LOS ANGELES – Think of the all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon as the #unminivan.
Fuel efficient, flexible, uniquely styled and fun to drive, Transit Connect Wagon is an affordable people mover for families and active individuals who want to be ready for whatever life brings.
“Ford’s all-new Transit Connect Wagon is unlike anything else,” said Minyang Jiang, brand manager, Transit Connect. “It drives like a car, has the flexibility of a utility and can haul the payload of a full-size pickup. This new wagon is a great combination of affordability and functionality – a unique global vehicle we’re proud to offer our customers.”
Transit Connect Wagon is now on sale in North America at a starting price of around U.S. $25,000. It is available in two wheelbase lengths – a five-passenger with removable seating or a seven-passenger with fold-flat seating. It offers sliding side doors, a choice of a rear liftgate or side-hinged cargo doors, more than 100 cubic feet of cargo space and a maximum payload of 1,270 pounds. Available trim levels include XL, XLT and the range-topping Titanium.
Customers can select from two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines – the standard 2.5-liter with an EPA-estimated rating of 28 mpg on the highway, and a 1.6-liter EcoBoost® with an EPA-estimated rating of 29 mpg highway.
Both engines are paired to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission designed for smooth driving around town and efficiency on the highway.
Award-winning Transit Connect: Fun to drive, Built Ford Tough
Transit Connect Wagon shares Ford’s global C-platform with the sporty Focus model, making it easy to maneuver in parking lots while being fun to drive on curvy roads. Torque vectoring control technology, which uses the brakes to provide stability through turns, is responsible for the fun handling characteristics the vehicle offers.
Transit Connect Wagon has been designed, engineered and tested to meet Ford’s rigorous Built Ford Tough durability standards. The testing equivalent of more than 3 million miles includes 250,000-plus miles in such demanding conditions as gravel roads, tracks that mimic rugged environments and pothole-damaged pavement.
The vehicle was introduced in Europe in 2002, and now, the 2014 Transit Connect van has been named International Van of the Year by a panel of European auto media. It debuted in North America in 2009, quickly becoming a fleet favorite for its size and capability as a hauler of people and cargo.
Now, with the arrival of the all-new Transit Connect Wagon, retail buyers have a fresh alternative to the traditional people mover.
The Transit Connect lineup posted its strongest annual sales in 2013, with just under 40,000 units sold, up 12.7 percent from 2012. Since its U.S. introduction, more than 150,000 Transit Connect models have been sold. 2014 so far has been the best year for sales of the wagon model.
California is the largest retail area for Transit Connect Wagon and van. The growth in this market is 300-plus percent more than the minivan segment, which grew by about 10 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
As unique as its buyer
Transit Connect Wagon and Transit Connect van offer spacious interiors and customization options that allow owners to personalize the vehicle to their lifestyle. Ten custom-built Transit Connect vehicles were showcased at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association show in November, demonstrating a range of potential uses – from a cross-country cruiser loaded with technology to a mobile video gaming station.
“Transit Connect Wagon fans are among the most passionate Ford customers, using their vehicle as a way to express their interests, hobbies and entrepreneurial spirits,” said Jiang. “From a support rig for a BMX bike team to a mobile workshop, customers have made great use of its spacious interior and flexible seating.
“Moreover, its starting price leaves some change in customers’ pockets that they can use for their passions, the things they really love in life,” Jiang added.
The short-wheelbase, five-passenger wagon model allows for the second row to flip, fold or be removed entirely. It features 77.1 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row with the second-row seats flipped forward, and 46.9 cubic feet of volume behind the second row.
The long-wheelbase, seven-passenger wagon model has second- and third-row seats that fold flat. It has 104.2 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row with the second and third row folded flat; with passengers in the second row, cargo volume reaches nearly 60 cubic feet.
The wagon model’s interior roominess is especially notable for its headroom, which bests many other seven-seat vehicles. Available headroom in the first row is 46.8 inches, with 45.1 inches in the second row. The long-wheelbase model has 41.3 inches of headroom in the third row. The excellent headroom Transit Connect Wagon offers led to Tall Clubs International recently naming it the official vehicle for the “vertically gifted.”
Drivers and passengers looking to store their stuff will find two overhead storage options in Transit Connect Wagon – an overhead storage shelf with retaining net and available aircraft-style overhead storage for rear passengers. Additionally, there’s room for small items on the floor under the first-row passenger seat. There is a second-row storage compartment in the long-wheelbase wagon model.
Advanced driver and safety technology
Transit Connect Wagon customers will benefit from the availability of popular driver-assist technologies and advanced safety features.
Available driver-assist features include a rear view camera, and forward and rear-sensing systems. The rear view camera shows what is behind the vehicle on a screen located in the center dash panel. The display’s color-coded guidelines and zoom feature help the driver align the vehicle, which is especially beneficial when towing.
At low speeds, ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper alert the driver to objects behind the vehicle, while front sensors warn of objects at the front. The closer an object is to the vehicle, the faster the beeps sound, escalating to a constant tone.
Industry-exclusive Ford MyKey technology is available, which can be programmed to limit top speed and audio volume, encourage seat belt use, and restrict incoming calls and texts to a paired cell phone.
The 2014 Transit Connect Wagon features side airbags for front-row occupants and side curtain airbags for all rows. The vehicle has earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government’s highest possible overall rating.