Ford Transit Connect Diesel Engine Dead on Arrival

Chad Kirchner
by Chad Kirchner

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]

Chad Kirchner
Chad Kirchner

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  • Slavuta Slavuta on Jul 11, 2019

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

    • See 1 previous
    • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Jul 11, 2019

      I am assuming that Eastern Europe has less stringent emission laws and lack organizations which actually enforce those laws.

  • Polishdon Polishdon on Jul 11, 2019

    "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 ?

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jul 15, 2019

      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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