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2009 Ford Transit Connect
By Luc Gagné,
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Montreal, QC - Ford will pioneer a new market segment in North America with the 2009 Transit Connect.

Unveiled at this year's Chicago Auto Show, in February, and later as a taxicab concept at the New York Auto Show, this compact van was developed by Ford of Europe, where it has been sold since the fall of 2002. Manufactured at the Kocaeli plant, in Turkey, the Transit Connect will be shipped by boat to two East Coast ports.

It will replace the Freestar minivan and Focus ZXW wagon, two popular models among fleet managers that were discontinued in recent years. Rising gas prices, however, have led to a push back to small, efficient commercial vehicles. The people at Ford realize it and that's why they've decided to bring in the Transit Connect.

Efficient engine

According to Mr. Maisonneuve, the Transit Connect will boast an efficient 2.0L, 4-cylinder Duratec engine producing 136 horsepower and 136 pounds-feet of torque through a 4-speed automatic transmission. It's the same powertrain as the 2008 Focus (coupe and sedan).

At the Chicago event, Ford announced fuel economy ratings of 12.3 L/100 km in the city and 9.8 L/100 km on the highway. Payload capacity amounts to 1,500 kilos, while available cargo room totals 3,701 liters (130.7 cubic feet). With a maximum height of 190.5-198 centimeters, the Transit Connect also has no problems making deliveries in underground parking lots.

A true truck!

"The Transit Connect is a truck, not a modified automobile that wants to look like a truck. It's designed for commercial purposes first and foremost," claims Michel Maisonneuve, Ford's regional supervisor of commercial sales in Eastern Canada. "There's nothing else quite like it in the country, and it should stay that way when the vehicle finally arrives on our shores."

He's right. Perhaps the closest thing to the Transit Connect in 2008 is the commercial variant of GM's Chevrolet Uplander/Pontiac Montana SV6, not to mention the Dodge Grand Caravan CV. Of course, we should not forget about the small Chevrolet HHR Panel.

Unlike these minivans, however, the Ford Transit Connect offers a pair of doors instead of the more common liftgate. They open 180 degrees -- or 270 upon request. An additional, sliding door on the passenger's side also allows access to the cargo area.

Article in FULL

 

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19 mpg city / 24 highway? A Colorado does better with a 2.8L with much more power.

wtheck?
 

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I have a feeling this will do very well - especially in Canada. I drive a Sprinter every day for work and I really like it. The Transit Connect will be perfect for delivery fleets or contractors who need a true commercial van but don't need one as large as the Sprinter or Express. My only concern is with how the TC will accelerate when it's fully loaded. If it had a turbo diesel I wouldn't be as concerned...
 

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Transit Connect, and Transit are completely different cars. Be sure they aren't UK MPG figures as they're quite different too.
 

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Here is the info on the UK versions.

Tourneo Connect, 2007 Model Year Onwards 1.8 Duratorq (110PS) diesel 47.1/39.2 mpg(Imperial/US) combined cycle. Not available with gasoline engine in the UK.
http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/vehicleDetails.asp?id=17952

Transit Tourneo SWB Bus (FWD), 2006½ Model Year Onwards 2.2 Duratorq TDCi Diesel (110PS) 35.8/29.8 mpg(Imperial/US) combined cycle. Not available with gasoline engine in the UK.
http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/vehicleDetails.asp?id=17448

It is not clear to me which of these vehicles will be the basis for the US machine. Maybe this can help to figure it out.
http://www.autocar.co.uk/SpecsPrices/SpecsAndPrices.aspx
 

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I wonder if Ford plans on doing a three-row passenger version. Almost like a bigger Scion xB. That would be cool. I agree that 19/24 is unremarkable mileage for a normally-aspirated 2.0L. If it were 22/28, that would be impressive. Why not a Hybrid, like the Escape? I'd love to see a diesel, but it remains to be seen whether or not the American public at large agrees.
 

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I wonder if Ford plans on doing a three-row passenger version. ... I agree that 19/24 is unremarkable mileage for a normally-aspirated 2.0L. ... Why not a Hybrid, like the Escape? I'd love to see a diesel, but it remains to be seen whether or not the American public at large agrees.
There is a 9 and 12 (and maybe larger) passenger version in the UK.

Since it is billed as a business vehicle ... why not diesel?

With the 1.8 Duratorq (110PS) we would be talking about 37.2/31, 47.1/39.2, 54.3/45.2 mpg(Imperial/US) city, combined cycle, highway.

I suspect that it might take several years to be widely accepted. Then again ... IF ... it showed well as a "taxi" in places like NYC, it might not take long for the average consumer to go for it as a personal use vehicle.

If my understanding of small Euro turbo diesels is correct, it may not take over 4 years for 30 to 40% of buyer to recognize the difference between them and the current families of US diesels and, as a result, are willing to consider purchase of these (and other) diesel machines [provided FE greater than 45 mpg(US) combined average].

Of course this assumes that no radically higher FE technology is in the market ... say, like a $22k 'volt' with a 50 mile range and 50 plus mpg running on the ICE.
 

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I wonder how many subs I could fit in there...
 

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So would this be a good replacement for a GMC Safari? That's what our company uses and will need some replacements soon.
I wonder if it might push GM to bring the Opel Movano/Vivaro here?

Also Nissan plans their own commercial van with a old rumor then Dodge could get a version in exchange of using the Ram chassis/drivetrains for the next-gen Titan http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f58/rumormill-dodge-replace-sprinter-full-size-van-nissan-64366/
Looks like the commercial van market might be more competitive then we taught.
 

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Transit Connect, and Transit are completely different cars. Be sure they aren't UK MPG figures as they're quite different too.
Different engines. The diesel used in the UK doesn't meet emissions requirements. As a result they're using the 2.0L I-4 from the focus.
 

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Who are you, Jared?
Does Jared's car have a monster sound system?
Heck, if it had that and unlimited Subway I could live in there...
 

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Sorry about the bad link.

It has no chance of being a NYC Taxi if it doesn't get 25mpg city.
Tourneo Connect, 2007 Model Year Onwards 1.8 Duratorq (110PS) diesel 47.1/39.2 mpg(Imperial/US) combined cycle. Not available with gasoline engine in the UK.
http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/vehicleDetails.asp?id=17952

This configuration is rated 37.1/31 mpg(Imperial/US) city.

Emissions abatement has already been solved by at least 5 different companies.
 

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I saw the Transit at the Chicago show, and I really liked it. Great looking, totally practical vehicle. Not too small, not too big. Impressive carrying space, particularly where they had it fitted out with sliding bins, etc.

I think this could score big with tradesmen who drive around now in huge, tall, thirsty half-empty Econolines, who are likely getting sick of feeding those beasts.

I can also see a market for it, as apparently there is in Europe, as a family vehicle. The new minivan, now that "mini" vans have grown into enormous bloated tanks.

And, as an urban dweller, I'd love to see them as taxis. The current fleet of ancient Crown Vics are clogging our streets with their excess length and bulk. And they're really not all that roomy. Something trimmer and more capacious would be greatly appreciated around here.

This is a whole new segment, and Ford may well prosper here. It couldn't happen to a nicer vehicle.
 
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