By KBB.com Editors
To meet the needs of small businesses and practical-minded consumers, Ford is bringing the Transit Connect, formerly available in Europe and other spots around the globe, to the United States. Why bring a somewhat funky car/van/wagon to America? Because schlepping moderate amounts of goods around town in a traditional commercial cargo van is often inefficient, while small panel vans like the Chevy HHR can be just too small. In kind of a "just right" size, the Transit Connect offers a lower price, lower operating costs and more versatility than bigger vans, and it's been well-proven in some tough areas. There really is nothing quite like it on the American market.
Whether it's household cargo or small-business goods, the Ford Transit Connect has a spacious and tall interior, and available 255-degree-opening rear doors, all of which offer more capability than the narrow and more limited space of the Chevy HHR.
One downside to the Transit Connect is that its overall compact size might not be able to deal with bulky objects that would be easy to haul in larger cargo vans.
After years of great success in Europe and elsewhere, the Ford Transit Connect has been brought to the United States for those buyers looking for something big enough to carry moderately large cargo, small enough to easily navigate narrow roads and equipped with the necessary in-cabin technology capable of keeping their cargo, jobs and daily lives organized.
Driving the 2010 Ford Transit Connect is not unlike driving the average minivan. Although it may be tall, the Transit Connect is only three inches wider than the alt_o_t='Ford Focus'>Ford Focus, making it easy to fit into small parking spaces and drive down narrow streets. The vehicle's 39-foot turning radius comes in handy, making for easy U-turns and parking, and the overall steering effort was light and responsive. While the four-cylinder engine is adequate for hauling duty and getting up to freeway speeds, we wish that Ford had brought over the diesel powerplant that's available in the European Transit Connect.
255-Degree Swing-Open Rear Doors
The 255-degree angle folds the doors completely out of the way, allowing for much easier access to the cargo area.
In-Dash Computer System
This Microsoft Windows-based computer system can do just about everything a regular desktop computer can; it even comes with a keyboard and mouse.
On the inside, the 2010 Ford Transit Connect isn't much to look at. Hard plastics abound, as this interior boasts utility over comfort, but for those needing the extra space, the Transit Connect will suit them well. If rear seats aren't needed, there is over 135 cubic feet of space, and it can carry items up to six feet long and just under five feet wide and tall. And, for the average household family, this cargo hauler doubles as a handy people mover, with seating for up to five and ample head and legroom for front and rear passengers. For additional storage space, there is an overhead compartment above the front passenger area.
Blend a Ford Fusion and an E-Series van and you get something like the Transit Connect. This car/van combination has vertically rectangular headlights, a front grille and fog lights that are similar to those found on the previous-generation Fusion, while its sliding side doors and hinged rear doors are just like those found on a cargo van. Aesthetics aside, the Transit Connect's exterior is functional as well. Small business owners looking for more advertising space will find that the optional metal door panels make a great canvas for company logos.
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, 15-inch covered steel wheels, rear 180-degree swing-open doors and an AM/FM radio with two speakers. The higher XLT trims come with more features, including side and rear-door privacy glass, a single-disc CD player, audio input jack, cruise control, dual front map lights, AdvanceTrac electronic stability control with RSC (Roll Stability Control) and the Power Equipment Group, which includes remote keyless entry and power windows, door locks and side mirrors.
Some notable options include the Nokia Bluetooth system, 255-degree-opening rear doors, reverse-sensing system, an in-dash Magnetti Marelli Windows CE computer with touch screen, Crew Chief – which allows fleet managers to track their fleet vehicles and staff – and Tool Link, which uses radio frequency identification tags that allow the user to keep track of items missing from the vehicle's cabin - such as power tools that might be left at a work site.
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Duratec engine that gives it a fair balance of fuel economy and power. Although a four-cylinder engine seems rather small for a vehicle that weighs over 3,000 pounds and is meant to haul large cargo, it's surprisingly spritely and supplies enough torque to get the Transit Connect everywhere it needs to go. And, it delivers decent fuel economy.
2.0-liter in-line four
136 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/25
By Ron on Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "very good gas mileage for the cargo capacity"
Cons: "could use a little more power and better arm rests"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"very useful for around town, hauling kids to college picking up appliances or any other large items you may purchase. great in any type of winter driving."
12 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By JF on Monday, May 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good MPG with heavy cargo"
Cons: "Traction control cannot be disabled."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"This first-year vehicle had a few hiccups, but dealer made good on all problems. Glad I bought the extended warranty. I live on a mountain, and the traction control got me stuck more than once in mud or snow trying to go up a 12% grade. It cannot be disabled and automatically applies the brakes when it senses any slip which will stall your running-start climb on a slippery up-grade. Vehicle is a little noisy at Interstate speeds on long trips. However, I find the vehicle has amazing power for a four cylinder, and great gas mileage. I often carry 500 to 900 pounds of cargo plus passengers with gas mileage in the mid-20s at 70 MPH. Rear seat area is tight, but I wanted to carry heavy loads and no mini-van is safe at the loads I carry. Rear doors full-swing is great. Caveat - If this was an AWD vehicle, it would be the perfect truck."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Katrina on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Storage and accessibility"
Cons: "Doesn't handle well in wind or snow & bad mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"If there is wind out - it does not handle well, on snow and ice, it does not handle well, it does not get very good gas mileage and the window levers being in center instead of on doors is very inconvenient and ride in backseat is pretty bad - relatively good in front? The best thing about this is the storage capacity and the accessibility to the contents inside. We do vendor shows and we can get everything we need in there and unload in minutes and with room and height is pretty much like having a truck for most items that you need to move, like big chairs and mattresses actually fit inside. Since I can not afford a normal vehicle and one for transport it is used for both and having no back windows that open up is not convenient for anyone in backseat riding, especially our dogs that want to hang their heads out and can't. If I were using it just for our shows I would keep it in a minute, but since it has to be our regular vehicle as well, I have to go back to another type of vehicle - probably the Escape which is one of the best vehicles I ever owned and got better gas mileage in 6 cyl than this vehicle did for a 4 cyl. I still have my 2003 Ford Escape which is only now after about 10 years of use starting to have more major issues than it had most of the time I have had it. What I should really do is put lots of money into it to fix it back up and then keep both vehicles?"
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By chasbo48 on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Design, accesibility, MPG"
Cons: "Bad radio/speaker, insufficient horn, mech. issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Good truck, good mileage, great design for contractor. Two issues: was in shop for 3 weeks for TPS (Tire Pressure Sensor ) issue, and in two weeks for acceleration/hesitation. Mechanics don't seem to be very adept at diagnosing and solving issues on this truck - perhaps it's unfamiliarity, or maybe just my luck that I've had weird problems but every time I've had issues it's been very time-consuming and expensive to solve. Truck has been in shop 11 days now for current acceleration/hesitation issue..."
8 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Kat on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Storage capacity and convience of unloading"
Cons: "Window controls, weather problems/bad mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Things I like: sliding side doors/opening back doors to side of car - we do art shows and this had been VERY convenient. Things I don't like - window openers in center console (very inconvenient) / my 6 cylinder Escape got better gas mileage than this 4 cylinder and has so little power - have to use all your power on gas pedal to get up inclines / have had front wheel drive cars always and never trouble getting around till we got this one - definitely does not handle well in snow, ice, even rain sometimes and definitely bad in wind. I like the looks and convenience of the style, but as far as the rest it has been quite the disappointment. It also does not heat well at all - eventually it gets warm, but never as soon as you need it even when left to warm up and driver's side is cold most of the time. I think blower problems on that side of car / also no mirror on driver's side visor?"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Backbay Fred on Monday, November 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handy vehicle - fun to own"
Cons: "Cloth seats, carpet floor"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I purchased this vehicle when I was a Independent Courier. I chose the passenger model because I have two grand-children. This vehicle has made trips to Florida, upstate New York and to Cleveland, Ohio via West Virginia. It has been used as a dog ambulance, dog hearse, lumber carrier, furniture mover. Just an all around handy vehicle. It is easy to park and is my vehicle of choice for the runs to Costco for carrying bulky items. Don't know why Ford decided to redo for 2014. All they really needed to do is make an extended length model and they could have kept building them. Obviously is a niche market vehicle."
10 people out of 11 found this review helpful