Ford ’s all-new 2014 Transit Connect has broken cover ahead of its arrival in American showrooms during the first quarter of 2014. Big changes to the TC commercial van mean it now offers a long-wheelbase version and an EcoBoost power upgrade. The new model’s fuel economy is expected to easily top 30 mpg on the highway, with base pricing around just $23,000.
The Transit Connect now comes in commercial or passenger flavors, with the passenger model called the TC Wagon and the panel van called the Cargo. This new generation of Transit Connect brings a major overhaul in interior comfort and technology, while also bringing a slightly cool boy-racer image to the TC Cargo’s boxy styling.
The low ride height and sporty nose are the first items to make an impression, and both are a quantum leap ahead of the jutting nose of the current models. Still a front-drive configuration, the TC Cargo now has twin sliding doors and a choice of tailgate designs. Inside the customizable back cab, a large jump in practicality means both more cubic-feet of space and a much greater payload than ever offered before on the Transit Connect.
The Transit Connect will be followed to market by the company’s next-gen, full-size work van – the rear-drive Ford Transit – that is scheduled to arrive in dealers in spring 2014.
Are the Ford ’s sporty new looks, extra space and a redesigned cockpit enough for the TC Cargo to sweep the fleet van championship?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo, with all the latest information from Ford on the van’s specifications and new EcoBoost engine option.
The design of the latest Transit Connect takes functional van proportions and adds a twist of sportiness. Up front, the bumper-level trapezoidal grille is much happier than the tacked-on original grille/bumper combo.
The back ribbed bumpers for the previous TC also give way to flowing and smooth body-color treatments in front and back - as standard. Black plastic still appears on bump strips in the doors, and the TC Wagon ’s standard foglights are not present on the Cargo van.
Despite running basic halogen reflectors, the headlights are contemporary and feature an integrated blade indicator at the base of the assembly. It looks chic and far better than the confused headlight appear on the first TC. To the sides and in profile, the TC Cargo keeps the Wagon’s huge front glass and rounded mid-height roof option. This roof height is the best of all worlds for practicality, aero smoothness and – gasp – style.
The rounded roof and front bumpers look a bit like a modern-day Volkswagen bus. Like the panel VW vans, the TC connect keeps the shaping of the body sides where glass would normally sit. It looks sporty when combined with the LED taillights and especially with a business logo graphic on the side.
Ford Commercial Graphics is ready for a flood of custom Transit Connect Cargo vans, using their latest online design tool. Thousands of pre-loaded (or user uploaded) graphics, themes, images, textures and anything else can be custom designed as a full vehicle wrap – and ordered right from the factory! Using some of Ford’s sample art, we created the TopSpeed Ford Transit Connect as seen above.
There are a few less tasteful design samples in the below gallery, like the matte neon green wrap that will make your head explode.
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo – Exterior Dimensions:
|Transit Connect Wagon||SWB (Short Wheelbase)||LWB (Long Wheelbase)|
|Track - Front (in.)||61.7||61.7|
|Track - Rear (in.)||61.7||61.7|
|Weight (Pounds)||3415, Est.||3615, Est.|
|Drag Coefficient||.32, Est||.32, Est|
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo – Standard Exterior Features:
- Single Complex Surface Halogen Headlights
- Metallic Paint (Opt.)
- Front Air Dam
- Front and Rear Body Color Bumpers
- Bright Trim Grille, Body Side Moldings, Cladding and Body Color Exterior Door Handles (Opt.)
- Rear Step Up Bumper
- Battery Management System
- Solar tinted front door and windshield glass
- Acoustic-laminate windshield glass
The Ford Transit Connect Cargo is much more liveable for 2014, with a high-quality new front cabin that now includes Focus-like multifunction control pads on the steering wheel. These control the twin info monitors and the standard aux-in jack to play tunes from devices on the move.
A unique option on the 2014 TC Cargo is a middle row of seats. Most TC Cargo’s will come as two-seaters - but including the option is a nice touch for some buyer needs. Behind that second row is still a massive cargo hold, but less insulation and comfort than in the back of the TC Wagon .
All TC Cargo models come with dual sliding doors and side-hinged cargo doors in the rear. The combination makes the TC Cargo hugely versatile for loading and unloading in tight areas. The panel van’s cargo doors swing out well past the sides of the van for a wide and extra tall entryway into the cargo hold.
Various pre-built storage solutions will be offered, including cabinets and a side rail shelving system. As part of the Ford commercial fleet, the TC Cargo can be equipped with the company’s Crew Chief remote vehicle diagnostics and productivity tracking. This web-based interface can be very helpful for routing the nearest employee to an urgent package pick-up, for example.
SYNC voice control is included in the TC Cargo to keep in touch with the boss on the road, and the MyFord Touch infotainment may make the options list for the first time. Adding navigation into the MyFord Touch controls would certainly create a fleet of happily entertained drivers.
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo – Interior Dimensions:
|Transit Connect Wagon||SWB (Short Wheelbase)||LWB (Long Wheelbase)|
|Front Seating Capacity||2||2|
|Middle Seating Capacity (With Optional Middle Row Of Seating)||3||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||46.9||46.9|
|Headroom - Middle (in.)||45.1||45.1|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||40.3||40.3|
|Legroom - Middle (in.)||37.6||37.6|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||57.7||57.7|
|Shoulder Room - Middle (in.)||58.8||58.8|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||54.6||54.6|
|Hip Room - Middle (in.)||58.5||58.5|
|EPA Cargo Volume - All Rows Folded Down (cubic-feet)||106.5, Est||138.0, Est|
|EPA Cargo Volume – Behind First Row (cubic-feet)||120, Est||162.0, Est|
|Max Payload Weight||1600 pounds, Est||1600 pounds, Est|
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo – Standard Interior Features:
- Ford MyKey, Keyless Entry Operated Via Key Fob, Multi-Function Remote Operates Door Lock/Unlock, Perimeter Lighting and Tailgate
- AM/FM Radio With 4 Speakers Total; CD Player, Auxiliary Audio Input Jack; Radio Scan, Speed Sensitive Volume
- Cargo hooks, Cargo net
- Power windows for first row, with 1-touch-up-and-down driver/passenger window; Power door locks
- Dome/map lights
- Manual tilt/telescoping steering column
- Cruise control
- Easy Fuel capless fuel filler
- Sun visors, color-keyed, single blade, illuminated, with vanity mirrors
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo – Optional Interior Features:
- MyFord Navigation infotainment
- SYNC Voice-Activated Navigation System with SiriusXM Travel Link
- BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert
- Adjustable pedals with memory
- Power tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- 10-way power adjustable passenger’s seat with power lumbar, Memory driver’s seat
- Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
- Remote start
- Ambient lighting
- Universal garage door opener
- PowerFold mirrors with memory
- 110-volt, in-car plug outlet
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The only difference between the TC Cargo and the TC Wagon is in the suspension settings. The TC Cargo is expected to bring a firmer setup in back to accomodate a higher payload than the seven-passenger model.
The engines and transmission for the U.S. market are confirmed: a choice of four-cylinder motors paired with a standard six-speed automatic. Ford has not yet announced the horsepower and mileage stats delivered by these two engines, but the below estimates are based on the same engines used elsewhere in Ford’s American lineup.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder is the base engine, producing 175 horsepower for an estimated 9.5 second 0-to-60 mph run. The smaller engine is actually the upgrade: this little 1.6-liter EcoBoost makes similar power levels but is much fast in all daily driving. The EcoBoost 1.6-liter option is projected to deliver 178 horsepower (just three extra) but produces much more torque at a much lower rev count – making the car feel more powerful.
The EcoBoost engine also delivers some astounding potential mileage figures. Based on how these engines perform in the 2014 Ford Fusion, the Transit Connect Wagon may be able to hit the mid 30’s for its highway EPA mileage rating.
Ford is performing final tweaks to ensure a good balance between mileage and power, but the engines will not fall much from the below power estimates.
The new 2.5-liter I-4 engine in the 2014 Transit Connect is available with a CNG/LPG Gaseous Engine Prep Package that makes it capable of conversion to CNG/LPG fuel systems. This package includes hardened intake valves, valve seats and bi-fuel manifold.
Once converted, the Transit Connect can seamlessly switch between gasoline and CNG, stored in a separate tank. This is likely to be popular on the commercial TC Cargo vehicles, almost doubling the maximum possible range.
The max payload of the TC Cargo is promised at above 1600 pounds, and the car is promised to tow up to 2000 pounds. Final stats from Ford as they become available closer to launch.
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo – Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||2.5-liter 16-valve I-4 With DOHC And VVT||1.6-liter Turbocharged 16-valve I-4 With DOHC And VVT|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||175 @ 6000, Est||178 @ 5700, Est|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||170 @ 4500, Est||184 @ 2500, Est|
|Transmission||6-Speed Auto||6-Speed Auto|
|0-to-60 mph||9.5 seconds, Est||8.8 seconds, Est|
|Top Speed (mph)||112, Est||122, Est|
|EPA Fuel Economy MPG (City/Highway/Combined)||22/34/26, Est||25/37/29, Est|
|Max Towing Weight||2000 pounds, Est||2000 pounds, Est|
The safety of the Transit Connect is not yet proven by testing by the NHTSA and IIHS, but other vehicles with this shared architecture bring top safety marks and equipment.
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo – Standard Safety Features:
- AdvanceTrac with RSC, Traction control
- Driver Airbag, Passenger Airbag, Seat Mounted Front Side Airbags
- Side Guard Door Beams
- LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors for Children)
- S O S Post-Crash Alert System
- SecuriCode keyless entry keypad, SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Automatic Locking Retractors, Front Seatbelt Height Adjusters and Pre-tensioners, Rear Center 3-Point Seatbelts, Belt-Minder
Pricing of the Transit Connect is not yet available from Ford, but the TC Cargo will in the first quarter of 2014.
Based on the competition, previous pricing and offering of the TC Cargo, the projected base price of the short-wheelbase model is $22,900 and up to $23,900 for the LWB version.
The Ram Cargo Van is a highly affordable and versatile option for value-conscious businesses. The firm’s latest engine and six-speed automatic are the only configuration, despite pricing at least $10,000 below the Chrysler Town & Country.
The Ram C/V is therefore quicker with a full load, but also suffers from an image that is less cool than a U.S.P.S. mail truck. Mileage and reliability are also concerns when buying the Ram C/V.
A re-badged Fiat commercial vehicle will join the next-gen Ram ProMaster van in about a year to replace the Ram C/V.
Gallery Ford Transit Connect Cargo
The City Express and its identical twin, the Nissan NV200, offer a close match for the short wheelbase TC Cargo. Their underpowered engine and CVT combination hurt drivability, however, and the single length option is not nearly as useful as a primary fleet vehicle.
The Chevy version of the NV200 will be available next summer, but the Nissan model is for sale now with literally identical features and styling.
Gallery Ford Transit Connect Cargo
Is this van trying to race me? That might be a common question when seeing the new TC Cargo at the stoplights. It just looks sporty and aggressive, even on cheap wheel covers and without any xenon or LED lighting up front.
The rounded and chopped design works even better on the TC Cargo than it does on the TC Wagon , with the Cargo van looking particularly cool from the back.
Matching the style overhaul is a much-improved interior that finally brings some interesting infotainment options to the hard-working commercial driver segment. After all, if anyone deserves a good iPhone hookup and Sirius satellite radio - it is guys who spend 10 hours in a row planted in that Ford bucket seat.
Improved looks, improved cabin design and load space. What’s left? The engines. Ford looks like it has this segment dominated with a new EcoBoost option and standard six-speed autoboxes for all.
Among fleet operators and start-up companies alike, the Ford Transit Connect Cargo presents a trendy and stylish way to keep fuel costs down — and new client billing up!
Just think hard about your Ford Commercial Graphics wrap before ordering - or you could regret that neon shade in a few years.
|Driving||B||New Engines And Focus-style Interior Bring Big Boost In Fun|
|Performance||B||EcoBoost Engine Option Looks Like The Better Choice|
|Look||A-||A Great-Looking Van With Fashionable Creases and LED Taillights|
|Value||B-||Prices Will Be Higher Than Previous Transit Connect’s Base $22,500 MSRP|
|Overall||B+||A Great-Looking Delivery Van With Modern Cabin And Efficiency Tech|
- Quite impressive stance for a base model without even alloy wheels
- Looks just as good from the back and rear three-quarter angles
- New interior tech and extra LWB space will increase TC Cargo’s sales potential
- Commercial graphics design tool is very cool
- Unknown final power and mileage stats, but sure to beat the Ram C/V on efficiency
- Pricing with new MyFord Touch and Navigation options can climb much higher than before
2014 Ford Transit Connect
- Ford brings an all-new compact Transit Connect commercial van to market, ideally suited to small business owners and fleets placing high value on fuel efficiency
- The 2014 Ford Transit Connect is expected to deliver at least 5 mpg better fuel economy on the highway than Ram C/V Cargo Van while carrying more payload than a full-size Ram 1500 pickup truck
- Anticipating up to 30 mpg-plus on the highway with EcoBoost® power, Transit Connect van offers customers their choice of two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines, two wheelbase lengths, two model series and an available CNG/LPG prep package
- Transit Connect van takes versatility to a new level with convenient sliding side doors, a choice of side and rear window configurations, an estimated 1,600-pound payload, and side-hinged rear cargo doors
Redesigned from the ground up, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect drives and parks like a car, hauls more payload than a full-size Ram 1500 pickup and delivers fuel efficiency unmatched by any other commercial vehicle in North America today – 30 mpg-plus on the highway.
With global commercial vehicle sales expected to grow by 4.8 million units to 21 million vehicles annually by 2017, Transit Connect represents a major opportunity. Ford – the second-largest commercial vehicle brand in the world and best-selling commercial brand in North America – is leveraging its One Ford product strategy to meet the growing needs of Transit Connect customers in 66 global markets with vans that are Built Ford Tough and even more fuel efficient, more capable and with greater choice of bodystyles.
Transit Connect will be joined by the all-new 2014 Ford Transit full-size van, which will provide professional tradesmen and commercial fleet customers with a diverse array of bodystyles and configurations tailored to their work needs, unmatched fuel economy and low cost of operation.
To meet the needs of North American customers, Transit Connect van is offered in two wheelbase lengths, in XL and XLT series levels, and with up to a 1,600-pound payload and more than 130 cubic feet of cargo space.
For the first time, this versatile compact van is also approved to tow up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.
Power of choice
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect commercial van offers North American customers a choice between two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines – a standard 2.5-liter and an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost® estimated to deliver 30 mpg-plus on the highway.
These powertrain alternatives make Transit Connect the gas mileage leader among commercial cargo haulers.
Transit Connect’s 2.5-liter engine can also be specified with a compressed natural gas/liquid propane gas (CNG/LPG) preparation package, enabling convenient conversion by Ford-certified upfit specialists.
Both engines come mated to an efficient six-speed automatic transmission, geared for around-town responsiveness and low-rpm highway cruising.
Transit Connect van offers unexpected features in a high-value package, combined with low operating costs.
This stylish, contemporary cargo van is available with or without second-row seating, and offers useful options like rear view camera, 6.5-inch touch-screen display with navigation, and SYNC® with MyFord Touch® – Ford’s highly acclaimed voice-activated mobile communications and entertainment system.
Transit Connect is a One Ford global design delivering substantial capability on a compact overall footprint with urban-friendly maneuverability. It is ideal for small business proprietors and fleets aiming to right-size vehicles to specific duties.
The Transit Connect work ethic is reflected in this clever van’s cargo-carrying and payload capabilities, and its high-strength body engineered to rigorous global commercial vehicle durability standards.
The all-new Transit Connect builds on the foundation of reliability and durability established by the original Transit Connect compact van. Introduced in North America in 2009, Transit Connect has become the must-have vehicle for small business proprietors and fleets.
Transit Connect was recognized as an innovative “white space” vehicle – literally carving out a new category in the market – by the automotive industry press corps when it was named North American Truck of the Year in January 2010 at the North American International Auto Show. Now selling at a pace of 35,000 units per year, Transit Connect has become a favorite of small business owners, corporate fleets and taxi operators in major urban areas such as Los Angeles and New York City. Tradesmen and fleet administrators alike find its combination of car-like maneuverability, ease of handling and cargo capacity just right for many tasks.
All Transit Connect van models feature first-row frontal and side airbags, first-row side curtain airbags and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
Ford’s award-winning MyKey® programmable ignition key, enabling owners and fleet administrators to restrict maximum vehicle speed and audio system volume, is standard.
Multiple vehicle fleets can specify Transit Connect with available Ford Work Solutions™ Crew Chief™ telematics, powered by Telogis®. This system enables a centralized fleet logistics leader to simultaneously monitor several vehicles in real time for location, speed and excess idle time – thus improving productivity and efficiency.