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Driving Notes

2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van

A sleeker body design smooths out the once-quirky look of a service and delivery fleet staple.

October 22, 2014, by - Also by this author

Photo by Kelly Bracken.
Photo by Kelly Bracken.

When Ford first brought its Transit Connect compact van from Europe for the 2010 model year, it was met with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism due to its smaller size and quirky body style, but the timing couldn't have been better. Higher fuel prices and a recession made it a fleet favorite, because it offered 25 mpg highway at a retail price just north of $20,000.

The compact van received a make-over for the 2014, and Ford introduced the Transit Connect Wagon, a seven-passenger "unminivan" based on the Tourneo Connect sold in Europe.

The cargo variant is more prevelant among fleets, so we tested the long wheelbase Transit Connect XLT with the optional 1.6-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost. The van came with a few other bells and whistles, including the MyFord infotainment system with satelite radio, SYNC, and a back-up camera. The package all came in at just north of $30,000.

This Transit Connect offers a smooth ride with agile handling and a fuel economy rating that has been significantly improved from 2010 with an EPA-rated 30 mpg highway, 22 mpg city, and 25 mpg combined for the model we tested.

Photo by Kelly Bracken.
Photo by Kelly Bracken.

If driving a compact van could ever be described as fun, this would be the van to garner that descriptor. The lower car-like ride improves the experiance, and if you're not used to stepping down from the driver's seat you may stumble as I did.

Like other compact vans, the driver's compartment offers a car-like familiarity, and once you get the steering-wheel position right, the gauges are easily viewable. An LCD in-dash screen displays plenty of data once you get the hang of navigating the infotainment system, which has been improved from earlier versions.

Rather than opting for the 60/40 rear-opening doors offered on other vehicles in this segment, Ford opts for symmetrical doors and gives package delivery fleets several levers and buttons to set the rear doors at 90 or 180 degrees while stopped in city traffic.

This Transit Connect continues to offer tremendous value and the sleeker body styling makes it a bit more eye-catching and an appealing update for a vehicle that serves as an solid option for fleets that don't require a full-size van.

Related:

Photos: Ford's Transit Connect Cargo Van

Compact Vans: A Right-Size Revolution

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Author Bio

Amy Winter-Hercher

Senior Editor

Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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Chris Wolski

Managing Editor

Chris works on Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Work Truck, and Green Fleet. He edits the Global Fleet Management eNewsletter.

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Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Paul Clinton

Senior Web Editor

Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, and Work Truck.

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Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

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