Are You Ready For: A Transit Connect-Based Minivan?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Let’s face a fact here: as much as Jack Baruth likes the Ford Flex, Ford’s MINI-cum-Woodie-Wagon is a textbook case of what the literature refers to as a sales flop. Recommend one to a friend (particularly a friend of the female persuasion) and chances are they’ll say “even if it is a great car, I just don’t like the looks” and go buy a Traverse. For a while there it seemed like a seven-passenger version of Ford’s European C-Max would help the Blue Oval shore up its three-row options, but with that model canceled in favor of a five-door, hybrid-only strategy, Ford’s back to contemplating updates to the Flex. But Automotive News [sub] Product Editor Rick Kranz has another idea:

My understanding is that the next-gen Transit Connect arrives in a few years, will be assembled in North America and will be a more refined vehicle. The current version comes from Turkey…

While today’s Transit Connect seats five, a seven-passenger version could be a viable option for young families that don’t need the Grand Caravan’s bulk. Some urban families might prefer the nimble size of a seven-passenger compact minivan on the narrow neighborhood streets in the Windy City or the Big Apple.

From a business standpoint, Ford could increase Transit Connect volume by offering two flavors — one for commercial applications and the other for mom, dad and the kids.

The main reason the seven-passenger C-Max was nixed: a near-Caravan price point. A TC-based van could come in at a lower price… but would Americans really choose such a utilitarian vehicle? Meanwhile, would a Transit Connect really look that much more appealing than a Flex? It’s an interesting idea that Ford is probably looking at… but what say you?

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5 of 83 comments
  • Tifighter Tifighter on Jun 16, 2011

    I was seriously considering one of these over the winter. No local dealers had one in stock...not even a base, white commercial one. Order only. No test drive possible. This was in the Bay Area...not exactly a rural location. Stick, diesel, etc would be nice, but not a dealbreaker. Fusion motor with 5sp auto would be nice. And I would gladly pay more for a spec above the current XLT premium.

  • BOF BOF on Jun 16, 2011

    Behold the 8 passenger conversion already being produced by Explorer.. Any takers??

  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Jun 16, 2011

    That sounds like Top Gear USA, not the UK version. The US version is not great, but better than most US car shows (not saying much) Look up space shuttle reliant robin on you-tube for a good sample of the UK version.

  • Carcurmudgeon Carcurmudgeon on Jun 17, 2011

    I want one. My wife and I have #3 on the way, so we've been looking at minivans. The Honda and Toyota are too expensive and too difficult to park on city streets. The Mazda 5 is just a tad too small to be useful (ditto the C-Max, which is a bit shorter than the 5). So what I want is something in between, something that does the job and isn't stuffed silly with features like the big minivans. By the way, where I live Toyota Previas are a familiar site. Those things must be really well made! And the small size compared to contemporary minivans makes them perfect for urban parking. Would someone please make a new Previa?

    • SVX pearlie SVX pearlie on Jun 17, 2011

      The Previa is better built than the current Sienna. What with dollar exchange rates being awesome and Toyota actually giving a crap about the product, yeah.