Car Review: 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon

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Ford hasn’t been in the minivan business for a few years now, but the 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon wants your attention if you’re looking for a people mover. Dubbed the #unminivan, there is a lot of value in a vehicle that looks good, drives great and can haul the family from A to B and back again! We drove the 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon Review and found a sweet ride that doubles as a commercial gem.

EXTERIOR

There is a very distinct look about the 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon, and we discovered that folks either love or hate the exterior design. One has to remember that the Transit Connect was originally built for commercial use but has now styled up the skin to fit right in with the traditional SUV or minivan. The vehicle was introduced in Europe in 2002, and now, the 2014 Transit Connect van has been named International Van of the Year by a panel of European auto media. It debuted in North America in 2009, quickly becoming a fleet favorite for its size and capability as a hauler of people and cargo. Now, with the arrival of the all-new Transit Connect Wagon, retail buyers have a fresh alternative to the traditional people mover.

The 17-inch alloy wheels looked smooth along with body color side moldings, body color door handles, fog lamps with body color bezel, halogen headlamps, integrated spotter mirrors, power heated exterior mirrors and privacy glass.

INTERIOR

The Transit Connect Wagon and Transit Connect van offer spacious interiors and customization options that allow owners to personalize the vehicle to their lifestyle. The short-wheelbase, five-passenger wagon model, as tested, allows for the second row to flip, fold or be removed entirely. It features 77.1 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row with the second-row seats flipped forward, and 46.9 cubic feet of volume behind the second row. The long-wheelbase, seven-passenger wagon model has second- and third-row seats that fold flat. It has 104.2 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row with the second and third row folded flat; with passengers in the second row, cargo volume reaches nearly 60 cubic feet. The wagon model’s interior roominess is especially notable for its headroom, which bests many other seven-seat vehicles. Available headroom in the first row is 46.8 inches, with 45.1 inches in the second row. The long-wheelbase model has 41.3 inches of headroom in the third row.

Drivers and passengers looking to store their stuff will find two overhead storage options in Transit Connect Wagon – an overhead storage shelf with retaining net and available aircraft-style overhead storage for rear passengers. Additionally, there’s room for small items on the floor under the first-row passenger seat. There is a second-row storage compartment in the long-wheelbase wagon model. The wagon model’s interior roominess is especially notable for its headroom, which bests many other seven-seat vehicles. Available headroom in the first row is 46.8 inches, with 45.1 inches in the second row. The long-wheelbase model has 41.3 inches of headroom in the third row. The excellent headroom Transit Connect Wagon offers led to Tall Clubs International recently naming it the official vehicle for the “vertically gifted.”

Our test model was loaded with a huge panoramic fixed glass roof, quickclear windshield defrost, MyFord Touchscreen with CD/Sirius/SYNC/CAM, rear seat overhead console, leather seating with 6-way power driver’s seat and full cloth headliner. The fit and finish was very impressive and the sheer roominess is unmatched from what we’ve seen so far!

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PERFORMANCE

Our 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon was equipped with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost with an EPA-estimated rating of 29 mpg highway. The engine is paired to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission designed for smooth driving around town and efficiency on the highway. The Transit Connect Wagon shares Ford’s global C-platform with the sporty Focus model, and it shows, making it easy to maneuver in parking lots and fun to drive on curvy roads. Torque vectoring control technology, which uses the brakes to provide stability through turns, is responsible for the fun handling characteristics the vehicle offers. The 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon performance and handling exceeded our expectations as Transit can literally compete with rival sedans when it comes to performance. Yes, the Transit Connect handles that well!

At low speeds, ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper alert the driver to objects behind the vehicle, while front sensors warn of objects at the front. The closer an object is to the vehicle, the faster the beeps sound, escalating to a constant tone. Industry-exclusive Ford MyKey technology is available, which can be programmed to limit top speed and audio volume, encourage seat belt use, and restrict incoming calls and texts to a paired cell phone. The 2014 Transit Connect Wagon features side airbags for front-row occupants and side curtain airbags for all rows. The vehicle has earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government’s highest possible overall rating.

OVERVIEW

This offering from Ford is doing well, and we found out why during our testing. The Transit Connect lineup posted its strongest annual sales in 2013, with just under 40,000 units sold, up 12.7 percent from 2012. Since its U.S. introduction, more than 150,000 Transit Connect models have been sold. 2014 has been the best year for sales of the wagon model so far. Our test model earned fuel economy ratings of 22mpg in the city and a strong 29mpg in highway driving. When you couple that with a sticker price as tested of $31,800, there are plenty of families out there who will be interested. The optimal ride alone could sell this car – then all you have to hope is that the kids love the look, because the Transit Connect delivers!