By on November 13, 2012

Well, turns out I was totally off-base with my prediction of the Ford B-Max coming here. Turns out the new product coming here from Ford was one that exists already. Enter the Transit Connect Wagon. Congrats to commenter Tifighter who got it right.

Power comes from Ford’s ubiquitous 2.5L 4-cylinder engine or a 1.6L Ecoboost motor. Ford claims the Transit Connect Wagon is good for over 30 mpg on the highway and can carry a payload of up to 1,200 lbs. Two wheelbase lengths, two choices of rear doors and five or seven passenger seating can all be specified. In addition to the plebian XL and XLT trims, a fancy Titanium edition is also available. A towing capacity of up to 2,000 lbs is also possible. Now, does this seems like a replacement vehicle for Honda Element owners, albeit with more functionality?

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116 Comments on “Ford Transit Connect Wagon, The Blue Oval’s Newest People Mover...”


  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    What is the size of this minivan? Is it like a Dodge Caravan, or more like a Mazda5?

  • avatar
    jeoff

    3 seats in the middle row and 2 in the 3rd. If you are going to have mini-van that seats only 7, this is how to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      C. Alan

      I’m going to have to disagree on this one. I regularly haul 5 kids around. When you have little one’s in car seats, you have to put them in the 2nd row so you can buckle them in. If the older kids need to get into the back seat, having to fold one of the middle seats out of the way can be a real pain, especially when dealing with car seats that are latched in.

      • 0 avatar
        jeoff

        I can see that, but for us, we regularly transport 3 kids, so I would much rather have them in the middle, and occasionally use the 3rd row when needed–this is also a safety conern in a smaller van where the last row is probably butting agianst the back window.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        Regarding the seating, in the photos above it does not appear that the second or third row seats fold into the floor. If this is the case, converting from passenger to cargo configuration will be more difficult than in other minivans.

    • 0 avatar
      C. Alan

      On the subject of the Mopar stow and go seating system, I think it is over rated. Yes, the seats to fold out of the way, but at the expense of the comfort of the seats. They are very hard, and the only reason my kids don’t complain about them is because they are in car seats. I would rather have a better quality seat that has to be removed from the car that the hard seats that fold into the floor.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Looks brilliant, but too large to be an Element replacement. Might be too funky-slab for many people, though I’d have it to stand out.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    When does it go on sale?

    The current Transit Connect is about the size of a tall Mazda5, so I’m guessing this future one is about the same.

  • avatar
    econobiker

    Ford currently brings the Transit into the US as a passenger vehicle and then removes the 2nd row of seats to make it a utility van. The seats are then ground up for recycling. This is to avoid the “chicken tax” on light trucks.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wow! This looks like a larger “hamster-wagon” – a Kia Soul.

    I like it. A lot. I hope there’ll be one at our auto show in February.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Very Quest-like and utilitarian in form, which is OK with me.

    Sounds like too little engine, though. 30 mpg highway probably means 19 mpg city in real life, with most buyers yearning for a V6 instead.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      Not sure about the eco-boost 1.6, but the current U.S. Transit Connect is GROSSLY underpowered. We’re getting one at work next year, so we’ve done some shopping and driving.

      The lack of power was the only real negative I could find. But it’s a huge negative. If I was the only decision maker, it would’ve been a deal-breaker, even though everything else about the Transit seemed pretty good. I would’ve held out for a Sprinter, or waited for the adult-sized Transit.

      I understand the compromise for the sake of mileage, but pulling onto the freeway on a test drive brought me right back to my learner’s permit days, trying to coax 70mph out of a wheezing 1980 Escort station wagon. Putting a pedal to the floor should never feel like watching paint dry–especially these days.

      At one point, rumor had it we would purchasing an even more gutless CNG coversion, and think I’d rather have a handcart or wheelbarrow.

      • 0 avatar
        rnc

        Someone who lives near me has a fully carified version of a transit connect, don’t know if he did it himself or got it that way, but I kind of dig it.

        In terms of interstate speeds, I think the original connect was meant for more of a metro delivery vehicle than a cruiser (not defending underpower by anymeans), but CAFE has its sacrifices. Would putting a second car battery (or Li Ion one) and initially electronically spooling the turbos help with the eco’s milage issues (if there are any, hear it both ways, drive it like a V8 muscle car and you get V8 milage, drive it normally and you have the reserve when you need it?). Would love to see the direct gas injection, port ethanol injection, twin turbo design they came up with, a 4 liter with Diesel milage and torque and gas emmisions and HP (just a matter of designing a system to pull the ethanol out of the gas, as most wouldn’t want to go through the trouble of adding ethanol, even though a small tank would probably last till oil changes (the ethanol is just for cooling cylindars b/t cycles to allow for much greater pressurization of the gas b4 ignition) and the car would work w/o, just lose alot of torque and HP)

  • avatar
    lostjr

    So, those of us that predicted this a few days ago; what do we win. ;-)

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Derek, what’s the tranny choices for this one? Hoping for a six speed manual. Also, any chances of the Blue Oval bringing the diesel option over as well?

    • 0 avatar

      The same six-speed automatic used in the new Escape and Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      “What is this diesel technology of which you speak?”, said the Ford of NA executive(s). All we know about is Ecoboost! Ecoboost is awesome! Ecoboost, yay!

      Nice looking vehicle, too bad they keep putting the wrong engines in the NA spec units. Oh well, I’m enjoying my new Jetta TDI wagon. I’m sure Ford will sell these things to someone. Just not me.

  • avatar
    Easton

    I don’t understand who the target market is. Families have by and large rejected minivans in favour of crossovers, particularly boxy, cargovan-looking minivans (i.e. Nissan Quest). I cannot see this doing well.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Taxis, dealer shuttles, churches, and folks looking for a people/cargo mover that doesn’t swill gas like a Suburban.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Women are gonna think it’s very cute, me thinks. Guys…not so much, but “rougher” than a normal minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      In Europe they use vans this size as livery cabs; I can’t see wanting one for myself, but if you’re heading home from the airport with the wife and kids, this is a lot better than a Town Car. Outside of that market, and maybe as micro-school buses (I carpooled in a school-owned Buick Roadmaster when I was a kid), I agree with you: we Americans don’t tend to go for practical vehicles that are perceived as dorky.

    • 0 avatar
      That guy

      Half the problem with minivans is that they’ve all gotten huge and expensive. This is closer to the size of the original Caravan. Price is going to be a big factor too, it simply must undercut the Caravan/Sienna/Odyssey/etc by a significant margin. I’m a little concerned that it’ll be slow (2.5L I4 for ~3500lb plus 7 people) seems a little weak, but people still buy Corollas so it can’t be that big of a deal breaker.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        The current Transit Connect Wagon starts at about $24K, this one should not be much higher for the base model. That’s about $4K higher than the stripper Caravan though.

      • 0 avatar
        That guy

        Possibly, but you have to keep in mind that the TransitConnect is currently being imported while this one will be built here in America. It might bring the cost of this and the commercial version down some.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Maybe it’ll be lower cost. Or maybe not. Shipping cost is reduced, recycling cost is eliminated. But I suspect US labour costs are higher than those in Turkey. I don’t have enough data to answer that question.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        Transit is being built in America. Transit Connect production (for the US) is being shifted from Turkey to Spain.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I like how “wagon” is more acceptable for marketing purposes than “minivan”, even though this is clearly a minivan, a la Uplander.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    This thing is awful. Ford is blessed with truly incompetant designers and truly incompetant design leadership. This vile appliance rivals the Lincoln rebadge of the Flex in terms of hideousness.

    Unless it tops out at around $27K-$28K (loaded with every option), who would buy it? The Mazda 5 never sold well and the Ford appliance is nowhere near the vehicle that the real minivans are.

    Think of this appliance as a mid-sized/compact truck and the real minivans as the full size trucks. Look at how that went.

    Mulally can’t be gone soon enough. He is making so many mistakes.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Not sure about south of the border, but in Canada the Mazda5 is extremely popular–you see them everywhere. I believe this vehicle will be a homerun for Ford, at least in Canada.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Ditto the Orlando and Rondo, which are still sold here. And while the US might be making strides at oil independence, much of that has come from increased efficiency, which cars like this enable.

      • 0 avatar
        Easton

        I have heard the Orlando is selling here well below expectations, likely a result of the homely toaster styling. With regard to the Mazda5, I agree I see a ton but overwhelmingly the first generation over the second, again likely due to awful styling that did away with the original’s edginess..

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      Yeah you know cause Mulally will never get another job in this town..Dude take two..no three Xanax and chill.

    • 0 avatar
      lostjr

      The TC cargo is apparently selling well enough that Ford is willing to commit, and Nissan (NV200)and Chrysler (Fiat Doblo) are joining the fray. Seems to me even if the passenger version is a niche, it is worth it, since it can probably go down the same line.

      I’d be driving a Mazda5 except it is one of those orphan cars that does not get proper updates. There are lots of things you can’t get on the Mazda, and the mileage is poor.

      I don’t really want to wait a whole year to get another car, but this might be worth it for my needs. Current vans are too wide for the city.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      So a minivan/utility van, that finally goes back to the roots of the original concept (along with aiming at a generation of 50 somethings who had thier retirement destroyed which will change thier buying habits for 20+ years and do a great deal towards defining the future car market), doesn’t meet your taste and Mulally is the worst automotive executive of all time, let me guess Sandy saved Ford?

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        You are assuming a bit much don’t you think?

        Put down the kool-aid and realize that this mediocre minivan is the same as a Mazda 5 and the 5 sold like garbage.

        And, yes, Mulally needs to go. He is making many mistakes at Ford (quality is slipping drastically, “One Ford” is a joke, VERY ROCKY PRODUCT LAUNCHES, irrational product decisions, and investing far too heavily in electronic gizmos rather than focusing on quality, fuel economy, etc)

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        @86SN, your obvious hatred to Ford/Mazda notwithstanding, the Mazda5 sold very well in the States. Someone has already pointed out that the latest version isn’t selling well at all; the ‘flame siding’ treatment being the named culprit, but most likely the newer version is just a reskin of the first gen.

        Disagree with you on all your separate rants as well. Ford has very much uped its game.

      • 0 avatar
        rnc

        No I’m trusting Mulally’s judgement:

        Lets borrow $25 billion because this economy isn’t going to last and we have to survive, while investing more into product and process (Correct).

        You better figure out a way to make small cars because that’s where its (America) is heading (again see 50 somethings who’s retirement has been destroyed, they are the ones buying the small cars, they are the ones who still have purchasing power) (Correct).

        Lincoln – If they can make it off Ford platforms than so be it (maybe Mustang and falcon if they’re lucky), if not then a slow death to the dealers (avoiding billions in franchise payouts), already tried throwing billions at Volvo and JLR and that worked so well (Lincoln might work/might not, but correct decision).

        US – pre-GM/Chryco bankruptcy, sneak in a back door UAW deal that pushes them over the edge, how many sales did ford gain (not to mention reviving an image lost with the ovaloid taurus and other intangables)? (correct)

        Europe – Be the first to make the move, do it in a way, $$$, that will hurt the others to follow (same as with UAW deal), while continuing to invest in product, Opel is as dead as dead can be, PSA close second, even if they take loans (at government terms), those loans will just make them less competitive in the long run, ford moves to number 2 in Europe. (While no #’s released I bet the compensation packages will be something the others will be hurting to match)

        So yes I am trusting a man and a management team that saved a “deathwatch” company during one of the worst car economic environments in history. and came out the other side swinging.

        P.S. I like Tang

        P.S. Would be nice if they would amortize the falcon platform and make the next taurus and explorer (and maybe even the flex) off of it, can’t remember if it’s unibody, even if not, would allow to be built in same factory as mustang, perhaps even bring back the TB)

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    This would make a good airport taxi. It could use a CNG option.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The existing Transit Connect comes with optional hardened valves, to support aftermarket CNG conversions.

      • 0 avatar
        C. Alan

        Those of us who live in the peoples republic of Kalifornia realy need a factory CNG option because of all the trouble with CARB. It would be alot more attractive to me if that were an option.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ah the glorious People’s Republic of Kalifornia and the mighty heroes of CARB environmental justice squadron. Hey if you put the word ‘Democratic’ in front of it, it becomes D.P.R.K. just like North Korea’s official name!

        The more you know *NBC chime*

  • avatar
    d524zoom-zoom

    Fiesta on steroids LOL, seriously tho it looks a helluva lot better than the current nose.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      The current nose is a barely noticeable facelift of the original which came out in Europe in 2002. Hence it’s looking dated. But yeah, this new one looks pretty good, and most importantly for Ford, fits with the current design language.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I love the high roof. Say what you will- this is the ultimate SUV. You can haul more sports equipment inside this van than any of your pretend SUV’s.

    It does need a hybrid drivetrain though.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    If Ford were smart, they’d market this as the modern day version of the VW bus hippie van. I’d bet a camper-lite version ala Westfalia would sell well and reinforce the brand image.

  • avatar
    geo

    The grill opening looks like somebody’s mouth when standing in front of a strong fan.

  • avatar
    Lemmy-powered

    I, for one, welcome this news.

    I gave the existing Transit Connect some thought as a gonzo family vehicle, but I could not live with that engine and transmission.

    Let’s hope this one comes configurable with the heavy-duty goodies (transmission cooler, beefed-up electricals) that made the first iteration interesting.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    I like it and will probably buy one. As a current Mazda 5 owner, the two big selling points are: 7 seats, and 30 mpg. Get it done soon, Ford!

  • avatar
    C. Alan

    In the 7 passenger configuration, it doesn’t look like there is any room left for luggage.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    So Ford goes with styling as the selling point for the new Fusion to break it away from the CamCord pack. So potential higher sales volume while asking premium pricing.

    Then Ford comes out with the Transit Connect as eight shades of ugly for total functionality as the selling point of the vehicle to break it away from the mini-van pack. After the initial spike it will only be value pricing that draws anyone to this.

    This does not seem like a coherent strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      Augie the Argie

      Completely agree, what a let down from Ford. Nice try but I know Ford could have come with a better alternative for those who have a family and want a vehicle with a 3rd row with decent mileage. Better adjust those prices otherwise it will be a flop outside those seeking a commercial vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      jeoff

      The van is already being sold for work, repurposing it for family transport can help defray the cost, so the bar for it being a worthwhile endeavour is pretty low (I imagine much lower than what would be considered a success for a family transport only vehicle, like the Flex) . If it succeeds–great, if it fails, they just keep selling it as a worktruck.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I bet they’ll slot the European S-Max with a hybrid in between this thing and the C-Max. Ford already has lots of family crossovers and SUVs, but they didn’t have a minivan and they seem to be starting to try to serve efficiency-minded families.

      BTW, Goggle for “hybrid minivan” to see a giant glaring hole in the market. Putting a hybrid drivetrain in a machine doesn’t magically make it efficient, but when you combine that that reality with the popularity of that question, it seems that there is a segment of families that really are asking for a high-efficiency people-mover.

      And, yes, I’m one of those people. Existing minivans are incredibly efficient considering, but with only one kid, we just can’t justify taking a >50% MPG-hit (for our main vehicle) until some time after kid #2. The old Prius just keeps on keepin’ on. It’s really hard to think of a 22MPG or 28MPG minivan as a daily driver when a bad day gets you 45MPG in our good car.

  • avatar
    Johnnyangel

    This gussied-up overstyled revamp accelerated my purchase of the current TC wagon, which I’ve been enjoying for a month now. The durable cloth seats, painted metal inside the rear doors, minimal cupholder count, and lack of an aggressive, swooping IP will be enduring joys to me. Also, I note that Ford is quoting approximately 200 pounds less payload and 20 cubic feet less room for the new model.

    Yes, the current 2.0 and four-speed-automatic made me pause, and yes, I’d be crying now if Ford were promising a diesel for the new generation, but overall I have no regrets. Plus, I’m constantly being asked what it is by interested observers, who don’t seem to class it with the humble TC panel vans they might have encountered in the past.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Take a Turkish van, slap a ghastly Aston-Martin-esque grille on it (which in this application looks like some get-o chrome parts you bought at Pep Boys next to the Car and Driver floor mats), add minivan doors and some windows… and you have a car that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE WANTS. Ford’s entire one size fits all global model lineup will be the death of them. Who in their right mind would want one of these? The 10 or so people who bought the Mazda 5?

    The Flex, Edge, and various Lincoln variants thereof have been tremendous failures–what do they think a British plumber’s van repurposed to haul families in garish lack of style will accomplish on American shores?

    …alright, so the local Cycling teams have fallen in love with the Transit Connect as a mechanic/staging/parts hauler vehicle, maybe the minivan will now haul the racing team to and fro and we have just added another key demographic of about 30-40 more buyers of this ugly turd.

    Does Aston Martin even have a say as to why their product line is being cheapened in this way?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “Does Aston Martin even have a say as to why their product line is being cheapened in this way?”

      Actually, with the Cygnet, Aston Martin is doing a pretty good job of cheapening their brand all on their own. I’d think they’d appreciate the help.

    • 0 avatar
      That guy

      The Edge has been very successful since it launched, maybe do some research once in a while.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    It feels like a solid replacement for the 2nd gen xB. Then again I think for the money unless I need the 3rd row I mind as well go C-Max and get the crazy good gas mileage.

  • avatar
    blarfmarfle

    I have always thought Ford should have a minivan in their lineup. Do they really need the Escape, Edge, Flex, and the Explorer, but offer no minivan for families? I like the Flex and I bought one, but the Odyssey is superior for actual family hauling duties.

    The Sienna and Odyssey has shown that families are willing to pay top dollar for feature-packed, relatively powerful vans. I can’t see how this offering matches up with the competition- no 8 seat configuration, underpowered engines, and an interior that really screams “utility truck conversion”. Why not a sliding-door version of the S-Max from Europe? That would be perfect, and look a lot nicer too.

    Also, Transit Connect Wagon is a horrible name.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      “… families are willing to pay top dollar for feature-packed, relatively powerful vans.”

      This seems to be true for many, but not for me. I want no part of a $45k minivan. I was able to get my LWB Sedona 1-year used for $17k. It hauls 7 people, tows 3500 lbs, and has 250 HP with a nice warranty (5/60 for used). I don’t need DVD entertainment, sunroofs, leather, or AWD.

      If Ford can keep the price reasonable, this van could do OK. Otherwise, they may as well buy a larger, more capable vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Personally, I know a LOT of folks who this will interest. As others have said, will carry 4-5 in comfort, 6-7 in a pinch. While being MUCH easier to park and getting 50% better gas mileage.

        I think the primary issues with the Mazda5 are that there are just not very many Mazda dealers, the dealers there are seem to be not interested in stocking them, and they are funny looking in the latest generation. And very narrow and cramped feeling. I expect the Transit will seem more spacious.

        My Mom wanted to try a M5 when she bought her Routan, but there were none to be tried. Two years on she traded the Routan for a Prius-V, having realized that a full-size “minivan” was just too darned big, and the 20mpg was painful. But she misses being able to carry six on occasion. This might have split the difference in a good way.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    As long as the price is reasonable I would consider buying one. I’ve been looking at the Mazda5, the old Transit Connect and euro unobtanium like the Citroen Berlingo for years. I just want comfortable hauling of 4 people and bunch of stuff with a short haul capacity of 6-7 when I need it. That said, a lot of the stuff I haul is bicycles so a full on Transit, Sprinter or Ducato may also be on the list.

    • 0 avatar
      technivore

      It’s like you’re me, this is exactly what I need too. We have two kids so our existing cars (an ’05 Forester and a ’00 Saturn SL s***box) work just fine but as soon as we want to haul another kid or a grandparent, we need two cars which is just ridiculous. I don’t want a full on minivan because they are just too damn big for the tiny streets in my neighborhood north of Chicago. Was really hoping for a Grand C-Max or S-Max because they fit the bill perfectly.

      I’m definitely underwhelmed by this TC Wagon but unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be either this or the Mazda5 for me when it comes out next year. (Unless somebody can point me at another car-sized, non-CUV vehicle with a 3rd row available in the US)

  • avatar

    Well, what you all have to remember is that the Transit Connect shares its platform with the Focus, so that brings about some dimensional limitations. And this new iteration packs a lot of style into a car of this class, but I must say, Ford really penalizes you if you don’t spring for the MyFord Touch system on its cars…

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Do you mean in creature comfort or in price? Agree that CC is withheld if you want to go base, such as buying a Focus S over an SE; however, I’ve found ’12 Foci S online for less than $15K. That’s a pretty good bargain and even stripped down, it’s still WAY more car than my first, an ’84 Mercury Lynx L 5spd who’s only option beyond the fifth gear was the Electronic Rear Defrost.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      Dimensional limitations are as follows:
      1. No optional V-6
      2. Third row only seats two
      3. Second and third row seats do not fold into floor
      4. Minimal cargo area between third row and tailgate
      5. No under-floor storage

      Depending on your needs and expectations these limitations may or may not be an issue.

      • 0 avatar

        Re: #2 I don’t understand how this is a limitation. I know many moms fold the third row often to get more cargo space when shopping, but if the second row seats two and they have two kids, then often times a friend can’t come along for the play date.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        We usually keep the third row in our Odyssey folded. If we have extra passengers it’s no trouble to open.

        As C. Alan mentions in a previous post, the three seat second row will be a problem if you have children who are still in car seats. It can be a hassle folding a second row seat to let someone in the third row if there is a car seat in the second row. It is easier to have two seats in the second row and have your extra passengers step between these seats back to the third row.

        Of course this is only an issue if you have small kids. Otherwise a three seat second row should not be a problem. Honda and Toyota offer an optional miniseat for the Odyssey and Sienna to allow seating for a third passenger in their second rows.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @Kyree, Actually, it’s the Focus Mk1 platform (C170) from 2003, the current Mk3 is built on the C1 platform.

  • avatar
    BigMeats

    Lotsa comments. All this interest in a tall vehicle makes me happy.

    Hope those seats come out easily. This would be a sweet yard/antique sale vehicle for my tiny wife. She refuses to drive my pickup.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    With all the “experts” posting on this site, I am surprised that some manufacturer has not snapped up these “experts” to have the benefit of their wisdom. Since the manufacturers are so short sighted, maybe you need to apply directly to the Manufacturer that you approve of. Tell them Charlie sent you.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I did! And they did!

      Thanks for the great reference Charlie.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Why do they need to hire us when they can read the blog and hear what all of us have to say for free? :-)

      Personally, I have a positive opinion of just about every One Ford model. And this is from someone who had repeated death-defying experieces while trying to keep a 1989 Ford Tempo running through my early 20s – I was not expecting Ford to survive, much less start selling desirable cars.

      The price, MPGs, and features of this van will make it or break it, though. Fold-flat 3rd row seats are a necessity, especially if it’s going to be used as a 5-seater most of the time (my use-case). Also, it needs to be able to tow my Harbor Freight trailer and get great MPGs (though not at the same time). I really like the simple utilitarianism of the current Transit Connect, and was sorely tempted to buy one as a family/hobby hauler.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Charliej, just ignore the haters, those who post with no research, and those who tell us they have the bestest ever vehicle and your ride sucks. The rest of us get along pretty well. They’re just rumble strips in TTAC interstate.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Why are they bringing this ugly thing and not the Grand C-Max, or even the B-Max or the Galaxy? The aerodynamics look awful. I’m skeptical about 30 MPG highway. Of course, the Odyssey already gets 29. If Toyota decided to drop the hybrid powertrain from the Camry/Avalon into the Sienna, the result would probably exceed 30 MPG highway and city (but at a cost).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      We have a current gen Odyssey in the family. The only way that thing will get 29mpg on the highway in the real world is if you are towing it. The EPA figures are PURE fantasy, it has never seen more than ~23mpg, even on the long trips my Aunt frequently takes it on. And she is not exactly lead-footed, at 80 years old. Same mpg on average as the Routan that my Mom had with the 4.0L V6. Which cost 1/2 as much and drove 2X better.

      I do agree that I too am baffled as to why no company has offered a hybrid minivan. Judging by sales of loaded Odysseys and Siennas, folks have no problem paying $45K for a van, so what is another couple grand if it reduces your fuel cost substantially? Then again, as proven with the hybrid GM trucks, people can’t really do math. 5mpg improvement on a 15mpg truck is a HUGE improvement, not the inconsequential one it is on a 35mpg car.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        I’m with krhodes1 on the Odyssey not getting 29. Even the 6-speed is rated for 19/28, and I don’t know anyone who gets 28 on highway.

        http://www.fuelly.com/car/honda/odyssey

        On the hybrid minivan, a minivan is somewhat ideal for packaging a battery. However, it may take away stow’n’go-type features, might make the load floor higher, and might reduce the rear cargo wheel. These changes aren’t insurmountable, but would reduce the advances that minivans have made since the original Chrysler ones (which had no stow’n’go and little cargo space behind the 3rd row seats for anything beyond a few grocery bags).

      • 0 avatar
        sfay3

        I get 42 mpg with my Odyssey while towing my Saab up a hill.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        I get infinite mpg (0 L/100 km) on my car while driving downhill.

    • 0 avatar
      Theophilus138

      My theory is that since minivans are already really hard on transmissions, and hybrids often come with less-than-robust CVT’s (for example, Toyota is adament that the Prius, a ridiculously reliable vehicle, can’t tow because the transmission can’t handle it), a hybrid minivan would treat the transmission as a wear item.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Toyota does allow you to tow with the Highlander Hybrid (to 3500lbs, the same as the non-hybrid Sienna) and the RX-h (didn’t check the capacity on that one)

        I suspect that this has more to do with the Prius’ brakes (and the Highlander’s profit margins) and mass than the transmission. It’s also worth noting that Toyota’s (and Ford’s) hybrid system doesn’t use a CVT in the traditional sense, and that series hybrids scale up to bus and locomotive use, and they effectively use the motor-generator as a transmission because they’re more robust than physical gears.

        Now, Honda’s CVT, yes, I wouldn’t tow with that, but that’s more to do with Honda’s recent record in these matters than anything else.

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    We’ll replace our Ford Freestyle with this or something like this in a few years. The Freestyle was the most fuel efficient 7 seater when we purchased it, but it’s still rather bulbous and weighty for its function – despite weighing 600 lbs less than a minivan. If this returns good mileage and they stick to the 3500 lb weight range, we’ll be first in line to buy it.

  • avatar
    lubbock57

    For the useless trivia bucket…..the bridges behind the van in the 3rd picture are between Port Huron MI and Sarnia ON

  • avatar
    willbodine

    The Current Transit Coonect is used as a taxi here in Palm Springs. Will the new one continue to be sourced from Turkey?

  • avatar
    jconli1

    I realize this is a more passenger-oriented version… but the Element comparison got me thinking…

    What made the Element brilliant is something most people overlook : it had a truly flat floor, directly accessible from the front seats like a van. No other CUV that I know of could compare to its cargo box. Everyone who told me I was an idiot and should have bought the CRV or Mazda5 (or CX5) didn’t understand that.

    That flat floor allows me to haul very large items (including a 1958 Leslie speaker sitting upright), or enough luggage and supplies for a long road trip (packed low, it still allows use of the fold-down beds), or even a large-frame Vespa without even having to remove the rear seats (the sideways-flip of the rear seats is brilliant).

    The only other vehicles I could cross-shop were the Astro or the Transit Connect. Astros were dirt cheap but had horrible mileage. The Transit was promising, but still didn’t have a step-through cargo area – it’s more of a car cockpit welded onto a cargo box. Ultimately I wanted AWD and a manual (plenty of trips over the passes), so the Element was it.

    With only 100k on mine, it’s got years to go, but I’m already assuming that its eventual replacement will have to be some sort of Transit… hopefully a diesel by then, and hopefully with better passenger compartment-to-cargo box accesibility.

  • avatar

    Wow I’m really excited about this vehicle. I did not expect to see a vehicle like this–especially from Ford. Practical, efficient…I’m in love.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    *droool…* If only Ford was smart enough to sell that in Indonesia instead of the barely selling Ford Focus… Looks perfect for three-row loving Indonesians.

    Although the Orlando from Chevy did not sell either. I guess a trusted/familiar brand name just matter too much for the local populace…

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Tumblehome, who needs it?

    Interesting that the Transit Connect Wagon is arriving stateside, rather than the originally announced Grand C-Max. As YTD sales current TC sales are almost triple those of the GCW’s distant cousin, the Mazda5, so it makes sense to take advantage of economy of scale and introduce a new version of a proven seller.


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