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2015 Ford Transit Connect Passenger

Overview
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2015 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Review

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The 2015 Ford Transit Connect minivan comes in two flavors: as the passenger-hauling wagon that seats up to seven, or as a cargo van ready for commercial service. Each is available in two lengths. But even in long-wheelbase (LWB) form, the Transit Connect is rather small, roughly the length of a midsize sedan. This makes the Transit Connect easy to maneuver in parking lots and bustling city confines. While a LWB Transit Connect is larger than a Mazda5 minivan and small cargo haulers like the Nissan NV200, it doesn't offer the spaciousness of a full-size van like the Honda Odyssey or its own big brother, the Ford Transit. But for families and businesses looking for a roomy-yet-not-big van, the Transit Connect could be their Goldilocks.

You'll Like This Car If...

As with its not-too-big, not-too-small size, the Transit Connect splits differences in additional ways compared to other vans. It's fun (relatively speaking) to drive, attains up to 30 mpg, and starts in the mid-$20,000 range. As a family hauler or delivery vehicle, Ford's small van makes a lot of sense.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Compared to larger and more popular family vans like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, the Transit Connect doesn't have as many bells and whistles or anything larger than a 4-cylinder engine. As a cargo hauler, you may need something larger and with more grunt.

What's New for 2015

As it was just introduced last year, this newest generation of the Transit Connect has only minor updates. For 2015, Ford's small van gains a new color (Magnetic Metallic) and a rear cargo cover for short-wheelbase models with a liftgate.

Driving the Transit Connect Passenger
Driving Impressions

With only a pair of 4-cylinder engines in the offering, the 2015 Ford Transit Connect isn't all that quick, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun to drive. Compared...

... with larger minivans, the Transit Connect feels lithe. More practically, it's easier to park and maneuver in general, especially the short-wheelbase models. The naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine doesn’t propel Ford's compact van with as much gusto as the smaller yet turbocharged 1.6-liter, but the 6-speed automatic transmission manages the power quite well with both engines. The Transit Connect passenger van's ride isn’t as cushy as a more substantial minivan like the aforementioned Odyssey, Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country or the revamped Kia Sedona, but it's still comfortable and all three rows are roomy.

CREW CHIEF TELEMATICS
One of the coolest features for fleet owners, 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.

VALUE AND EFFIECIENCY
With a low-to-mid $20,000 starting price and fuel economy that reaches 30 mpg on the highway, the 2015 Ford Transit Connect van and wagon are appealing to both businesses and families watching their budgets.

2015 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Details
2015 Ford Transit Connect Passenger photo Interior

The Transit Connect's interior is nothing if not flexible. Short-wheelbase (SWB) wagons seat five passengers across two rows, while long-wheelbase (LWB) models can seat seven across three rows. Cargo-van variants have two seats up front, and 2nd-row seats are optional. Up front, the Transit Connect looks familiar to the Ford family’s Focus and Escape. Climate controls are easy to locate and use, but models with the higher-end audio and infotainment systems can be perplexing by the sheer number of buttons. The Ford Transit Connect holds much – up to 128.6 cubic feet of storage for LWB models and 103.9 for SWB versions.

Exterior
2015 Ford Transit Connect Passenger photo

Cool exterior style – now looking more like a big Kia Soul than a warmed-over European utilitarian van – should appeal to younger buyers, as should unique colors and the ability to customize in the aftermarket. This is one of the few small vans that offers the choice of a traditional liftgate or split cargo doors that open up to 180 degrees, and both styles are offered with both wheelbases on the passenger and cargo models. The Focus-like nose and overall mature design are big steps up from the 1st-gen Transit Connect that hit our shores and resembled a high-top sneaker.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Base XL models of the Ford Transit Connect come with air conditioning with rear-seat climate control (wagon passenger models), AM/FM stereo with auxiliary input, keyless entry, tilt-telescoping steering wheel and 6-way adjustable driver's seat, but lack features such as cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity. Practically speaking, dual sliding side doors are standard, and wagon passenger models include power 2nd-row windows and 60/40-split folding 2nd-row seats.

Optional Equipment

There's a long list of upgrades available for both wagon and cargo models of the Ford Transit Connect. Helpful features include front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera and choice of swing-out rear doors. Ford's Sync infotainment system with navigation, phone connectivity and more is available. A fixed-glass panoramic Vista Roof is available in higher-end versions of the Connect wagon. The top-line Titanium edition of the passenger van offers leather-trimmed seats (heated up front), dual-zone climate control and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Cargo models can be configured to accommodate a variety of business, commercial and delivery needs.

Under the Hood

Two 4-cylinder engines are available in the 2015 Transit Connect. Standard is a 2.5-liter, optional is an EcoBoost 1.6-liter turbocharged powerplant that, while smaller, makes slightly more power and has higher fuel-economy ratings. Seven-passenger wagon models come only with the larger 2.5-liter engine. Each engine is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission, and all Transit Connects are front-wheel drive. The 2.5-liter can be specified with a compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid propane gas (LPG) package. Unlike the Nissan NV2000, the Transit Connect is rated to tow – up to 2,000 pounds with either engine. The Transit Connect commercial van also bests the Nissan's payload capacity with up to 1,620 pounds, but falls short of the 1,883-pound payload capacity of the new Ram ProMaster City.

2.5-liter inline-4
169 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (passenger wagon), 21/29 mpg (cargo van)

1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
178 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (passenger wagon and cargo van)

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