Preview: 2014 Ford Transit Connect Van car previews ford
Preview: 2014 Ford Transit Connect Van car previews ford
2014 Ford Transit Connect Van. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Mike Schlee

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2014 Ford Transit Connect Van

In 2009, North America finally received the compact Ford Transit Connect cargo van. At that time, many factors came into play to bring this little darling of the European commercial industry to our shores. The recession, rising fuel prices, budget-conscious businesses and the success of the direct-from-Europe full-size Sprinter van all helped convince Ford it was time to sell this high-roof hauler to Canadians and Americans.

Even though this was a mere three and half years ago, it is time for a refresh. The Transit Connect actually dates back to 2002 and was based on the 2000 Focus platform. So, for 2014 an all-new second generation Transit Connect is ready to report for duty. Once again, it will be based on Ford’s C-segment platform that currently underpins the new Focus, new Escape and recently introduced C-Max; it also shares more than a few styling cues with these siblings.

Unlike the old one-size-fits-all Transit Connect, the new vehicle will be available in two wheelbase lengths with two engine choices. The shorter model measures in with a 2,662-mm wheelbase and is 4,417 mm long. This will be the basis for a cargo van and five-passenger wagon. The longer Transit Connect will measure in with a 3,063-mm wheelbase and a 4,818 mm overall length. It will be the basis of a cargo van, seven-passenger wagon, and taxi version of the small truck.

One obvious feature missing on the new Transit Connect is the high roof of the old model. The roof has been dropped by 127 mm for two reasons. One was due to customers complaining it wouldn’t fit in garages or low-height restricted areas. The other reason for the height reduction is that taxi companies couldn’t put their signage on the roof of the Transit Connect taxis as it further limited access to height-restricted areas and people couldn’t even see the signs. Curiously, the new shorter wheelbase vehicle is actually 15 mm taller than its long-wheelbase counterpart.

Preview: 2014 Ford Transit Connect Van car previews ford Preview: 2014 Ford Transit Connect Van car previews ford
2014 Ford Transit Connect Van. Click image to enlarge

Despite this drop in roof height, Ford has kept the overall cargo capacity virtually the same by stretching the length of the Transit Connect. Long wheelbase trucks can hold 3,681 L of cargo compared to the previous Transit Connect that held 3,670 L of gear; short wheelbase versions can hold 2,832 L. Taxi prepared editions will remove the third row of the Transit Connect Wagon, and then move the second row back to allow better ingress and egress for passengers as well as the installation of a partition for the driver.




About Mike

Mike Schlee is the Social Editor at Autos.ca and autoTRADER.ca. He began his professional automotive writing career in 2011 and has always had a passion for all things automotive, working in the industry since 2000.