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

Being that this is a commercial vehicle, Ford paid close attention to the details when designing the truck. The headlights are mounted high and recessed and the hood is kept short. These subtle design touches will please fleet owners as low speed impacts, like bumping into a loading dock, will be less costly due to the important (read: expensive) bits of the truck remaining untouched. There are also large, unpainted plastic moldings that serve a similar purpose on the sides of the compact van.

To remain competitive against a growing list of competitors, the 2014 Transit Connect will be available with optional equipment not found on the older model. Inside, buyers can opt for MyFord Touch, an electronic windshield defroster called ‘Quick Clear’, Ford’s MyKey system and Crew Chief. The latter is a system that allows fleet operators to track their trucks in real time. There will also be a choice in wheels between 215/55R16 tires or 215/50R17 tires, and like the old model, cargo versions can be configured to seat two or five people.

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

But the biggest change for the new Transit Connect will come under the hood. Gone is the old anemic 2.0L engine that sent power through a four-speed automatic. Replacing this combination is a choice of two engines, a 2.5L inline-four-cylinder and a 1.6L turbocharged Ecoboost inline-four, both paired up to a six-speed automatic transmission. There is no official word on power ratings at this time, but Ford assures us both will make more power than the outgoing powertrain. There is also the potential for one of the small diesel engines found in other markets to eventually make its way to North America, but as of now there are no definite plans.

The Transit Connect will remain exclusively front-wheel drive, but now has an official tow rating in North America. When equipped with the 2.5L engine, it will be able to tow 907 kg (2,000 lb.), while the 1.6L Ecoboost model can handle up to of 862 kg (1,900 lb.). All Transit Connects will be built in Valencia, Spain and should begin to appear at a showroom near you in the late fall of 2013.

Ford has done a good job of listening to its customers and reworking the new Transit Connect from the ground up with features they want. Not only that, but by offering engine, wheelbase, and passenger configuration choices, the new Transit Connect should build on the success of the old model.

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