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Not Just the Box You Might Think It Is!

By Linda Sharp

We as a society are constantly encouraged to think outside the box.  Where Ford's clever people and cargo hauler The Transit Connect are concerned, you literally have to get in the box to think outside the box.
Originally conceived as an economical and fuel-efficient small delivery van, The Transit Connect has evolved into a many faceted vehicle. From the basic box- back delivery, to the partial window configuration, all the way up to the full windowed XLT premium wagon that was our test vehicle, The Transit Connect runs the gamut of customer needs.

The Transit Connect is built on a FWD platform and is powered by a 1.4 liter Duratec gasoline engine. Our test van was equipped with a four speed automatic transaxle with overdrive. So how does it perform?
On relatively flat terrain, it's a champ. On really steep grades, it labors a bit. But that is a small price to pay for the fuel economy that it delivers in most driving applications. Traveling from NC to GA during the peak of Tropical Storm Lee, we averaged an impressive 28-mpg. Not too shabby for a high profile vehicle.

Speaking of high profile, I was a bit concerned how the little van would deal with the high winds generated from the tropical storm. Not a problem at all. Equipped with Ford's RSC (roll stability control), it was strait as an arrow and showed no signs of wind related driving difficulties. In a torrential downpour, even though it has a fairly low ground clearance (which is great for loading and access and egress) and rides on 15-inch tires, it navigated flawlessly through the standing water. Being equipped with Ford's AdvanceTrac I'm sure contributed to this accomplishment.

The interior, while not bland, is by most standards a bit Spartan. The seats are comfortable and supportive. They are upholstered in a durable hard cloth fabric.

Up front you will find two bucket seats and in the rear (actually the middle of the van) there is a bench seat that is configured to comfortably accommodate three full sized adults.
There are creature comforts. AC is standard, as well as an AM/FM stereo with CD player and clock. We were pleased to find that the antennae mounted on that large flat roof pulled in stations much better than most vehicles. The steering wheel is tilt and telescoping which will accommodate most drivers.

The Piece de Resistance of The Transit Connect is its carrying ability. Behind the rear seat in an area I will call the "wayback" is a gargantuan cargo space. Does your child play a tuba or a pair of tympani drums? No problem carting them around in The Transit Connect.  Are you into dirt biking? One will easily fit in the rear cargo area? Are you the proud owner of a Great Dane, Newfoundland or other large dog? The wayback is the perfect place to transport a host of cargo options.
Pricing of The Transit Connect also allows for a lot of carrying capacity with no only good fuel economy, but a welcome price point. The base price on the dressed out XLT is $23,200. Optional equipment of a rear view camera (screen mounted in the rear view mirror), a reverse sensing system and two remote key fobs brought the total to $24,015, add $695 for destination and delivery and you are still under $25,000 at $24,710.

My biggest surprise regarding The Transit Connect came when I took it through a drive thru. No, I had no difficulty fitting the diminutive van in the drive-thru, but the teenage boy working the window almost fell out, as he hung out asking, "What's this? I've never seen one of these" After a brief explanation, he declared, "This is really cool. I like it."
Leave it to the next generation to think outside the box!

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Ford Transit Connect



Ford Transit Connect