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2010 Ford Transit Connect

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Ford Transit Connect Review: Anyone with a business that uses vans needs to know about Fordís European-designed little hauler, the Transit Connect. With huge cargo capacity and fuel efficiency, itís a great choice for florists, computer fixers, dog washing services and many more.

 

The industry-exclusive Transit Connect is built in Kocaeli, Turkey, and since 2003, more than 600,000 have found employment. Despite its foreign origins, the car is perfectly suited to the U.S. market, and has received a few styling and equipment tweaks to do so.

 

A 2.0-liter Duratec inline four-cylinder engine puts out 136 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft of torque from a modern configuration that uses dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and an aluminum block and head. A four-speed automatic with overdrive is standard. The 3,470-pound truckís no rocket ship, but with a minimal load, it easily keeps up with freeway traffic. And with a mere 39-foot turning radius it goes where no van has ever gone before.

 

Fuel economy is EPA rated at 22 City and 25 Highway. The EPAís green vehicle guide gives the car a respectable 7 for Air Pollution and 6 for Greenhouse Gas, putting it in the Smartway category, and thatís a good place to be.

 

I slid into my Silver Metallic XLT test car and was amazed at both the brightness of the cabin and the tremendous height of the roof. I was able to sit in the driverís seat, which is already chair height, and raise my hand straight up and barely touch the ceiling. The tall windshield is panoramic; my wife said it felt like riding in an AMC Pacer, the famous AMC fishbowl car from the 1970ís.

 

The vehicle stands as tall as a good NBA power forward, at 6-foot-7-1/2 inches. The cargo area itself is astounding, providing nearly five feet of height, with a total of 135 cubic feet of cargo hauling capacity. The split rear doors open up to 180 degrees, or optionally, to 255 degrees, which means they bend all the way around and parallel with the sides of the van.

 

My test car had this feature, so with a push of a button, the doors flipped over and stuck to the sides of the van with magnets. Load length is a half-inch over six feet, so many long things slide right in, and load height is just two feet off the ground.

 

You can order up the Transit Connect as a cargo van with no windows in the twin sliding side doors, or privacy glass on the rear side windows, a pure panel van with no side windows at all, or a wagon version with a rear seat and windows. Rear seat passengers donít get armrests, but they enjoy the auditorium ceiling effect.

 

The car is pleasant to drive in the way piloting a Toyota Corolla is. Although the Transit Connect is built as a heavy-duty commercial vehicle in a plant that only builds trucks it has a firm, but compliant suspension, and despite being something of a box on wheels, itís pretty quiet at 65 on the freeway. The interior is nicely styled but uses only hard plastics in a utilitarian dark gray with matching cloth seats.

 

Oddities and compromises include a car key that looks like it came from a sardine can, a pair of dollar-pancake-sized speakers that make a thin, tinny sound, and serious rear visibility issues with the fat vertical bar in the middle of the doors.

 

Beyond all this, the Transit Connect can be nicely set up as a workstation. Choose from a wide variety of bins, racks and shelves. Even better, equip it with a computer system that gives you Internet access, word processing, spreadsheets, email, file management, date calendar and more through a touch screen and a cordless keyboard.

 

Then thereís Tool Link, by DeWalt, the big tool company. Using special Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tabs attached to tools and other items, this system lets you scan the vehicle for appropriate equipment and inventory before leaving the jobsite or route. It keeps everything you need available and secure.

 

You can also order Crew Chief. This tool is for fleet managers to track vehicles and staff and to monitor Transit Connect diagnostics. The manager can know whatís up with every vehicle he or she is responsible for, including diagnostic vehicle information and vehicle location, speed, fuel usage, and more. The driverís just drive, and the boss takes care of the rest, and is watching over them all of the time.

 

Prices for this unique vehicle start at just $21,475, including destination charges. My unit, with the extra wide door openers, reverse sensing system, which is a really good idea and should be on every vehicle, floor mats and the aforementioned in-dash computer system came to a total MSRP price of  $24,975, and that sounds like a really great deal in todayís van market.

By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

 

The Bottom Line: The 2010 Ford Transit Connect fills the small commercial van void thatís been in the US market as Chevy, Dodge and Ford dropped their short wheelbase vans several years ago. The Transit Connect is great van for hauling cargo, that is easy to park, has a tight turning circle and gets good gas mileage. Coupled with the high roof area, large cargo doors and low floor height, the Transit Connect is the perfect choice for anyone that needs to move their stuff in a very easy way. Itís a nice, clean layout, easy to park van, with a unique look and high efficiency.

Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net

 

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect Review provided by:  Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net  ďTony the Car GuyĒ is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: ď You Are What You Drive Ē

 

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Column Name: A new van with a unique look and high efficiency

Topic: The 2010 Ford Transit Connect

Word Count: 1,055

Photo Caption:  The 2010 Ford Transit Connect

Photo Credits: Ford Transit Connect Internet Media

Series #:  2010 - 36

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