2013 Ford Transit Connect Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 20, 2013
FAST FACTS
  • Compact van promises maneuverability and fuel efficiency
  • Tall cargo compartment allows various uses
  • 2013 model carries over from previous year
  • Van or wagon versions are available
  • Help with advertising graphics is available for commercial users

Introduction

Introduced in Europe in 2002, the Ford Transit Connect was brought to the U.S. market for the 2010 model year. It's a special-purpose, compact panel van with a roof that is 80 inches high and 70 inches wide. Its configuration doesn't closely resemble any Ford vehicle previously available in the United States. The Transit Connect is a popular commercial/fleet vehicle, and is offered in four trim levels including two van models (XL and XLT, designed for commercial customers) and two wagon models (XLT and XLT Premium), which feature second-row seats for passengers.

Exterior Features

The standard Ford Transit Connect features 15-inch wheels and dual sliding doors. Fog lights are standard on upper trim levels. The Transit Connect features dual sliding doors (which can be deleted at the buyer's option) and several privacy glass options: none; rear cargo-door glass only; second-row passenger-side glass only; or second-row and rear cargo-door glass. The Transit Connect features a load height of less than 24 inches for easy loading and unloading of passengers and cargo. The rear cargo doors come with a standard 180-degree swing angle; doors on articulated hinges that swing up to 255 degrees are available. The Transit Connect XLT Premium Wagon adds rear wheelhouse covers, beltline trim, rear cargo-door pocket storage, and rear-quarter flip-open windows for extra ventilation. Ford offers support for commercial users who want to display their company name and logo on the vehicle, including various professionally designed graphics and templates.

Interior Features

Base interior features on the Ford Transit Connect include cloth upholstery, air conditioning, and a 2-speaker sound system. The van is all cargo space behind the front seat. The Van XLT adds power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, CD player, rear-window defroster, and body-color bumpers. The Wagon XLT features a 60/40 split-folding second-row seat, and the Wagon XLT Premium includes flip-open side windows, storage pockets in the doors, and a 4-speaker sound system. Cargo capacity without the second-row seats is 129.6 cubic feet, and maximum payload is 1,600 pounds.

Optional Features

The Power Group of options is available for the base Transit Connect model, and adds power accessories and keyless entry. Other options include customizable shelving systems, an in-dash computer, navigation system, tool tracking and inventory system, Bluetooth connectivity, and a vehicle tracking system so that owners can stay aware of the vehicle's whereabouts when they're not driving it. Other options include a rearview camera, rear park-assist sensors, and extra-wide-opening rear doors.

Under the Hood

The Transit Connect's standard power plant is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 138 horsepower, which produces 128 lb.-ft. of torque. It's mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Ford Transit Connect are 21/26/23 mpg (city/highway/combined).

Safety

Standard safety features on the Transit Connect include anti-lock brakes (front disc, rear drum), traction control, and front-seat side air bags. Other features are optional.

In government crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Ford Transit Connect received 2 (out of 5) stars for overall protection: 3 for frontal and rollover protection and 2 for side impact. To date, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not conducted tests on the 2013 Ford Transit Connect.

Technology

Ford's technology went mainly into providing a combination of cargo space and fuel efficiency in the Transit Connect, as well as a low-floor construction and easy-handling doors. The optional shelving and inventory systems are geared to commercial use, and the vehicle tracking system is especially useful to fleet owners.
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