Ford’s highly successful Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect have undergone some extensive changes, making some of Europe’s most popular small vans even more attractive.
Major improvements include the introduction of Stage IV compliant 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engines, with engine power outputs of 75PS and 90PS. In addition there will be a new 110PS variant available for the first time.
Reflecting customer needs, the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect ranges now consist exclusively of diesel models. The highly acclaimed 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi engine is also used across several other models in the Ford car range.
Phil Collareno, Vehicle Line Director, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe said: "Users want a no-nonsense vehicle, which speaks for them and what their business represents. The Transit Connect, which won the prestigious International Van of the Year title in 2003, ideally fits that bill; it’s smart, tough and stylish, and can be relied upon to do whatever is required of it. The changes we are now announcing will help to keep Transit Connect the van that quite literally, keeps on delivering!"
Ford believes that a light commercial vehicle doesn’t have to be dull or basic. So users will be delighted that both the interior and exterior of the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect have received changes across the board, and the vehicle’s in-car entertainment has been significantly upgraded.
Additionally, the new Tourneo Connect GLX model includes a host of new comfort features including a smart new two-tone instrument panel and brightly coloured interior.
The GLX is an upgraded short wheel base five-seat Tourneo Connect available in a range of contemporary new colours and featuring vibrant new seat fabrics. Also new is the long wheel base Tourneo Connect LX. Available in five- and, for the first time, eight-seat versions, it features a chrome grille finish and body-coloured bumpers.
The Range Explained
The Tourneo Connect is the multi-seat sister vehicle to the Transit Connect van, designed to be equally at home carrying people to the building site, the supermarket or the family gathering. The range explained:
Transit Connect : Standard van with two seats and cargo area (Short wheel base or long wheel base)
Tourneo Connect : Passenger carrying version of the Transit Connect, with side windows and additional side doors
Tourneo Connect LX: Long wheel base (LWB) mid-range model with additional comfort and trim features and enhanced exterior appearance cues
Tourneo Connect GLX: Short wheel base (SWB) new Tourneo Connect derivative with high levels of equipment and high quality vibrant trims, designed to offer greater car-like comfort
The Duratorq TDCi 1.8-litre Diesel Engine
Ford’s 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi engine has already been used successfully in the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect, but has now been upgraded significantly, offering higher performance and meeting all Euro IV emission standards. Three power outputs are available – 75PS, 90PS and a new 110PS unit.
The changes, which include a new combustion system and new fuel injectors, help provide a smoother, more responsive and quieter drive. The use of Ford’s acclaimed 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine exclusively across the range means all models have the same robust powertrain, which is high on refinement and low on noise levels.
The engine features an ultra-high pressure common-rail direct injection system, which provides the driver with a smoother and more responsive power delivery.
The new 110PS version is one of the most powerful engines available in its sector, and its 280Nm of torque is class leading – making it ideal for customers who regularly carry full cargo loads or a full complement of up to seven passengers.
The existing 75PS and 90PS versions have also undergone extensive changes, and boast reduced emissions – without any loss of performance or fuel economy. The 75PS version is now upgraded to include state-of-the-art common-rail TDCi technology, having formerly been a TDdi.
Exterior and Interior changes
Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect entry models
All models feature a new front bumper and distinctive two-bar grille, which allow excellent airflow for efficient engine cooling. The Ford oval badge has also moved from the bonnet down onto the new grille.
Interior changes include a modified instrument panel and centre stack, now finished in Steel Blue. The new interior trim features ’Lozenge’ fabric, which is not only harder wearing but more contemporary in look and feel.
The second row seating option features ‘saddle’ headrests (Tourneo Connect and five-seat vans) allowing easy folding and better visibility.
Long wheel base Tourneo Connect LX
The long wheel base Tourneo Connect LX features a two-tone body colour front bumper, body colour rear bumpers and end caps, a chrome grille and new wheel trims on 15-inch steel wheels. Available as an option are stylish new 15-inch alloy wheels.
Long wheel base Eight-Seater
This new Tourneo Connect version features a 40/60 split third row seat with a ‘fold and tumble’ lock. The second row seat also has this functionality. Interior trim has been revised to be even more welcoming for all passengers, wherever they are sitting.
The eight-seat option will be available on all LWB derivatives with either 90PS or 110PS engine and with dual side load doors specified as standard.
Short wheel base Tourneo Connect GLX
The Tourneo Connect GLX derivative is a significant new addition to the range, providing a more contemporary look and car-like ambience to the vehicle, making it ideal for personal and family use. The GLX gives the driver and passengers all the comforts they might expect from a car.
A new bumper treatment, chrome grille, two sliding doors and new rear wheel arch mouldings are the new exterior details. Stylish new 16-inch alloy wheels are available as an option.
Moving inside, the bright and lively ‘biscuit’ colour scheme is immediately noticeable, and complements the revised two-tone instrument panel, new seat fabrics and fully trimmed interior. Pull-up seat back trays are included for rear seat passengers.
There are some new features of the new Tourneo Connect GLX that families will very quickly find invaluable. An innovative overhead console provides valuable extra stowage space, while an extra convex rear view mirror will allow parents to keep their active offspring well behaved while they are in the back. No more mischief because mum and dad can’t see them!
Sure to become a favourite with the younger Tourneo Connect GLX traveller is the integrated child friendly activity bag. It can be clipped to the back of the seat in front, and then unclipped and carried in the style of a backpack.
Other new features include a 12 volt power outlet in the rear seating area, optional nets above the side load doors, and new rear speakers fitted in a new location optimised for better sound quality.
Moving into the luggage area, there are new load compartment hooks and a rolling tonneau cover. There is also an optional flexible luggage area netting system, which can be adjusted to carry awkward or fragile loads.
In addition, the suspension has been retuned to provide a softer ride for rear passengers (500kg payload only).
In Car Entertainment
There are several audio systems available for the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect, and CD players are now included to replace cassette players where they were fitted.
The entry-level system includes an AM/FM stereo tuner with RDS, which provides updated traffic information from the local areas’ radio broadcasts. The radio features 12 pre-set station options, and two speakers give six watts of power output.
The mid-level system features 24 pre-set stations and a single slot CD player. The unit has a sophisticated communications capability, allowing it to communicate with other electronic systems in the car. The system can, for instance, display the same time as shown in main instrument cluster.
The top-of-the-range system features a six-CD changer, loadable through a single slot. It also has 24 radio pre-set stations, but has a bigger display screen.
Exterior: The Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect will be immediately recognisable on the roads thanks to the new eye-catching range of colours. Frozen White, Blue Ambition and Sublime are available on all Transit Connect models, and the Tourneo Connect entry- level model. The Tourneo Connect LX and GLX come in a special range of distinctive shades: Caramella, Willow , Tonic and Moondust Silver.
Bumpers : The Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect entry models feature new bumpers moulded in a stylish Torque Grey, which is lighter than the colour on the current vehicle. The Tourneo Connect LX and GLX come with body coloured bumpers as standard.
Interior : The ambience inside the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect has been significantly improved thanks to colour choice. The short wheel base Tourneo Connect GLX has a lighter colour scheme and upgraded materials to give a passenger car feeling. The Transit Connect, the Tourneo Connect entry models and long wheel base Tourneo Connect LX now have interiors finished in classy Dark Pewter.
Peter Fleet, Director, Commercial Vehicles, Marketing Sales & Service, Ford of Europe, knows the secret of the vehicle’s success: "Transit/Tourneo Connect is a great success story – we now sell over 100,000 a year. Its strength comes from the fact that, unlike its competitors, it’s engineered from the ground up to commercial vehicle dependability levels. This makes it the natural choice for commercial and personal use customers that are looking for rock solid dependability."