Ford Transit Connect (2002 – 2014) Review

Ford Transit Connect (2002 – 2014) At A Glance


+Car-like to drive with good balance of ride and handling, 1.8 TDCi engine is strong, load area can deal with two pallets, ESP is standard fit.

-Only has a five-speed manual where most of the competition now has six-speed gearboxes.

Ford took the small van market by storm when it introduced the Transit Connect in 2002. Here was a small van that could almost give most larger panel vans a run for their payload and at a much more affordable price.

The Transit Connect also gave the light van sector much to think about in terms of versatility, space and driving dynamics. Like the larger Transit it borrowed its name from, the Connect immediately appeals to buyers as a vehicle you were happy to spend time in rather than having to endure the working day.

Ford has evolved the Transit Connect over the years and it now comes with an updated front end that arrived in 2009 and a strong range of 1.8-litre turbodiesel engines, though they are slightly undermined by a five-speed gearbox when a six-speeder should be standard by now.

Even so, the Connect is very able and can carry plenty of kit. It can also be ordered with rear seats to carry five in total, making it the ideal light crew vehicle.





Used Buying Guide - Ford Transit Connect

A well regarded, fine driving van that’s abundantly available as a used buy in the classifieds, the Transit Connect is a great all-rounder. Simple to work on, hugely practical and decently specified - particularly the post-2008 models, the Connect is an inexpensive, dependable buy, for those wanting maximum space on a tight budget.  

Read the buying guide here >>

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Ask Honest John

Ford Transit Connect - mpg for five- and six-speed gearboxes?

"What's the mpg difference between the Ford Transit Connect 5 and 6 speed gearbox? "
According to Real MPG, the old 1.8 TDCi five-speed Transit Connect returns around 38mpg. The newer six-speed models will give at least 45mpg.
Answered by Dan Powell

Best £5000 van with off-road capability?

"I'm a dry stone waller looking to replace my Ford Ranger pick-up with a smaller, more economical van. I need petrol as I don't do huge mileages day-to-day. I need three seats and the ability to occasionally carry a load say half a ton. However, I'd really need one that can sometimes cope with driving on grass or tracks, too. I have around up to £5000 to spend, what do you suggest I buy? "
I'd argue any front-wheel drive van with a good quality set of all-terrain tyres would cope with this type of use. Given your budget, the Ford Transit Connect would be my recommendation although petrol models are rare. That said, if you do need something that's more capable for off-roading, I'd suggest the Peugeot Partner with Grip Control. They are difficult to find on the used market because they sell in low numbers when new. However, they are very good, adding underbody protection and utilising a clever traction control system that allows the front wheels to cope with mud, sand and slippery terrain.
Answered by Dan Powell

Can you recommend a small van for £5,000?

"I'm in the process of looking for a small van and not sure what make to go for. I want something reliable as I would be using it to do vintage markets. I would also want something that I could convert to a microvan in the future. I have a budget of £5,000. Is this realistic? And what van would you recommend/avoid?"
Ford Transit Connect would be my recommendation. However, the pandemic and war in Ukraine has caused widespread disruption to the supply of new vehicles and this means there is a shortage of new vans (which has pushed up prices). A budget of £5,000 will get you Transit Connect that's 10 years or older.
Answered by Dan Powell

What used, reliable, small van models do you suggest?

"I want to buy a small van as I'm fed up with always putting the back seats down in my saloon. It must be a reliable make and cheap to run. Probably about 8 to 12 years old. What do you suggest?"
The Ford Transit Connect would be my recommendation. It's practical, easy to drive and has a good reputation for reliability. Early models are also plentiful on the used market, which means you can be quite picky when it comes to spec and condition. You can read our Ford Transit Connect review and used buying guide, here:
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Ford Transit Connect (2002 – 2014) cost?