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.
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
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 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
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.
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.
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
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
www.autowire.net - And remember: ď You Are What You Drive Ē
Ford Home Page
Column Name: A new van
with a unique look and high efficiency
Topic: The 2010 Ford
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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2010 Ford Transit Connect
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2010 Ford Transit Connect