While the Ford Transit Connect van may not be a vehicle for the excitement and excitement of enthusiasts, it does serve as a great solution for consumers looking for a compact transit vehicle that is practical and versatile. Its cargo van configuration is perfect for craftsmen and tradesmen as well as adventurous individuals who prefer to live the van life. In passenger van form it can carry as many as seven passengers, and either configuration can haul up to 2,000 pounds with the right equipment. That said, it’s not the most fuel-efficient offering in its class, the base engine lacks guts, and while it’s easy to maneuver, the suspension provides a bouncy ride. The Transit Connect isn’t a perfect automotive specimen, but it’s a very useful workhorse nonetheless.
What’s New for 2023?
The Transit Connect was unchanged for its last model year, although it is significantly more expensive than in 2022, with the base model’s MSRP rising from less than $27,000 to more than $34,000 this year. The 2023 models are also the last hurray for Transit Connect, at least in the US. One of his rivals— City of Ram ProMaster—stop production at the end of 2022. The Connects only other competitor, Mercedes-Benz Metris, is set to be discontinued at the end of this model year. So long, city-van segment.
Price and Which One to Buy
The beauty of Transit Connect is that it can be configured and equipped to meet a variety of needs. We think the XLT model is a better value. Compared to the base model, it adds a standard touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Each XLT also has blind spot monitoring and rear traffic alerts. The only individual options we’ve added are adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping assistance and passive entry. The Trailer Tow Package is also a worthy upgrade as it unlocks the van’s 2,000 pound towing capacity.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
The Transit Connect offers two different four-cylinder engines and is only available in front-wheel drive. Engine 2.5 liter in-line-four pair with six-speed automatic transmission. This combination is not very fast, especially when trying to cross the highway. There’s also a turbocharged 2.0-liter paired with an eight-speed automatic, but we haven’t tested this setup yet. The Transit Connect can tow up to 2,000 pounds and carries a maximum payload of 1,570 pounds. That the last long-wheelbase model the one we drove felt very agile around town thanks to precise steering and well-controlled body movements. However, it shakes when driving over uneven pavement and has erratic tracking on the highway
Real World Fuel and MPG Savings
The EPA has yet to release a fuel economy rating for the 2023 Ford Transit Connect, although we expect it to remain the same as in 2022 as no mechanical changes have been made. Models equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo develop speeds of up to 24 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The 2.5-liter is rated for up to 20 mpg city and 27 highway. Ford’s only other direct competitor is the Ram ProMaster City, which is rated at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Since we haven’t tested the Ford or Ram on our fuel-efficient 75 mph route—part of our extensive testing regimen—we can’t report on their real-world mpg. For more information on Transit Connect fuel economy, visit EPA website.
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
The front seats of the Transit Connect will look familiar regardless of whether it’s in a cargo or passenger van. The latter can be had with a third row which allows seating for up to seven. Each model has a low seat height that mimics a car rather than a truck or crossover. The dashboard incorporates an ergonomic center stack featuring physical controls for the climate control and infotainment system. The cargo van offers up to 127 cubic feet of cargo volume, while the passenger van provides up to 105 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. Desirable options include dual-zone automatic climate control and wireless charging.
Infotainment and Connectivity
While the base model features an old-fashioned infotainment system with a single USB port, each Transit Connect is available with a more contemporary touchscreen unit that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi hotspots. Those who want more equipment can add a better audio system, a single-disc CD player, and wireless device charging.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
While some driver assistance technology standard, the rest of the list costs extra. For more information on Transit Connect crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
- Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alerts are available
- Lane departure warning and lane maintenance assistance are available
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
While Ford provides a limited warranty and competitive powertrain, the automaker doesn’t offer free scheduled maintenance.
- The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- The powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No free scheduled maintenance
More Features and Specifications