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