Used Van Buying Guide: Transit Connect 2002-2014

The original mk1 Transit Connect was launched in 2002 and made an immediate impact, winning dozens of awards and van of the year acolades. Today, if you need a cheap small van for sale, the Transit Connect will make perfect sense. 

Ford’s experience with the bigger Transit shone through with the Connect and it immediately impressed, in recognition of that. Offered in long (2912mm) and short (2664mm) wheelbase versions with a variety of heights weights. From 2008 a crewcab version was added, which means there’s a Transit Connect to suit almost every need.

It would take Ford until 2009 to facelift the Connect, revising the looks with slightly softer shaped exterior mouldings, revised instrumentation and a higher standard equipment offering including ESP, traction control and hill launch assist as standard. Ford has also offered electric versions for fleet users on trial basis, but all but a handful of Transit Connects come powered by a four-cylinder in-line turbodiesel unit.    

Regardless of which version you choose, all are practical and capable. Payload ratings range from 652kg to 908kg, while load volumes span from 1.4 to 3.7 cubic metres. There is also a Tourneo version which, like its bigger Transit relation, provides a comfortable passenger car in both short and long wheelbase forms, the latter offering as many as eight seats, while the short wheelbase model makes do with just five.  

Thinking of buying the mk2 Ford Transit Connect van? Check out our used buying guide here

Engines available on a Ford Transit Connect

Simplicity is best, and that’s very much the case with Ford’s engine and transmission offering with the Transit Connect. There’s a four-cylinder turbodiesel engine and a petrol unit too that was offered with bi-fuel LPG power. The latter is rare though, the majority of Transit Connects being powered by the 1.8-litre turbodiesel.

The four-cylinder diesel was offered in outputs ranging of 75, 90 and 110PS. All through its life Ford stuck with a five-speed manual transmission, not offering either a six-speed or automatic in the model mix like many of its rivals.

Consumption varies slightly between them all, though drivers' experience of the 1.8-litre unit suggests that the 90PS engine is the best for real world fuel economy. If you’re doing bigger distances or regularly hauling goods at up near the Connect’s load capacity then the additional power the 110PS is worth paying that bit more for. 

Ford Transit Connect (5)

Maintenance on a Ford Transit Connect

Ford recommended a 15,000 mile or annual service, but as with any van that’s dependent on use, if it’s being used for short-drop trips some more regular maintenance might be advisable. The TDCI engine is a proven unit, though it’s not entirely without faults.

There’s been problems related to injectors, Ford having issued a Technical Service Bulletin in 2012 relating to engines built between 2008/09. They can fail, causing hesitancy when driving, and resulting in a sizeable bill - around £1500. Other niggling issues relating to this engine include oil leaks and auxiliary failures, but the reality is Ford’s diesels are no worse (and arguably better) in this regard over its rivals.

The gearbox is tough, though a replacement fitted if needed would cost around £600. If there’s problems selecting gears then there might be an issue of corrosion or dirt in the remote housing - an independant garage will charge around £100 for this to be remedied.

Wheel bearings should wear well depending on use, replacements costing about £100-£120 a corner, likewise brakes wear well and cost about £50 a side to replace pads, but as with any commercial vehicle wear does increase markedly depending on usage. A service will cost around £140, depending on where you are in the country, although the Transit Connect has a reputation for being a relatively easy van to work on.   

Ford Transit Connect (6)

What to watch

  • Ford recommends a 15,000 mile service interval, but experts recommend bringing that a bit closer to 10,000 miles if you want to maximise longevity.
  • The door sliders can stick, it’s not too tricky to replace them at around £100 a side if they start to cause issues.
  • Problems selecting gear can be a result of grime and corrosion in the remote selector. Removing and cleaning should cost around £100.
  • Bodywork on Connects offer good rust protection, any rust points to poor repair work or maintenance, with so much choice there’s no need to buy one with rust.
  • A rattling or juddering clutch points to wear, a fix should cost in the region of £250.
  • Check the tyres regularly, particularly the rear ones. Excessive wear on the inside edges points to the tracking being poorly adjusted.
  • Any knocking from the suspension or grumbling from the wheels points to worn bearings and wear on the suspension. Fixing either is relatively inexpensive, with wheel bearings about £100 a corner, and suspension parts are similarly inexpensive - there’s even modifying kits to lower the Connect if you want. 

Looking for more used van buying guides? Click here

  Ford Transit Connect (2) (1)

Ford Transit Connect Pricing

With the oldest Transit Connects now pushing 18+ years you can conceivably pick one up for comfortably under £1000, but don’t expect anything but galactic mileages, plenty of owners and a patchy service history. 

Spend anywhere from £1000-£1500 and you’re into a rich seam of part-exchange Connects and nicely looked after examples, if you’re prepared to shop around. There’s very little difference in prices between short wheelbase and long wheelbase models, likewise high or low roof examples.

Double that budget again and you can really be very picky, selecting the lowest mileage, most pampered, well-equipped Connects, here we’d be looking for air conditioning and a post 2009 model with the extra safety kit as standard.

Tourneo examples command good money, and are rare, as are limited edition Sport models, which are pricey with Ford Performance Blue paint, white stripes and 18-inch alloy wheels. Just 300 Sport models were made and those on the used market are usually well cared for and expensive. 

To find the latest Ford Transit Connect values, visit: Honest John Used Van prices

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What we said

It remains one of the most useful small vans on the market, while a low load sill helps get heavy items in and out safely and easily. The Transit Connect comes in short and long wheelbase versions, and each can cope with two Euro pallets in the load area thanks to the unhindered sides of the van and minimal wheelarch intrusion.

Where can I get a van history check for a Ford Transit Connect?

Many companies offer a van history data check and we’d recommend using one, even if a used car seller says this has already been carried out. Better to spend a few pounds and be safe than sorry – and checks can be carried out online, via mobile phone or by apps on tablet PCs.

HPI Check Download (1)

HPI is the best-known vehicle history check companies - so much so that "HPI check" has become the generic term for checking a car's background.

There are two levels of cover: basic and the full HPI check. The basic service will tell you whether it has finance outstanding, has been stolen or written-off and has been exported/imported.

The full HPI check has a £30,000 guarantee and adds:  finance agreement details, mileage discrepancies, MoT history, write-off details, number of previous owners, CO2, Vehicle Tax info, stolen Logbook check, if it's recorded as scrapped, market valuation, past/future values and full plate change history.

HPI offers a clone check on its full HPI check service.

How much does an HPI History Check cost?

There are two levels of pricing for an HPI car history check - £9.99 for the basic service and £19.99 for the full HPI check. 

As with other vehicle history check providers, there's a discount on offer for multiple checks. HPI charges £29.97 for three checks that can be redeemed within three years.

 

Single check cost

Multiple check cost

Basic HPI check*

£9.99

-

Full HPI check*

£19.99

£29.97 (for three)

My Car Check  Mycarcheck (1)

My Car Check has gone from new kid on the block to established car (and other vehicle) history check provider in little under 15 years. The firm - which may still be unfamiliar to come buyers - now performs more than 1m look-ups every day. 

It's one of the cheapest on the market, with £1.99 and £9.99 history check options. The basic check will tell you if it's stolen, exported, a write-off, scrapped, its vehicle details, a valuation and MoT status and history. Go for the full check and you'll get a report into the vehicle's finance history and a £30,000 guarantee.

How much does a My Car Check Car report cost?

There are three levels of pricing for My Car Check, including - unusually in this market - a free option. This checks the vehicle's details, MoT history and gives a valuation.

The basic level of history check is £1.99 and the full service option is £9.99. There is no further discount for multiple checks.

 

Single check cost

Multiple check cost

Free history check*

Free

-

Basic history check*

£1.99

-

Full history check*

£9.99

£14.99 (for three); £19.99 (for five); £59.99 (for 20)

Total Car Check History ChecksTotal Car Check Copy

Total Car History may not be the best-known of the vehicle history and data check companies, but it does claim to be the cheapest full check - both for individual checks and those done as a multiple. 

How much does a Total Car History Check cost?

The basic check will confirm basic details, such as mileage and MoT history, while the £8.99 full check will tell you if it has been written off, has outstanding finance, scrapped, VIN check, stolen, a valuation and a £30,000 guarantee.

 

Single check cost

Multiple check cost

Silver Basic Check*

£1.99

-

Gold Full Check*

£8.99

£14.99 (for three)

Ask HJ

Should I buy a used van with high mileage?

I am thinking of buying a used van. I’ve seen a 2014 Ford Transit Connect for sale, but it has 101,000 miles on the clock. Is this too many?
High mileage diesel vans can represent good value for money, but the price must reflect the condition. You also have to make some important checks beforehand. For example, it must have a full service history. Personally, I'd look for oil and filter changes at every 10k miles or every 12 months (whichever came first). If the van's documents don't show this then I'd avoid as it won't bode well for the remaining life of the engine. For more used buying advice, see: http://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-buy-and-sell/top-10-tips-to-buying-a-used-van/
Answered by Dan Powell
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