By on July 10, 2019

When the updated Ford Transit Connect debuted, Ford showed off a fancy new 1.5-liter turbodiesel to power it. While the company said it would be late availability, it turns out that the company decided that it wouldn’t put it into production at all.

Car and Driver initially reported the decision, with a Ford spokesperson citing a lack of demand for the reason for putting it into production. Considering the premium price that the diesel engine would command, plus rising fuel prices, it’s not hard to see why buyers wouldn’t ultimately be interested in the engine.

Apparently not enough customers walked into dealerships asking for the engine. Though there is speculation out there that it was related to EPA emissions verification and not actual demand. We reached out to Ford and directly asked if this was the case.

Elizabeth Kraft from their commercial vehicle team said plainly, “No. Transit Connect diesel engine and short wheel base passenger wagon was cancelled due to lack of market demand.”

That should put the speculation to rest on why the engine wouldn’t be offered.

The gasoline engine is pretty efficient. The combined fuel economy rating on the van is 26 mpg. I personally know a tech business owner who purchased a 2019 model for his fleet. He is getting 26 mpg reliably over several thousand miles of driving.

The other bad news regarding the van is that the short wheelbase is being discontinued in passenger van version. It’ll still be available as a cargo van, ready for upfitting and professional use, but the long wheelbase is the only one for families. Again that makes sense since if you’re hauling people around, you’ll want the extra space for legroom and things. But it’s nice to have options.

It would also be nice to see the diesel engine, especially for the cargo version. I was actually waiting for that van to come out to advise my friend to buy one, but one customer is not enough to save the engine offering. But now that Ohio has an additional 19 cents per gallon tax on diesel, it’s probably for the best.

 

[Image: Ford]

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28 Comments on “Ford Transit Connect Diesel Engine Dead on Arrival...”


  • avatar
    ravenuer

    I don’t know, I just think the commercial version of this thing would have been great with a diesel option.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think Ford was right. As a city van, wouldn’t a hybrid or PHEV make more sense? Maybe they could leverage some of the tech from the C-Max Energi.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      That would make better sense. I don’t see the need for diesels in light vehicles, they’re not cost efficient. I don’t think we’d ever had seen much in the way of diesel passenger cars if countries hadn’t taxed diesel significantly less than gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’m surprised that they haven’t offered a Hybrid version yet. I see no reason why the C-Max/Fusion powertrain wouldn’t drop right in. Though they could be waiting to see how well the Escape Hybrid does as that could quickly eat up the plant’s capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        True. The new Escape PHEV and Corsair PHEV are basically getting the Fusion Energi/C-Max Energi powertrain.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I see the Hybrid as the one that would be the best option for most fleets that use them. Their latest generation of Hybrid batteries is pretty compact and wouldn’t take up much of the cargo room. The plug-in version with meaningful range might take up too much volume and capacity. Plus so many of the users of vehicles like this, auto parts stores, florists ect aren’t set up so they could plug in their fleet. They are usually tennants, not owners, so installing chargers out in the parking lot where the vehicles double as advertisements might not be possible.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    Really wish Ford would give us the Transit Custom.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenn

      The Transit Custom would be the only one right-sized for me.

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        Same. I’m not a fan of how bloated the traditional minivan has gotten so I’d like something a little more on the utilitarian side, but the Connect is too small and the full size is too big. A competitor to the Metris would be perfect.

        • 0 avatar

          I have a Ram C/V (the cargo version of the Caravan) that I use for my side businesses. It’s a good size – the Connect/Promaster City is too small and a Transit or Sprinter is probably overkill. Something in between would be a good compromise.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    And here I thought the proper way to run a business was to focus group before you show it off and say it’s going into production.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The industry attitude toward diesels changed very abruptly and may have caught some people off guard, but I know, it’s just stupid Ford misjudging the market, right?

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        It’s stupid Ford alright. But to misjudge the market would imply they asked before moving forward. Clearly they didn’t. The van never sold well. Another Ford vehicle that was allowed to rot on the vine. So what made them think to offer it in the first place?

        Furniture guy needs to go ASAP

  • avatar
    Kosher Polack

    Nooooo!!!

    I am one of what I can only assume is about ten people who wants the SWB wagon.
    It’s the most volume-per-footprint that can fit in my tract home garage.

    There’s only ever about twenty of them on sale in the entire country, all of them over 2,000 miles from me, in salt states, with the rear hatch instead of the cargo doors, in rental Versa silver, and I’m STILL searching.

    Give me my micro-camper antidote to the CUVs everyone hates

  • avatar
    Kosher Polack

    Nooooo!!!

    I am one of what I can only assume is about ten people who wants the SWB wagon.
    It’s the most volume-per-footprint that can fit in my tract home garage.

    There’s only ever about twenty of them on sale in the entire country, all of them over 2,000 miles from me, in salt states, with the rear hatch instead of the cargo doors, in rental Versa silver, and I’m STILL searching.

    Give me my micro-camper antidote to the CUVs everyone hates!

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Needs the new 7.3 to tempt me.

  • avatar
    Raevoxx

    Too bad the SWB 1.6T ship sailed a few years ago, now.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    As to the logic mentioned above…if fuel prices are rising, wouldn’t that make people MORE interested in having a fuel efficient diesel engine?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Enterprise has a fleet of these, and I had one for several months to use. What a great vehicle for a family. It needs more power – a problem easily corrected with the fuel swilling ecoboost engines.

    But Ford’s too dumb to even offer a custom option of that.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    I’m still kicking myself for not getting a 1st generation one.

    I really prefer the relatively unfinished interior of the original.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    May be this is a good thing. I just came back from Eastern Europe. Diesels are everywhere and the diesel stink is everywhere.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    “Elizabeth Kraft from their commercial vehicle team said plainly, “No. Transit Connect diesel engine and short wheel base passenger wagon was cancelled due to lack of market demand.” And you believe a probable PR person ?

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Can you imagine if that woman’s favorite food was macaroni & cheese?

      Just like an HR person with the last name of Hire! Or (as God is my witness, I’m not making this up), the father and son in Toledo who are urologists, both named Richard Tapper! (The father may have retired in the last several years.)


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