2010 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
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While Ford's new Transit Connect was initially designed with the small business owner in mind, it is in reality an ideal vehicle for either work or play in an urban environment.  The Turkish-built, Euro-style van is loaded with useful features that adapt well to hauling people or goods. A global platform for Ford, more than 600,000 Transit Connects have been sold in 58 countries on three continents. 

In terms of its appearance, the Transit Connect comes across as a mini-Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with a high roof and square body, sporting a sloped nose and high windshield.  There are six doors – two front, two minivan-style sliding side with large windows and two vertical rear (also with large windows).  The inside may be configured in a variety of ways to accommodate people and/or cargo.  The split rear doors open at a standard 180 degrees, or an optionally available 255 degrees, which when open, provide access to 132.3 cm (52.1 inches) of available load height.  The rear doors lock separately from other doors. 

The Transit Connect is available in four trim levels: XL Van, XLT Van and XL Wagon and XLT Wagon.  Bulkheads, racks, bins and other organizational features available from Ford "Work Solutions" may be mixed, matched and configured to suit recreational, hobby, lifestyle or work applications and needs.  The Transit Connect is ideal for securely transporting motorcycles or ATVs, dog kennels, etc, with 3,822 litres (135 cubic feet) of cargo volume and an available payload of 725 kilos (1,600 pounds). 

Power for the Transit Connect comes from Ford's 2.0-litre Duratec 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine with electronic throttle body and sequential multiport electronic fuel injection.  The transverse mounted engine is coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive that meters energy to the front wheels. The four-cylinder motor delivers 136 horsepower along with 128 pound-feet of torque. 

My test 2010 Ford Transit Connect was in the XLT Wagon trim with a removable split second row seat that also folded forward, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, spacious forward storage tray above the windshield with a net and a navigation system. The exterior finish was Silver Metallic with grey Giraffe skin-patterned cloth seats along with Charcoal and Satin Silver interior trim. The base price was set at $28,299. 

The somewhat funky European look of the Transit Connect calls for a lot of double takes on the road. Its appearance is totally unique – some might call it "cute."  The versatility and functionality departments are where the Transit Connect really shines.  It lends itself perfectly to anything from antique shopping to hauling grandkids and pets or powersports vehicles.  It's great for the sailor in you too, with plenty of room for sail bags. 

The engine could or should be bigger for really humongous loads, but for normal duty, the 2.0-litre four-banger does an adequate job, though it is a tad on the noisy side when pushed to its limits.  The engine and other under-the-hood equipment are especially secure – I was forced to refer to the owner's manual to get the hood open.  The ignition key is used to release and then allow opening the hood after figuring out how to access the keyhole, which is behind the blue Ford badge located in the grille. It's definitely secure, even if a bit quirky. 

Road manners of the Transit Connect are quite civilized – despite its overall bulky form, it is very stable at freeway speeds, even with a crosswind.  The power-assisted rack and pinion steering allows for a 11.8 meter (39-foot) curb-to-curb turning circle, making maneuvering in tight quarters a breeze.  If there is any fault at all, it's with the really short seat cushions for tall drivers such as myself.  The low lift-over height of the floor makes for ease of ingress and egress, as well as in loading and unloading from either the rear or sides. 

Given its reasonable purchase price and good fuel economy (9.5 city/7.9 highway L/100km), the Transit Connect is truly a vehicle that is ideal for either work or play – or, for that matter, both. 

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Cargo Van, Passenger Van, Ford, 2010, Transit Connect, $20,000 - $29,999,

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