2010 Ford Transit Connect . Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
Review and photos by Russell Purcell
2010 Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Motor Company has managed to weather the economic storm better than many of its rivals largely due to its strong product line and improving reputation for reliability. The company has also benefitted from tapping into its European catalogue, blessing our roads with the likes of the Focus compact and Fiesta subcompact, and the Transit Connect light commercial vehicle. After spending a week behind the wheel of one, I can see that this capable little hauler will quickly establish a fan base on this side of the pond.
The Transit Connect is capable of hauling 3,830 litres (135.3 cu. ft.) of cargo, very impressive for such a diminutive vehicle. The rear doors swing open and flat, allowing items as wide as four feet and as long as six feet to be loaded into the flat-floored cargo area. Loading is made easy by the presence of dual sliding side doors and the relatively tall roofline and door openings (119 cm (46.9 in.) for side access doors, and 132 cm (52.1 in.) for the rear units, while the interior height from load floor to ceiling is138 cm (54.3 in.). This latter measurement allows you to kneel or crouch with ease, rather than crawling around on your knees, and makes the task of loading far less onerous.
Top and middle: 2010 Ford Transit Connect; bottom: Bike shop owner Bruce Wenting sizes up the Transit. Click image to enlarge
The Transit Connect was designed to navigate the narrow streets and alleyways of Europe so it has proven itself a capable worker perfect for the tight confines of crowded and congested urban environments. The mere act of navigating a full-size van or truck through parking garages, into loading bays, and through traffic can send your stress meter through the roof, especially when these activities are part of your daily routine. The Transit Connect alleviates some of this stress, and its super tight turning radius (5.94 m/19.5 ft.) will make it a favourite with fleet drivers.
Bruce Wenting is the owner operator of a successfulin Mission, B.C. When I showed him the features of the Transit Connect he was impressed and felt that it would be an excellent vehicle for a business such as his.
“I really like the height of the cargo area as bicycles and other sporting equipment take up a lot of room. The sliding side doors would make it easy to load and unload, and the flat floor would help keep things stable.”
Where Bruce didn’t see the value was in the pricing. He felt that it was a little high for what is basically a small cargo vehicle.
“I would find it very hard to justify that expenditure as there are a lot of minivans out there for a lot less money. My current shop van is a Chrysler, and I can get a new one for substantially less.”
A cycling team checks out the Transit’s interior space. Click image to enlarge
Bruce Wenting is also a cycling coach of some renown. He suggested that I bring the TC to Mission Raceway Park the following evening as his team uses the facility’s road course for training purposes, and there I would be able to survey some of the riders and get their thoughts about the vehicle.
Of course I took him up on his offer as I was curious to get a read on how the recreational user might see the vehicle. Upon arrival I noticed helmeted heads popping up from behind parked vehicles and raised hatches as I rolled into the paddock. Before I had even come to a complete stop there were several team members surrounding the TC, all clambering for a look. Once I opened the doors to reveal the tidy cargo compartment, two of the lycra-clad speed demons had scrambled in to size it up for use as a support vehicle. The verdict came quickly after a sleek Italian racing bicycle was used as a measure, followed by a curious team member who wanted to gauge its use as a domicile while on the road. The Transit was a hit for their needs.