Home2012 Los Angeles Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 LA Auto Show
Ford Transit Connect Microvan

What is it? Ford is looking to reinvent the minivan market with the release of the second-generation Ford Transit Connect that will complement the C-Max already on sale. Both are derived of the Focus platform. Whereas the previous Connect was a  cargo van for commercial uses, the new one introduces a “wagon” version that will seat either five or seven passengers.

Ford projects that it will achieve 30 mpg on the highway with the optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard. Ford claims the Transit Connect will deliver 5 mpg better on the highway and 2 mpg better in the city than the significantly larger Toyota Sienna. A more apt comparison would be to the C-Max, or Mazda 5.

The Transit Connect has the segment-defining sliding doors and second and third rows fold flat to fit more cargo. The wagon can also tow up to 2,000 pounds and has a 1,200 pound payload.

Optional features include a full-glass panoramic roof, rearview camera, 6.5-inch touch screen display with navigation, and SYNC with MyFord Touch.

CR’s take: The Transit Connect has been a popular business vehicle, appealing to those commercial users who don’t need a full-sized van, nor relish the operating costs associated with a big vehicle. Ford has explored numerous family-centric interpretations of the previous, more crude Transit Connect at auto shows, hinting at the potential for a true family-oriented application. We look forward to testing this new edition to the mini-minivan family.

When will it be available? Fall 2013

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