Ford Transit Connect (2018)

Our Rating: 5/5

Pros:

  • Cost
  • New style
  • Running costs

Cons:

  • Expensive options

The new Ford Transit Connect sets the bar

The Ford Transit range has been a best-selling range for the van maker and the new Transit Connect is impressive. There are some excellent design ideas on board and Ford is clearly making a statement to retain its position as the number one commercial vehicle selling brand in Europe. The Connect is a great addition to the line-up. For those who are wanting durability from their small van, then the Transit Connect will meet your needs, particularly since the cabin is well-designed and comfortable. However, there are also some great design ideas at play and the cabin uses hard wearing materials to ensure it is a pleasant place to spend lots of time. The van is still easy to load and unload and it offers a genuine car-like handling, a claim many van maker’s offer, but it is comfortable and responsive to drive. There’s a slew of new driving assistance systems on board with the top end models offering useful additions such as an intelligent speed limiter and a tablet inspired touchscreen for the centre of the freshly designed instrument console.

It’s also noticeable that Ford has given the Transit Connect a full overhaul – this isn’t just a new offering with cosmetic changes and the responsive engines make this a great offering in the segment.

Reasons to buy

There are many reasons to buy the Ford Transit Connect but the most important include the cost, maintenance and running costs. The van itself is cheap to run and will meet most owner’s needs. While the segment has grown increasingly competitive in recent years, the Transit Connect is leading Ford’s move to refresh its entire commercial van range over the next year or so. Another big reason for buying the Transit Connect is the segment-leading offer of service intervals at 25,000 miles or two years; for many potential owners this will be hugely attractive.

For those looking for a van of this size then the range of van and double cab-in-van options for the body styles along with excellent payload capacities that range up to 890 kg make this a capable vehicle. Also, the Transit Connect is the best-selling van in the segment so there’s an established base of admirers and for those looking to trade up, then the new offering will impress.

If you like the Ford Transit Connect then have a look at the Mercedes Citan or the VW Caddy.

Running Costs

The running costs for the Ford Transit Connect are impressive and compare well with its rivals and their new state-of-the-art powertrains have boosted fuel efficiency and meet Euro 6.2 emission standards. The new 1.5 litre EcoBlue diesel engine has the latest in technology for turbo charging, fuel injection and emission control. Fuel consumption is also boosted with the low friction engine design to deliver around 63mpg and emissions of 119 g/km.

For those who are looking for a petrol engine, the Transit Connect offers a new version of the popular 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine from Ford. The new unit has improved fuel injection and emission control for better fuel efficiency. The engine also has cylinder deactivation and when the Transit Connect has low loads then it can run on two cylinders. Some owners will find a big saving when it happens. Fuel economy is around 65mpg but with cylinder deactivation this will stretch to 70mpg.

Out on the road, the petrol and diesel engines are responsive and the upgraded six speed manual box, now fitted as standard to all engines, helps deliver great performance, particularly around town with smooth and swift shifting.

Running costs are also helped with maintenance levels of 25,000 miles or two years. Ford says these longer service intervals help lower the Transit Connect’s running costs when compared with rivals.

Load Space

One of the big attractions for a Ford Transit Connect is the range of capabilities and variety of vans available. There are long and short wheelbase options with load volumes of up to 3.6 m³. The payload capacity ranges from 520 kg to 890 kg.

Technology & Safety

There are a number of segment-first technologies being introduced with the new Ford Transit Connect including an intelligent speed limiter which will automatically adjust the vehicle’s speed to help the driver remain within legal limits. The van also has side wind stabilisation, an emergency braking system featuring pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and some models will have an active parking system for automatically steering the van into a parking space.

The Transit Connect also features the Blue Oval’s smart new front end look which incorporates the new Ford design. Along with similar slimmer headlamps, there’s a three bar grille and powerful headlamps. The fascia offers better aerodynamic profiling and a front spoiler underlines the new look.

The Transit Connect has an upgraded cabin and drivers will like the improved instrument panel that features a new control area and a tablet inspired 6-inch colour touchscreen. That’s on the high end models but all vans have Ford Sync3 communication and entertainment system. The cabin utilises materials to ensure that this will be a hard wearing working environment.

Performance

Most operators of the Ford Transit Connect should be enjoying regular fuel consumption of around 65 mpg and those who opt for the petrol unit with cylinder deactivation will enjoy (slightly) better figures. The van will be cheap to run and the engines perform well with a full load and whether you need it for delivering around town or for long motorway journeys; the cabin is comfortable and the engines are responsive. The Transit Connect is a hard-to-beat offering.

Specification

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