone users to place calls and stream music by using voice commands or steering wheel-mounted buttons. It can also read incoming texts aloud to help the driver keep his or her eyes on the road, and allows the use of Ford-approved apps like The Wall Street Journal news and Pandora radio.

Ford's MyFord Touch infotainment system infotainment system is available on select models at an extra cost. MyFord Touch builds on SYNC by letting users control everything from navigation to climate control to the sound system with voice commands. MyFord Touch also replaces conventional sound system knobs and buttons with a center-mounted 6.5-inch touchscreen and touch-sensitive controls in the center stack. Many consumers report that the system is a "love it or hate it" item, so those interested in the Transit Connect Wagon are advised to try before they buy.

The long-wheelbase model can accommodate up to 104.2 cubic feet of cargo with the second and third rows of seats folded out of the way, while the short-wheelbase variant boasts 77 cubic feet. Properly equipped, the Transit Connect Wagon is capable of hauling up to 1,270 pounds and towing a maximum of 2,000 pounds.

Trim Level Breakdown
Ford offers the Transit Connect wagon in XL, XLT and Titanium trim levels.

Available as either a five- or a seven-seater, the entry-level XL comes standard with manual A/C, a rear-seat climate control unit, power-adjustable heated mirrors, a rear window defroster, 16-inch steel wheels covered by plastic hubcaps, a six-way adjustable driver's seat, a sliding third-row seat, cruise control, Ford's MyKey system, cloth seats and a CD player, keyless entry, gray bumpers on both ends and black door handles.

Stepping up to the XLT model adds an armrest for the second row of seats, sunvisors with vanity mirrors, a rear-view camera, a 4.2-inch information screen integrated into the instrument cluster, cruise control, a rear-window defroster as well as body-colored bumpers and door handles.

The range-topping Titanium trim includes leather-upholstery on the seats and the steering wheel, a six-way adjustable driver's seat, a four-way adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, dual-zone front climate control, the aforementioned SYNC system, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, cornering fog lights and alloy wheels.

The list of options includes an engine block heater, remote start, MyFord Touch infotainment system, all-weather floormats, parking sensors on both ends, mudflaps, an electric windshield defroster,

XLT and Titanium buyers can order their van with remote start and a panoramic roof.

Under the Hood
The Transit Connect's base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Duractec that makes 169 horsepower at 6,000 rpms and 171 lb-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpms. Fuel mileage varies depending on how the van is configured but it hovers in the vicinity of 21 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

XLT buyers can select an optional direct-injected 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-banger that churns out 178 horsepower at 5,700 rpms and 184 lb-ft. of torque at just 2,500 rpms. Fuel mileage has not been published yet, but Ford warns the EcoBoost can only burn premium gasoline.

Both engines send power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Transit Connect Wagon XL can be ordered as a taxi straight from the factory, and operators looking to trim their fuel budget can select the compressed natural gas/liquefied petroleum gas engine prep package. Fitted to the 2.5-liter four-banger, it consists of hardened valves, valve seats pistons and rings. Once the van is built, it is sent to a Ford Certified Vehicle Modifier that installs CNG/LPG-specific fuel tanks, fuel lines and fuel injectors.

Occupant Safety
All Transit Connects regardless of trim level come standard with dual front, side and curtain airbags and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The list of driving aids includes electronic emergency brake assist, hill-start assist and Ford's AdvanceTrac stability control with Roll Stability Control

Key Competitors
The compact van segment in the United States is growing but it is largely limited to commercial vans like the cargo-hauling Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200.

Buyers interested in the Transit Connect Wagon should also look at popular minivans such as the Toyota Sienna, the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Town & Country. While all three of the aforementioned vans can match the Wagon's seven-person seating capacity, they are about a foot longer.