KBB Editors' Overview
By Allyson Harwood - Updated Date: 5/12/2014
Although the 2014 Ford Transit Connect has sliding side doors and room for up to seven people (or 130.7-cubic-feet of cargo in 2-seat form), it's hard to put it in the same category as traditional minivans. It's on a version of the platform that underpins the Focus and Escape, which gives the van a much sportier attitude than the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey or Chrysler Town & Country. The Transit Connect is minivan-size, yet feels small and fun, and handling is surprisingly good. It comes with a choice of two wheelbases, two engines, and is offered as a Wagon (for people) or Van (for cargo). The Wagon lacks some of the creature comforts minivans offer, but it's loaded with value.
You'll Like This Car If...
Some people buy minivans and cargo vans because they have to, not because they want to. Ford's Transit Connect combines the function of a van with the fun of driving a car, and does it for a reasonable price. This is a very easy van to park and maneuver, another plus.
You May Not Like This Car If...
To fold the second row flat, you have to learn how to pull the attached straps and push down and pull the spring-loaded seats forward. The second row doesn't slide or recline, either. Cargo van buyers may need more space for gear than this van has to offer.
What's New for 2014
The only thing the 2014 Ford Transit Connect shares with the model it replaces is the name. It uses a new platform, has slick new styling, two new engines backed by a new transmission, it's now available with two wheelbase lengths, and there are new tech infotainment options.
With the new Transit Connect, you get a choice of two 4-cylinder engines – a 2.5-liter or a turbocharged 1.6-liter – and two wheelbases. The 2.5-liter doesn't accelerate with as much gusto as the 1.6-liter does off the line, but the 6-speed automatic transmission manages the power quite well. The combination of the turbocharged 4-cylinder with the short-wheelbase platform makes driving this van downright fun: Power comes quickly, as do the transmission's shifts. The 2014 Transit Connect's platform is shared with the Ford Escape and the Focus, and adopts those vehicles' confidence in corners. This van feels small and agile. The Transit Connect passenger Van's ride isn't as soft as a minivan's, but it's still comfortable and all three rows are roomy. We'd expect the cargo Van to feel quicker than the passenger Wagon, as it weighs less, but we also anticipate that it would have a noisier interior.
CREW CHIEF TELEMATICS
One of the coolest features for fleet owners, this system tracks a vehicle's location, and also monitors its speed, how long it sits idle, and the van's location. It would also come in handy for parents of teenage drivers. (We didn't just say that.)
FOLD FLAT SEATS
Folding the second and third rows in the passenger Wagon takes only seconds. Panels magnetically attached to the third row seatbacks unhinge to create a flat floor from the back of the front row to the liftgate, making room for over 104 cubic feet of gear.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…