By KBB.com Editors
Ford's 2012 Transit Connect van is the little truck that wasn't supposed to be. But, despite all the critics and macho truck guys who swore they'd never be caught dead in one, the Transit Connect van has won over numerous converts and changed the costs of transportation for thousands of businesses. The compact Transit Connect van has succeeded where others failed, due to its incredible flexibility, good fuel economy and low maintenance costs. The Transit Connect's small size also makes it much easier to maneuver through confined city streets and narrow alleys, a plus for parcel and delivery services. To further help sales, Ford has partnered with a number of aftermarket providers capable of customizing the 2012 Transit Connect however its owner requires. Other manufacturers are now making gestures toward bringing their own European microvan to market but, to date, the 2012 Ford Transit Connect has the market all to itself.
While the 2012 Ford Transit Connect might appeal to off-beat consumers looking for a unique ride, its first mission is to serve the business community. With its elevated roof, available 255-degree-opening rear doors and seemingly infinite equipment and graphics packages, the Transit Connect van is far superior to any small pickup or car-based crossover.
Although it may seem the 2012 Ford Transit Connect knows no boundary, size and weight restrictions limit what it can carry. If you need to transport heavy items, tow a trailer or carry six or more people, a V8-powered full-size van is still a better choice.
For 2012, the Transit Connect is equipped with Ford's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control. Previously optional, AdvanceTrac is an electronic traction and stability control program that greatly increases safety. A passenger-friendly XLT Premium Wagon is added to the lineup, featuring a three-person second-row bench seat.
Driving Impressions Driving the 2012 Ford Transit Connect is much like driving a small minivan or compact crossover utility vehicle, except it's a much taller experience. While you'll have to watch that...you don't bump the tall roof going under garage openings, the Transit Connect van isn't much wider than a Ford Focus so, once in, getting around the parking structure or loading dock is a breeze. With a turning radius just under 39 feet, the 2012 Ford Transit Connect is far easier to turn around than a full-size van, and it easily fits into car-sized parking spaces, too. If there is one weak spot for the 2012 Transit Connect it can be found under the hood. The 2.0-liter gas engine is strong enough to get you where you're going but, when loaded down, the engine strains to reach higher speeds in a timely manner. The Europeans get a lovely little diesel engine in their version but, for now, Ford says there are no plans to bring the diesel engine stateside.
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.
Mobility Motoring Package
Includes a heavy-duty battery and wiring harness for chair uplift device.
The 2012 Ford Transit Connect's interior is highly functional, but not terrible attractive. Hard gray plastics and dated gauges speak to a previous generation of Fords long since retired in this country. But, from a utility standpoint, the Transit Connect's interior is a thing of beauty, offering so many variations it's mind boggling. The cargo bay can be used to carry passengers, or emptied to create a large level loading area with over 135 cubic feet of space and nearly five feet of vertical room. Ford's army of aftermarket suppliers can custom-tailor the 2012 Transit Connect with multi-tiered shelving, lockable storage drawers and small work tables. A Taxi prep package outfits the Transit Connect with a heavy-duty vinyl seat and rear-seat heater.Exterior
If there is one car you won't have a problem finding in a crowded parking lot, it's the 2012 Ford Transit Connect van. The tall roofline speaks to the Transit Connect's mission in life, but its sharply-raked windshield and hood tell a tale of attempted aerodynamics and a car-like driving experience. The driver's seat allows a good view forward, but the solid sheetmetal walls limit side and rearward vision, prompting use of the big side mirrors and available Rear Sensing system. With large sliding side doors and available split-hinged rear doors that swing around to rest flush against the van's sides, there isn't much that can't be placed inside the Transit Connect. Small-business owners will appreciate Ford's graphics program that allows them to design their own graphic logos online. Once the design is finalized it can be transferred to a vinyl "wrap" that can be adhered to the Transit Connect's sheet metal.
The 2012 Ford Transit Connect van comes standard with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, AdvanceTrac electronic stability control system with Roll Stability Control (which includes the functions of traction control and anti-lock brakes), 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 and the Power Equipment Group, which includes remote keyless entry and power windows, door locks and side mirrors.
Some notable options on the 2012 Ford Transit Connect include the Nokia Bluetooth system, 255-degree-opening rear doors, reverse-sensing system and Crew Chief (which allows fleet managers to track their fleet vehicles and staff).Some notable packages include the Mobility prep package, that includes pre-wiring for added mobility devices such as wheel chairs and lifts, and the CNG/LPG-capable engine prep package, that allows for conversion to natural gas or liquid propane. The package includes hardened intake and exhaust valves, as well as hardened valve seals.
The 2012 Ford Transit Connect van is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Duratec engine that gives it a fair balance of fuel economy and power. Although a 4-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.
136 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
128 lb-ft of torque @ 4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27 (passenger wagon) 21/27 (cargo van)
The 2012 Ford Transit Connect has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) that starts around $22,500 for the Cargo van version, while the Passenger van starts just over $24,000. Prices jump a little when opting for the higher XLT trim levels, and top out at about $27,000 when Crew Chief computer system, SYNC, rearview camera and rear park assist are added. To get the best price on your Transit Connect, be sure to check our Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Transit Connect. As for resale value, we expect the Transit Connect to hold only average values, slightly better than the Chevrolet HHR, but well below the Scion xB and Nissan Cube.
By John (RI) on Sunday, October 14, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cheap Original Cost"
Cons: "Too small and weak to perform"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Currently a Service Manager for a Food and Beverage service company. We replaced three of our trucks in November of 2011, from E250 and Sprinters. The thought was better fuel rates and cheaper investment. However the Transit is extremely uncomfortable if you are taller then 5'7", no leg room at all. We have racked the trucks however we have found that there is not enough room for what we do. A large hill is the trucks enemy, no power to get out of its own way. The three trucks fuel consumption is about 20mpg average when stock with equipment. Tank is so small that techs are having refuel twice a day, decreasing billable time. At this point we have sold one, the other two are being sold. We will never purchase these again."
17 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Crestwood Mechanical (MA) on Friday, August 31, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "See above"
Cons: "See above"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Nice little van, No balls what soever!! I added helper springs to take out some sag. Over all I get 22 MPG This van will pay for itself in 18 months or less with gas savings. Its terribly overloaded but the reality is it didn't have great power with nothing in it!! I can still hit 80 or better on the highway, it just takes 15 miles to get there!. Overall a great truck and will upgrading my fleet one at a time with theses bad boys."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Eddie (GA) on Friday, August 24, 2012
I own this caroverall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great design just like European model"
Cons: "needs diesel engine squeaky breaks,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Its not that great on gas milege (for a small car) especial in city. Breaks start squeaking after 2000 miles and they still do.after 13.000 miles. The bed material in cargo area is really soft and poor quality and needs some heavy degreaser to wash it . Its very convenient easy to load unload. If this Transit had a diesel and work some little things I would keep it for a long time. I use it for business every day."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By noah (MI) on Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I don't own this caroverall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "good for a small business that doesn't overload it"
Cons: "we all agree it could use a diesel//wake up ford!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"my boss traded in an old 350 van for this transit. we used this van daily for city and highway driving. can't say enough as to how much each driver that used this van enjoys it. we all agree that with the opines about blind spots with first transit:second one has windows all around."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Dan C (TX) on Monday, February 20, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price and economical operation"
Cons: "none if used for its purpose - a commercial van"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This van is used in connection with my radio engineering service. It is equipped with custom shelving and compartments for the many electronic gizmos that I must carry. The van serves as transportation, storage and my mobile office. Summertime MPG is approx. 20 and winter is 24. Never have had any problem; always can depend on the little van."
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By catm (International) on Saturday, February 18, 2012
I don't own this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"They only put Ford name to an european poor vehicle, only two months on the street, most time on the dealer, please if you are looking a car for work, this is not an option."
4 people out of 21 found this review helpful