Transit Connect 2014

You need a van, then the chances are you need a Transit. A brand in its own right these days the Transit name encompasses a range of models, with the Connect the second model in the line-up above the smaller Courier.

Built in Valencia, Spain, and introduced in 2014 to replace its big-selling predecessor Ford has spun its compact van off the same basic underpinnings of its C-Max MPVs in the passenger car range. That’s obvious when you drive it. Ford has long had a reputation for developing fine-driving vehicles, and while that’s perhaps not at the top of the list of buyer’s requirements, it does make a difference when you’re sat in one all day.

Key rivals include the Volkswagen Caddy, Peugeot Partner and its Citroen Berlingo twin. At its introduction Ford boasted it would set new standards for load-carrying ability as well as cost of ownership and dependability. Load management and space was improved, too, Ford offering two wheelbases at launch, the short wheelbase (SWB/L1) having 2.9m3 of load space, and the long wheelbase (LWB/L2) model featuring 3.7m3 of cargo volume and payload of up to 1000kg. Without a full bulkhead fitted those load space volumes increase to 3.7 m3 and 4.4 m3. A load through hatch in the bulkhead allowed the Connect to offer the same load-length capacity as its bigger Transit Custom relation, with either 3.0m with the L1 or 3.4m in the L2 model.

The side access door is wide enough to load a Euro pallet through it, either wheelbase able to carry two Euro pallets. The rear load space’s proportions and bulkhead of the L2 were also designed to accommodate the 2.4m x 1.2m (8x4ft) sheets of plasterboard, chipboard or MDF.

That attention to detail and use is clear in the cabin, too, with lots of useful oddment stowage, including a USB-equipped bin under the passenger seat and another above the instruments on Trend trim upwards. There is also a fold-away function for the second portion of the passenger seat to allow large boxes to be carried in the cabin. Along with the usual van layout with its driver and twin passenger seat, Ford offered the Connect with both second and third row seating. Mis-fuelling is impossible, too, with Ford’s Easy-Fuel capless filler neck not allowing owners to make the expensive error of putting the wrong fuel in the tank.

Transit Connect 2

Engines

Various engine choices were offered with the Transit Connect over its life, the core being made up of the 1.6-litre TDCI turbodiesel which was offered with 75PS, 95PS and 115PS outputs. These were available additionally with engine start/stop technology, which help the Connect improve its economy and emissions - the L1 (SWB) model with the 75PS 1.6 TDCi emitting 124g/100km and consuming 58.9mpg according to the advertised figures without that start/stop and improving to 115g/km and 64.2mpg with it.

For operators wanting ultimate economy and CO2 capability, Ford additionally offered its 100PS 1.5 TDCi turbodiesel in Econetic guise, it in its best specification (L1 Base trim) managing an advertised figure of 74.3mpg and 99g/km. For that you’d have to accept a 62mph speed limiter, without it the figures increasing to 70.6mpg and 105g/km.

Latterly the 1.6 TDCi would be discontinued in 2016, replaced by the 1.5 TDCi across the range. Additionally Ford offered the Connect with petrol engines, a 1.6-litre EcoBoost mated to an automatic transmission which was only offered briefly up to 2015, and a 1.0-litre 100PS EcoBoost petrol, though it didn’t sell in any high numbers in the UK market.

The Econetic models improved their economy by adding engine start/stop technology, an active grille shutter for improved aerodynamics and smart regenerative charging to boost economy. 

Ford Transit Connect (1)

Maintenance

Every Ford Transit Connect comes with a three year 60,000 mile warranty, many used examples are still covered by this. Tourneo Connect drivers benefit from a 100,000 mile warranty over three years as it’s sold a passenger car rather than a commercial vehicle. There’s a 12-year anti-perforation warranty too with bodywork on all.

Servicing should be every year or 10,000 miles and inexpensive 6000 mile six month interim services and inspections for drivers using their vehicles for short-drop urban driving are worthwhile. Pricing varies across the country, but most garages offer fixed price serving. As an example an interim service should cost in the region of £120, a full service costing around £200-£250.

A replacement battery fitted will be around £100, with an MoT around £40-£50. Should you need diagnostics running to check any fault code expect to pay around £45, a replacement clutch costing around £540 fitted, front brake pads under £100, rears under £70, replacement front discs in the region of £220. The timing belt on the TDCi engines should be replaced every four years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first). Fitted, along with a new water pump that timing belt cost around £500. Miss that and if it goes you’ll need a new engine.  

Pricing

Still being relatively new a hunt through the classified ads reveals the Transit Connect starts at around £5000 for the oldest, highest mileage examples. Even at this entry-level used price point it’s not unreasonable to expect properly maintained examples, with a full service history. If it hasn’t avoid it, as the Connect is popular, so there’s a lot of choice out there.

That price level will see you taking on a vehicle with in excess of 100,000 miles on it, adding around £1000 to your budget dropping that mileage significantly and increasing the number of available vehicles for sale.

There’s not really any clear premium for the L2 over the L1 models, though you’ll pay a bit extra for the double-in-cab examples. It’s worth looking for Trend trim over Base as it adds some equipment like the twin/split folding passenger seat that adds versatility and carrying capacity to the cab.

There are rich pickings for buyers in the £6000-£7000 range, with plenty of one-owner sensible miles examples. The majority are 1.6-litre TDCi powered, and in the tradesman’s favourite white, but 1.5 TDCis are available in this price range, as are some painted different hues from the usual white. In the £7000-£9000 sphere and you can find Connects still under warranty and just a year or two old.

Spend £10,000 up to around £13,000 and you’ll be in year-old sub-10,000 miles examples while above that, up to £17,000 buys you new stock from Ford dealers, or the very highest specified used examples and any special edition, or specialist use vehicles. 

To find the latest deals, visit: Honest John Vans For Sale

Transit Connect 6

What we said

"Fuel economy and emissions are impressive across the board but those who really want to cut costs will choose the 1.5 Econetic 95PS, which emits 105g/km and returns an official fuel economy of 70.6mpg when the optional fuel economy pack is specified. 

"On the road, the Transit Connect drives like a good family car and it has space for plenty of cargo. The maximum payload is 1000kg, with load volumes of as much as 4.4m3."

What to watch

  • Service history, with the Transit Connect still young enough to command above £5000 on the used marketplace it’s essential you buy one with a fully-stamped service booklet.

  • Have a good look around the tyres for wear or sidewall damage. Any signs of uneven wear suggests the tracking has been knocked out, likewise damaged sidewalls or wheels signal abuse.

  • Check the clutch for slip or judder by rolling away in second with low revs, if there’s any evidence of it then negotiate a discount, or have a new one fitted before buying.

  • On higher mileage examples ask whether the timing belt has been replaced. It should have been done every 60,000 miles or four years, whichever is sooner.

  • Listen for any rumbling or drone from the wheel bearings when test driving. Be sure to run the van at everything from town speeds to dual carriageway speeds. A new wheel bearing, fitted will cost around £150.

  • Ask what it’s been used for, and don’t be too afraid of higher mileage examples. A 40,000 mile Connect doing short drop town driving might be in rougher condition mechanically than a 100,000+ mile example that’s spent most of its time travelling on motorways.

  • Have a good look around the cabin for any water ingress, lift carpets, look under the seats and check under floor mats. Check any drainage holes around the windscreen front firewall aren’t blocked.

  • With the Connect still relatively new, and so plentiful used, you really can afford to be very picky. Check the load area for excessive damage, and the interior for wear and tear, with so much choice there’s no reason to compromise on one that’s not perfect.

The Ford Transit Connect brings the Transit name to a wider audience, this good-looking light commercial impressing with its carrying capacity and Ford’s attention to detail for its users. Running costs should be inexpensive, economy decent and with so much choice out there used then there’s room for negotiation to get exactly the van you want. Young enough not to have encountered any mechanical maladies of note, we’ll update this report as and when the vehicles get older and problems arise. In the meantime, the Connect is a solid buy for those wanting a well specified, fine driving and usefully proportioned small van.

Comments

Sneeze    on 9 April 2018

I have an automatic ford transit tourneo custom and love it. Very good on fuel, easy to drive and park, ideal for a lady driver :-) I wish there was some way of feeding back to ford ideas that would improve the vechile.

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