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.You'll Like This Car If...
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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.What's Significant About This Car?
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 It Driving Impressions
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 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.Notable Standard Equipment
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.Notable Optional Equipment
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
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) that starts just under $22,000 for the Cargo van version, while the Passenger van is slightly over $22,000. Prices jump a little when opting for the higher XLT trim levels – under $23,000 for the Cargo van and around $23,500 for the Passenger van – and top out at about $25,000 when the in-dash computer system is added. To get the best price on your Transit Connect, be sure to check our Fair Purchase Prices to see what others in your area are paying for theirs. As for resale value, we expect the Transit Connect to hold its value well, slightly better than the Chevrolet HHR.