Chicago Auto Show: 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes
chicago auto show 2014 ford transit connect wagon

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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  • High-brid High-brid on Feb 08, 2013

    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.

    • Dolorean Dolorean on Feb 09, 2013

      Actually I'm chuffed that Ford left the amazing Greenhouse alone for once, not chop-shoping the windows to gun slits in a tall bunker.

  • Tifighter Tifighter on Feb 08, 2013

    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.

  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.
  • Stuart de Baker EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.
  • FreedMike They should throw in a Lordstown pickup with every purchase. Make it the “vapor twofer.”
  • Random1 Pretty excited about this update, I didn't see it available in mine this morning, but any day now... I think only Apple maps will be on the center display, and not Waze yet, but I assume that'll come soon enough. As to the unnecessary Tesla comment above : I'll take the build quality, the looks, and generally normal items that all cars should have over the M3 any day of the week.
  • Jonathan H. The ES production is going back to Japan so it's safe to assume its assembly building will be utilized for the new EV. Seems like a good fit for what will probably be fairly low volume compared to the Camry/Rav4 assembly lines.