The Ford Transit Connect isn’t technically a minivan, but in several means — best conspicuously its admeasurement — it’s added admirable of the name than the not-very-mini-vans actuality awash today. Models like the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica are abounding things, abounding of them good, but “mini” isn’t one of them. They are added like two-thirds-scale RVs. Price-wise, too. The bales for a loaded Sienna, Odyssey or Pacifica can acreage south of $45,000. If you’d like article that’s a lot beneath big-ticket — and abundant added mini — you ability appetite to accept a attending at the Transit. No amount what Ford is technically calling it.
What it is
The Transit Connect is a avant-garde booty on the aboriginal minivan abstraction — and a counterpoint to the avant-garde not-so-mini-van idea.
Like the ’80s-era vans so abounding of us grew up with, it’s not abundant beyond than a car, but inside, it’s got allowance for as abounding as seven bodies in three rows of seats. It additionally has as abundant as 128.6 cubic anxiety of burden capacity, too. And clashing today’s goliath-sized minivans, it’s not expensive. Abject amount is $23,120 for a approved wheelbase Burden trim with two being (driver and passenger) seating, bifold chiral sliding ancillary doors and a brace of outward-opening rear doors. A top-of-the-line Titanium trim dressed with acrimonious covering seats (and three rows of seats), ability folding exoteric mirrors, automated altitude ascendancy and a 6.5 inch LCD touchscreen stickers for $30,435.
All Transit Connect trims get a new advanced blow and cruise ascendancy is now allotment of the accepted accessories package.
It’s added able than its rivals, with abbreviate and continued wheelbase versions; two, bristles or seven-passenger capacity.
Huge windshield aboveboard breadth gives outstanding appearance of the alley ahead.
Low step-in/floor acme makes this van awfully accessible to get into and to load/unload.
What’s Not So Good
If you don’t adjustment the extra-cost ancillary glass, the appearance to the ancillary is not outstanding.
One-piece rear lift aboideau bound to most-expensive Titanium trim.
Under The Hood
The Transit’s accepted agent is a 2.5 liter, 169 application four commutual to a six-speed automatic. This is a admixture that’s acceptable adamantine to acquisition in cartage generally. Simple — no turbo — and apparently bulletproof for abounding years and afar to come. Gas breadth is 19 city, 27 artery — and you can cull a baby (2,000 lb.) trailer. The Transit is front-wheel-drive.
On The Road
The Transit shares its suspension/chassis underthings with the Escape crossover and C-Max wagon. Like them — and clashing best full-sized minivans — it has a appealing bound axis amphitheater — 36.1 anxiety for the accepted wheelbase version. And because it’s lower to the ground, so is its centermost of gravity, which makes it feel beneath abundant in the curves.
Forward afterimage is aberrant because of the tall, advanced windshield. But abject Burden trims do not appear with ancillary bottle — or alike rear bottle — unless you pay added for them. If you don’t, afterimage to the abandon and abaft you is nil.
At The Curb
The Transit has the advantage of actual low step-in (and floor/loading) height; you can about airing into them – as against to aggressive in. Loading burden is easier for the aforementioned reason. Ramps are not necessary. But the better appeal, probably, of a agent like the Transit is that it is manageably sized.
In approved wheelbase anatomy (104.8 inches) it is alone 173.9 inches long. To get a faculty of that, a Honda Civic auto — which is a bunched sized car – is 182.3 inches long. The “compact” Civic is 8.4 inches best all-embracing than the Transit. But its best burden accommodation is aloof 15.1 cubic anxiety vs. 103.9 cubic anxiety for the Transit.
And a bunched auto like the Civic seats alone bristles — while the Transit can handle as abounding as seven.
On the added end of the scale, a standard-sized not-so-mini-van like the Dodge Caravan has added allowance for burden — 143.8 cubic anxiety – but it is additionally about two-and-a-half anxiety best all-embracing (202.8 inches vs. 173.9) and additionally has a abundant added axis amphitheater (39.1 anxiety vs. 36.1 feet). Current not-so-mini-vans can be a lot to alive with.
And acquisition parking amplitude for.
The new Sync3 interface — with its smartphone-like pinch/zoom controls and beyond tap/swipe icons – is a big advance over the above-mentioned MyFordTouch rig. The accessible acrimonious windshield (electric filigree anchored in the glass) is addition plus, if you accept to accord with winter. Without this assist, all that bottle would booty a continued time to defrost on a algid day.
The Bottom Line
It’s a mini-van like they acclimated to accomplish them.
View the Ford Transit Connect this week.
To acquisition out added about Eric and apprehend his accomplished columns, amuse appointment the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com. His new book, Don’t Get Taken for a Ride! will be accessible soon.
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