New 2018
Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van/Minivan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2018 Ford Transit Connect is a mini minivan. A very capable mini minivan. Available as a cargo van or a comfortable people-mover, the Transit Connect is smaller and less expensive than minivans like the Honda Odyssey and full-size commercial vans like the Ford Transit and Nissan NV, plus the Ford is more maneuverable and it gets better fuel economy. It’s also plenty capable with up to 149 cubic feet of cargo space or seating for seven. Unlike the Ram ProMaster City and Nissan NV200, the 2018 Ford Transit Connect is available in two sizes, and the long-wheelbase model can still fit in the average residential garage. The Cargo Van is available in two trim levels, XL and XLT, while the Passenger Wagon gets three, XL, XLT and Titanium. They’re all front-wheel drive and powered by a 169-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

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You'll Like This Van/Minivan If...

If you want a small vehicle that can hold seven people or one that is specifically designed for business or commercial purposes, you’ll like the 2018 Ford Transit Connect Ford. Because of its maneuverability, fuel efficiency and affordability, not to mention it garageability, it’s an excellent alternative to a big bulky van.

You May Not Like This Van/Minivan If...

For some business owners and families, the 2018 Ford Transit Connect may be too small, even the long-wheelbase model and its 169 horsepower may just not be enough. The Mercedes-Benz Metris offers more power as well as higher towing and payload capacity, and the larger Ford Transit is about twice the size.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, the Ford Transit Connect gets available Premium Packages on XLT and the Titanium Passenger Wagon. Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen and rearview camera are now available on the XLT Cargo Van and Passenger Wagon while those models get standard automatic headlights with configurable daytime-running lights.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Two compelling reasons to buy a small van are for easier maneuverability and higher fuel economy, and the 2018 Ford Transit Connect delivers both. If your commercial fleet is transitioning out of or complementing its older, full-size cargo vans with the Transit Connect, this compact Ford will feel far easier to drive. With its unibody chassis and front-wheel-drive configuration, the Transit Connect is more akin to a higher-riding sedan than a traditional body-on-frame cargo van. We also like this Ford's tight turning radius -- especially helpful in city settings. The naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine is adequate for its duties and pairs well with the 6-speed automatic transmission, although some rivals like the Mercedes Metris offer more horsepower and payload. As a family vehicle, it brings similar nimble traits but doesn't feel as substantial as larger passenger vans like the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica, which also offer more family-friendly features and significantly more power.

Favorite Features

FORD TELEMATICS
A potential asset for fleet owners looking to improve efficiency, this system tracks a vehicle's location and also monitors its speed and how long it sits idle. It would also come in handy for parents of teenage drivers -- theoretically speaking, of course.

SYNC 3
Ford consistently improves its Sync infotainment system and the 2018 Transit Connect offers the latest and greatest version, which is also now one of the easiest to use on the market. The system’s 6.5-inch touch screen even allows for phone-style navigation gestures like pinch and swipe and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Vehicle Details

Interior

With a dashboard and door panels similar to Ford’s Escape SUV, the interior of the new 2018 Transit Connect is more carlike than you might expect. Cargo vans have two seats up front, with 128.6 cubic feet of rear storage for long-wheelbase (LWB) models and 103.9 for short-wheelbase (SWB) versions. With rear seats that can fold, flip or be removed, even a passenger version can swallow a lot of gear. SWB wagon versions of the 2018 Transit Connect seat five passengers across two rows, while LWB models hold seven across three rows. Second-row captain's chairs are standard in the top-line Titanium Wagon and optional on the XLT but reduce passenger count to six.

Exterior

Now in its second generation, the 2018 Ford Transit Connect has gained a little style over the years. Sure, it’s still boxy and slab-sided, but the front end is similar to many Ford passenger cars with a Ford Fusion-esque grille and headlights that look lifted from a Ford Fiesta subcompact. The new Transit Connect is one of the few small vans offering the choice of a traditional liftgate or split cargo doors that open up to 180 degrees. A short-wheelbase Transit Connect is 173.9 inches in length, while a long-wheelbase model is over a foot longer at 189.7 inches.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2018 Ford Transit Connect is available in XL, XLT and -- in Passenger Wagon form -- Titanium trims. The least expensive Transit Connect, an XL cargo model, has just the basics like vinyl seats, air conditioning, AM/FM stereo with audio input jack, 6-way manual-adjust driver's seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel and rear cargo lights. Base XL passenger versions also come with cruise control and rear-window defroster. You'll have to pay extra or step up to the more recommendable XLT version to get better amenities like cloth seats and a rearview camera.

Notable Optional Equipment

Helpful features on the 2018 Ford Transit Connect include front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera and choice of swing-out rear doors. Ford's Sync infotainment systems with Bluetooth wireless connectivity are now easier to recommend, especially the new Sync 3 system that offers a 6.5-inch touch screen, navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A top-line Titanium Transit Connect passenger wagon includes leather seating (heated up front), dual-zone climate control and auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Titanium model can also be had with blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and panoramic glass roof. Cargo models can be configured to accommodate a variety of commercial and delivery needs.

Under the Hood

The Transit Connect is a rare Ford model that does not offer a turbocharged EcoBoost engine. For 2018, all Ford Transit Connects use a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder with 169 horsepower. The engine is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission, and all Transit Connects are front-wheel drive. The 2.5-liter can be specified for compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, aka propane). The Transit Connect is rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds, but that figure can't match the 5,000-pound tow rating of the more powerful Mercedes-Benz Metris van. Nor can the Ford’s commercial payload capacity of 1,620 pounds match the Metris figures of 2,502 pounds (cargo) or 1,874 pounds (passenger model).

2.5-liter inline-4
169 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (cargo van), 19/27 mpg (passenger wagon)

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Pricing Notes

The 2018 Ford Transit Connect has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $24,000, including the $1,120 destination charge, for a short-wheelbase cargo van. Passenger Wagon models begin around $27,000 for both 5- or 7-passenger models, which is several thousand below larger mainstream minivans like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. A loaded, 7-passenger Ford Transit Connect Titanium wagon can reach the low-$30,000 range. At its starting price, the Transit Connect begins above the Nissan NV200 cargo van and is in line with the Ram ProMaster City. The larger Mercedes-Benz Metris Worker base model is fetching with 208 horsepower and a starting price just under $27,000. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Transit Connect. In the years ahead, the Transit Connect's resale value is expected to hold up fairly well.

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