First Look: 2014 Ford Transit Connect Van
The all-new 2014 Transit Connect cargo van is going after the small-business owner and is loaded with features that appeal to budget-minded fleet buyers. There are few models to choose from in the small van segment -- the Nissan NV200 and Ram C/V round out the list, until the Ram ProMaster City and Chevrolet City Express go on sale. As is the case with the passenger version (the Wagon), the front-drive 2014 Transit Connect Van is available with a short- or long-wheelbase and a choice of two engines, both backed by the same 6-speed automatic.
The base engine, a 2.5-liter I4, has 169 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque; the optional engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I4, which puts out 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Not only is that engine more powerful, but it also boasts the better fuel economy: 22 mpg city, 30 highway, which is the best mpg you can get in any van. With the 2.5-liter, fuel economy is 1 mpg worse in the city and on the highway. As an added bonus, the Transit Connect is based on the same global platform as the Escape and the Focus, making it fun to drive.
Huge Cargo Volume
It's also designed for work: cargo volume is an impressive 151.0 cubic feet, payload is 1710 pounds, comparable to that of a half-ton pickup, and it can tow up to 2000 pounds. It's offered with either a liftgate or cargo doors for the same price. The side-hinged cargo doors can open 180 degrees, making it easy to load. Ford offers a suite of high-tech features including a real-time fleet monitor, Sync, rear-view camera and navigation. Plus buyers can upfit the van with a variety of add-ons to suit individual needs.
Pricing is competitive: the short-wheelbase XL Van starts at $22,995. Step up to the long-wheelbase Van, which is 15.8 inches longer, and the base price is $23,995. Check every box, and the long-wheelbase XLT Van costs $30,180.
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