Our Vans: Ford Transit Connect Sport

13 December 2019: Final thoughts on the Ford Transit Connect Sport

The Details

Current mileage 3588
Claimed economy 56.5mpg
Actual economy 46.4mpg

It's been a fun few months, but today I wave goodbye to the Ford Transit Connect Sport. Final thoughts? In short, it's a brilliant small van. 

Admittedly, it can't match the 1050kg payload of the Vauxhall Combo or the tech of the Peugeot Partner, but the Transit Connect is still one of the very best when it comes to all-round usability. It's one of the best to drive, too, with car-like handling that doesn't lose its edge when fully laden.

Running costs have remained affordable, with the fuel economy averaging the mid-40s when laden and the high-40s when empty. The 1.5 TDCi turbodiesel is also perfect for heavy duty work with lots of low-gear pull, thanks to its 270Nm of maximum torque. It's also surprisingly refined, with low engine and road noise at motorway cruising speeds. This means you can sit back, activate the cruise control and relax as you clock up the miles.

Over the past few months I've used this van for a number of long runs, but the comfortable seats and car-like cabin has made these pain free exercises. The seats are firm and comfortable and most of the essential controls can be activated by the buttons on the steering wheel. This means you can switch on the cruise control, change radio stations or answer a phone call without lifting your hand off the wheel or taking your eyes off the road. 

Ford _Transit _Connect _027

The Transit Connect has a usefully large load bay, with this L1 version getting 2.6 cubic metres and a maximum load width of 1543mm. This van doesn't come with the optional load hatch, which means there is 1786mm from the rear doors to the bulkhead. However, if you pay extra for the hatch in the bulkhead, the maximum load length extends to 3000mm - a no-brainer if you regularly carry metal poles, planks of wood or copper pipes. 

Being a Sport model, this van is loaded to the rafters with kit. But the climate control is something I could live without, given it takes a lot longer to generate heat than the manual air conditioning system - a real pain in on a cold morning. I also think the seats in the cheaper Limited version of the Transit Connect are more comfortable, with their cushioned ribs being more supportive than the leather ones found in the Sport van.

Obviously, the key appeal of this van is the sporty exterior. Indeed, I cannot think of a single day where it hasn't managed to turn heads. Personally, I think it looks like an entry from a Hot Wheels vs Matchbox showdown, with its bright white paintwork, bodykit, racing stripes and 16-inch allow wheels working extremely well with the otherwise box-like dimensions of a Transit Connect.  

However, for all of its fancy toys and eye-catching detailing, it's the fundamentals of the Transit Connect that truly standout. Easy to use, driver friendly and practical, this small van ticks all of the commercial vehicle boxes. But the Sport version does add a bit of spice to the mix that will appeal to van operators who want to stand out from the crowd. 

« Earlier: A site for sore eyes - what's the Transit Connect Sport like as a builder's van?    

Updates
13 December 2019: Final thoughts on the Ford Transit Connect Sport
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