• Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago

New EcoBlue unit promises at least 30 mpg

Ford’s smallest van, the Transit Connect, has just received a facelift at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show. Exterior updates are mild and interior upgrades are mostly about new tech and options, but there’s big news under the skin, in the form of a brand-new diesel engine.

The outer shell of the van remained largely unchanged on the sides and around back, but the front fascia now sports the company’s latest corporate face. The large grille seen in the newer models found its way on the Transit Connect, as did slightly bigger headlamps, and a revised, sportier bumper. Inside the cabin, there’s a reshaped dashboard with a cleaner center stack, with a 6.5-inch touchscreen floating on top. The display is optional though. The instrument cluster now has a digital information center. Ford now offers wireless charging, with Waze compatibility to be introduced soon.

Moving over to tech, the Automatic Emergency Braking system comes standard with the segment-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control system makes highway driving easier by automatically slowing the vehicle when radar detects traffic ahead. The available Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert rounds off the driver assist package. Continue reading to find out about the engine lineup.

Keep reading for the full story.

Class-Exclusive Diesel Option

Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago
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The 1.5-liter EcoBlue engine is estimated to return at least 30 mpg on the highway

The updated Transit Connect is actually available with two new engines, but the diesel is by far the more interesting choice. A class-exclusive feature, the oil burner displaces 1.5 liters and goes by the name EcoBlue. It pairs to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and it’s estimated to return at least 30 mpg on the highway. The engine is already available in the European version of the EcoSport crossover, so we already know from there that it has aluminum block and heads, water-to-air cooling, and a variable-geometry turbo. The unit is rated at 120 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque.

The other mill is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit with direct injection and Auto Start-Stop as standard equipment. It too comes mated to the all-new eight-speed automatic, but other data is not available as of this writing. Ford says that the van will have a towing capability of 2,000 pounds when paired with the available trailer tow package.


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Read more Chicago Auto Show news.

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Read more Ford news.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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