Ford introduced an all-new cargo van for 2014, and Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek takes a look at the passenger variant of the Ford Transit Connect. Available in short- or long-wheelbase form, the Transit Connect Wagon seats up to seven and gets a class-leading 30 mpg thanks to an optional EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. This isn’t just a commercial van with seats in it; the Transit Connect Wagon offers plenty of storage — a generous 100 cubic feet of cargo volume with the seats folded flat — and luxury features like heated leather seats, a panoramic roof and MyFord Touch.
Ford may have gotten out of the minivan segment years ago, but it's still solidly in the people-mover market. Its Transit Connect van lineup is growing to include a new seven-passenger version.
Update 11/13/2012: Today, Ford unveiled its seven-passenger Transit Connect Wagon; this article has been updated to reflect the new information.
What do you do when your family gets really big—bigger than a minivan can handle? With more than five kids, your vehicle choices narrow so quickly your head will spin. There are options for families of eight or more, though they can be counted on just one hand. However, there's something to be said for only having a few choices because it limits analysis paralysis.
Ford is adding a player to the large-van market with its 2014 Transit Connect Wagon (photo above), which was first announced in September. The tall van features minivan-like sliding side doors and room for seven passengers. The Transit Connect Wagon looks more modern than Ford's current large family hauler, the E-Series Wagon, and will use a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder or an optional turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Ford expects it to get an EPA-rating of at least 30 mpg on the highway. The Transit will debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show and is scheduled to be on lots in late 2013.
If your growing family is bursting the seams of your minivan or three-row crossover, there are several options on dealership lots now. Be warned: Most manufacturers don't offer a plethora of nice-to-have features on these large family vans, but like having privacy while in the bathroom, you knew you'd lose that once you started having a family.
You see them at convention centers, airports, hotels, resorts and spas. Your mechanic, cable guy and even your favorite band will probably pull up in one. Even America's celebrities get carted around in them on movie sets; and, if you're unfortunate enough, it'll be your police wagon on your way to jail.
Of course, we're talking about the Ford E-Series (formerly called the Econoline/Club Wagon). The E-Series, which is by far the best-selling full-size cargo van, is due for a complete overhaul. When the new model goes on sale here later this year, it will adopt a much more international look and get a new name: behold the 2014 Ford Transit.
Here's what we have our eye on today:
Ford plans on selling an electric version of its Focus compact car, but the automaker’s first gas-free offering is the Transit Connect Electric. Based on the van that was launched in the U.S. for 2010, the Transit Connect Electric trades the traditional version’s 136-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine for a 74-hp electric motor and a 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. But are more robust acceleration and a smaller carbon footprint enough to justify the 2012 Transit Connect Electric’s $35,000 price premium over the base version? According to Cars.com Editor Mike Hanley, Transit Connect Electric’s high cost will be a significant hurdle to its success.
Its replacement has similar chops. Ford says it's sold more than 6 million Transits across 75 countries in more than 40 years. We'll get the next-generation Transit, which will be built at Ford's Kansas City, Mo., plant — part of a $1.1 billion investment to build the full-size van plus the next-gen F-150. The current E-Series is built in Ohio.
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