The Chicago Auto Show is usually a pretty sleepy event. Automakers tend to reserve their most-important reveals for Detroit, Los Angeles or New York. Still, Ford is making a bit of news here in the Windy City with its updated Transit Connect.
For 2019, Dearborn’s utility-focused minivan bristles with fresh technology and new powertrains.
Most importantly, a compression-ignition engine will be offered in America, a 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel that should deliver at least 30 miles per gallon highway. But it ought to do waaaay better than that if the upcoming F-150 diesel is targeting at least the same figure.
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Additionally, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with fuel-saving stop-start will be offered. Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Output figures have not been shared yet.
Inside, drivers are treated to loads of fresh tech. For starters, automatic emergency braking and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection is standard, as is a 4G LTE wireless modem that can support up to 10 devices.
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For drivers that want more, there’s an optional 6.5-inch floating touchscreen on the dashboard. Also available is adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert and a lane-keeping aid.
For 2019, the Transit Connect is offered in two wheelbases with room for either five or seven people. Three trim levels are on the menu including XL, XLT and Titanium.
For added capability, there’s an available trailer tow package that allows this vehicle to drag up to 2,000 pounds, a rather meager-sounding figure, but it’s better than nothing.
When it goes on sale this fall, Ford claims the ’19 Transit Connect will be the lowest-priced, seven-passenger vehicle available in the U.S. Stay tuned for more information about this value-focused people-hauler.
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