By on February 8, 2013

If you were an early adopter of Ford’s compact cargo hauler, news of the 2014 Transit Connect may upset you. Rather than letting the old baby-Transit languish in America like Ford did once upon a time with thee Focus, the new Euro van is coming to America later this year. With new engines, new transmissions and a corporate grille, should you put your purchase on hold?

In a word: yes. The new Transit Connect isn’t just more stylish than its predecessor, it comes with a host of improvements for people and cargo hauling alike. Payload remains somewhat low at 1,600lbs but cargo room is up thanks to an extended wheelbase model. Ford is even tossing in their 6.5 inch version of MyFord Touch.

If people carrying is your goal, that extended model will now haul 7 passengers and Ford improved interior parts quality. While the last Transit connect was slathered in hard Euro plastics, the 2014 model borrows from Ford’s Focus, Escape and Fiesta parts bins. The result is a mini-van that looks like one of the family and finally doesn’t have any painted metal showing on the inside.

Under the hood Ford is using a naturally aspirated 2.5L four cylinder or a force-fed 1.6L four borrowed from the Escape and Fusion. Assuming the 1.6L doesn’t get recalled, the boosted four’s broad torque range coupled with Ford’s 6-speed automatic should improve the Connect’s performance on the road. Ford is claiming the combo will also be good for 30MPG on the highway which is impressive for a commercial vehicle, as long as they can meet their claim.

 

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32 Comments on “Chicago Auto Show: 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon...”


  • avatar
    DeeDub

    I couldn’t care less about the corporate nose job, but the 6 speed auto is very welcome.

  • avatar
    TTACFanatic

    Do you think you’ll be able to get the “cargo” version with seats? It would make a suitable replacement for the Honda Element.

  • avatar
    mxfive4

    A bit disappointed that there are no pics of the cargo area. I need to know if this can hold two large hounds, a motorized scooter and a pallet of pudding.

  • avatar
    missmySE-R

    Is this the reason why the non-hybrid C-Max was not brought to market?

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Loving the neogothic taillamps of the new Ford vans. Very…cathedralic.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Best looking of its type. Not bad at all.

  • avatar

    This car is a pretty good one for small families. I am always on the look out for one of them for my family (Fiat or Renault, in Brazil we don’t get the Ford). Haven’t bit the bullet yet but might one day. If a case can be made for about 500 sales a month, Ford should bring this over. Of course, to that you could add the commercial version, so about 1000 sales a month justify the expense? Tough one.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    This is on my short list of next vehicle purchases. I’ll probably steer clear of the 1.6L though.

  • avatar
    Easton

    I really don’t get this whole aversion to column shifters manufaturers seem to have nowadays, especially in vehicles where it is the only choice that makes any sense. Why mount a shifter dead centre in the middle of the dashboard, blocking HVAC controls when a simple column shifter is up and out of the way of everything? This is especially frustrating in pick-up trucks where gigantic , yet utterly useless centre consoles and console shifters stand in the way of a perfectly useful seat

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I agree that a column shifter makes sense for a pickup truck, but I understand why cars don’t have them. The people that are of an age to make such decisions are probably from my generation. When we started driving, cars with column shifters were either undesirable malaise era clunkers or primarily desirable to older customers. Bucket seats and console shifters were designators of desirability, and many of us still feel like we’re borrowing mom’s station wagon when confronted by a column shifter. I know a few people that mentioned column shifters in explaining why they took various BMWs off their shopping lists. Ironically, BMW was one of the brands that played a large part in making console shifters synonymous with prestige.

      • 0 avatar
        Easton

        It should still be an option. I’m only 32 and I would take a column shifter any day over a stupid console (if I had to have an automatic). My wife is only 30 and she loves bench seats because they leave space for a purse. I miss my grandfather’s old Buick LeSabre.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        I agree completely. Used to have a Tahoe with a column shifter and loved it. It is just so much more. practical. Especially when I go shopping and come home with one bag. I really don’t want to open the trunk or rear seat, and I don’t want to use the passenger seat, the front bench is perfect for it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I’m a decade older than you, Easton. I remember column shifters, and the awful cars they were attached to when they were common. Perhaps they’ll be back in another decade based on opinions of people your age. Right now, the people making the call associate them with the cars that had them. Maybe if 1983 Mercedes 380SELs had column shifts and Chevrolet Caprice Classics had console shifters, Gen-Xers like me would be choosing column shifters for cars going into production. Having already been down the bench seat and split bench seat road, few my age want anything to do with them. Bench seats don’t work when women drive, since they’re shorter than men that would have to adopt their choice of seat position on the passenger side. Split bench seats are just miserable from aesthetic and usefulness perspectives. Whoever has to sit in the middle will be uncomfortable, and the rest of the time they’re just ugly, unsupportive wasted space for anyone that capable of setting something on the passenger seat. I have no idea why Mandolorian prefers the center position for his one shopping bag.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I prefer the console shifter on trucks because it comes with a nice big center console that can hold lots of stuff (you can also get the center console on the F150 with a column shifter on the lower trims). The storage space with the split bench is greatly reduced.

      On the Transit Connect I have a feeling that the floor shifter is due to logistical concerns – it’s a global vehicle and offered in other markets with a manual transmission. Putting the automatic shifter and the manual shifter in the same place saves from having to design an extra dash layout.

    • 0 avatar

      That is the location of the manual gear shift for most of the Transits sold outside USA. I doubt they want to re-engineer the center console and steering column for just one small market.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      There’s a valid reason for a column shifter in a minivan, and that’s to be able to access the second row from within the vehicle. With the flat-floor made possible by FWD, this was a huge selling point of the original Chrysler minivan.

      Additionally, in densely populated urban areas, it makes it possible to easily exit through the opposite door to the curb when parked. This is why column shifters are still prevalent in, say, Japan.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The grill makes it look like it’s throwing up, but the rest of the styling is an improvement. The 2.5/6-speed combo also does away with the least desirable qualities of the old model. I did like the old face of the TC though.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I like the styling of this, looks better than any “standard” minivan from 04 or so, before they were all dropped.

  • avatar
    infinitime

    This may be a viable replacement to our 2005 Odyssey, which sadly, is beginning to exhibit alot of electrical gremlins… Almost made me regret not buying a Caravan…almost.

  • avatar
    GoesLikeStink

    Any chance of this having a manual option? I might chose this over the Mazda 5 for a stick shift minivan. It is so hard to find 3 rows of seats and a manual.

  • avatar
    High-brid

    Is it just impossible these days to have a vehicle with a horizontal belt line? These things always look off-kilter, rather than rakish, which is the apparent intent.

  • avatar
    Tifighter

    Thanks Alex for the pics and info. This one is the shorter wheelbase model; only 174 inches long. The LWB/7 seat model is 190 inches long; I’d prefer the shorter one but am guessing the my 76″ long mountain bike will need the longer version. Still about a foot shorter versus a minivan. In any case, the TC is way high up on the shopping list.


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