2014 Ford Transit Connect: A People-Focused Salvo into the Commercial Van Market

2014 Ford Transit Connect: A People-Focused Salvo into the Commercial Van Market

Ford made several important product announcements at a media event in Detroit this morning. Borrowing from its global portfolio, the Dearborn-based automaker is bringing an impressive array of commercial vehicles to the North American market, including a brand-new version of the Transit Connect.

2014-Ford-Transit-Connect-Front-Three-Quarter.jpgAlong with the full-size Transit, this compact van is getting a ground-up redesign for 2014. The hard-working little trucklette is a popular choice in markets around the globe, including the U.S. The company brought it to North America several years ago.

The vehicle got off to a bit of a slow start on this side of the Atlantic, but Jim Farley, Ford’s Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln said “we expect to sell 35,000 Transit Connects this year.” Regarding the small-van segment he also said “we think over the next five years that market will grow 70 percent.”

Strong products are key to grabbing as much of that vehicle segment as possible, especially as competitors get in on the action. Chrysler, for instance, has its eye on the market, and in the future will offer several of Fiat’s commercial vans in North America.

To fend off a resurgent Pentastar and other rivals like Nissan, Ford’s venerable Transit Connect is equipped for the job. In America it will be offered with two different body styles, two separate wheelbases and two unique engine choices.

2014-Ford-Transit-Connect-Third-Row.jpgBuyers can pick between a hard-working van and a passenger-friendly wagon. The later can seat up to seven people in three rows of seats. Amazingly my six-foot-tall frame had no issue fitting comfortably in the third-row.  The bottom cushion was a little low to the floor but there were surprising amounts of head and legroom for such a small vehicle.

As for wheelbases, there’s a petite 105-inch model, and for those needing some extra interior volume a 121-inch option. Additionally, buyers can choose between a traditional liftgate and side-by-side rear doors, whichever tickles their vehicular fancy.

Under the hood resides either a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder or a highly efficient 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. Ford has not shared any output numbers for these powerplants, nor has it made fuel-economy figures public. But in the Fusion sedan the 2.5 delivers 175 horsepower and an identical amount of torque. The EcoBoost four churns out 178 horsepower on premium fuel, slightly less on 87-octane regular. The Transit Connect will likely post very similar numbers and Ford is claiming more than 30 miles per gallon highway when equipped with the EcoBoost engine. In America a six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox offered.

2014-Ford-Transit-Connect-Cargo-Area.jpgWhen it comes to utility, Ford’s team thinks it has a winner on its hands. The new Transit Connect should offer best-in-class cargo area and cargo length, not to mention “Built Ford Tough” DNA. Adding to its work resume, Farley said “the tow rating has improved from zero to 2,000 pounds,” a welcome increase for people that need to drag trailers for a living.

Beyond that, the TC will ride on Ford’s C1 global compact vehicle architecture, meaning it gains a rigid structure and the latest safety features including large amounts of ultra-strong boron steel.

But it’s not all about work. A high-end Titanium model will also be available. It will be offered with a panoramic glass roof as well as aircraft-style overhead storage bins. Marc Rogowski, Marketing Manager of the E-series and Transit Connect Wagon said “this vehicle is really going to be a surprise and delight for our customers.” Another one of those unexpected features is an optional electric front-window defroster that can supposedly clear the glass in less than a minute.

2014-Ford-Transit-Connect-Dashboard.jpgWhether it was the Aerostar in the 1980s, the Windstar in the ‘90s or the abortive Freestar in the early 2000s, Ford has never fielded a strong competitor in the minivan segment. Chrysler, Toyota and Honda have dominated the Blue Oval in this sector of the market. But a seven-passenger version of the Transit Connect could be an interesting alternative. It will likely lack the luxury amenities of its high-brow competitors, it will probably also come up short on interior space since it’s a much smaller vehicle, but if the price is right the TC Wagon could become the people hauler of choice for budget-minded families.

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect will be assembled in Valencia, Spain and go on sale in North America late next year.

  • Louie_good55

    This is the most butt-ugly thing I’ve ever seen. 

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked