Ford Transit Connect (2014 – 2024) Review
Ford Transit Connect (2014 – 2024) At A Glance
Easy to drive, practical and well-equipped as standard, the Ford Transit Connect is one of the best all-rounders in the small van market. Admittedly, it can't match the payload of the Vauxhall Combo or Peugeot Partner, but it still has enough in its locker to nudge its way to the front of the small van pack.
Ford offers the Connect van in two wheelbases - L1 and L2 - with panel van, double-cab in-van and Kombi variants. Older versions will carry up to 1000kg, but payloads are lower for post- 2018 facelift models - at 865kg for the L1 panel van and 833kg for L2. The largest versions provide 4.4 cubic metres of loadspace and there are also some really clever details, like folding front seats and a hatch in the bulkhead to make carrying metal pipes possible.
The Transit Connect was launched with Ford's trusty 1.6-litre TDCi in 2014 with 75, 95 or 115PS. For those who cover shorter distances on a daily basis, 1.0-litre 100PS EcoBoost petrol is also offered. In late-2016 Ford replaced the 1.6 TDCi with the 1.5 EcoBlue diesel engine, lowering tailpipe emissions and increasing torque across the board.
The 1.5 diesel produces more power - 75, 100 or 120PS - while maximum torque increases to 300Nm for the most-powerful version. Buyers can also inject some high octane style with the Transit Connect Sport. All models get Ford's Easy Fuel capless refuelling system that makes it (almost) impossible to put the wrong type of fuel into the van.
On the road, the Transit Connect drives like a good family car with nicely weighted steering and plenty of low-gear torque for hauling heavy payloads. Some of the older 1.6 diesels can get quite vocal under hard acceleration, but general refinement is fine with the newer 1.5 four-cylinder engines. Most of the older versions of the Transit Connect use a five-speed manual gearbox, but updates to the model range in 2018 saw the introduction of a six-speed transmission, along with an eight-speed auto.
The dashboard layout is easy to master and there is lots of useful storage for maps, loose documents and cups. All vans get Ford's Quickclear windscreen as standard, which heats small wires within the glass to de-ice the screen without the need for manual scraping.
Panel van version of the Transit Connect get two-seats, while crew cab versions add an extra bench with three additional seats but cut the loadspace to just 1.2 cubic metres in L1 and 1.6 cubic metres in L2. Newer versions do get some useful optional tech that includes wireless phone charging, climate control and a three pin plug in the cabin for charging tools. High spec vans also get touchscreen infotainment and navigation.