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2011 Ford Transit Connect Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 2 reviews
The 2011 Ford Transit Connect cargo van and passenger wagon have essentially downsized Dodge’s popular Sprinter concept. Each, however, shows its European origins in a look that’s gaining popularity on this side of the pond. Introduced for the 2010 model year and with some 135 cubic feet of cargo capacity in both the cargo van and passenger wagon version (the latter boasting its space with the rear seats folded), a miserly four-cylinder engine and surprisingly nimble handling both in the city and on the highway, the Transit Connect provides convenient, if not capacious, hauling ability, efficient, if not neck-snapping, acceleration, and comfortable, if not luxurious, accommodations. This mini can be delivered in a pair of cargo-van configurations, the base XL and higher-end XLT, as well as a pair of passenger wagon versions, the XLT and XLT Premium. As of now, only the pricey-but-ground-breaking Sprinter represents anything like Ford’s Transit Connect.
At present, only one drivetrain is available for the 2011 Transit Connect, a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) with an accompanying four-speed automatic transmission. This pairing puts out 136 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, while sipping fuel at a pump-skipping 21/26 mpg.
Standard creature comforts and appearance features are pretty much bare bones for the base 2011 Transit Connect XL cargo van, with 15-inch steel wheels, cloth front captain's chairs, air conditioning, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, and AM/FM stereo with two speakers being about everything. The XLT adds a bit more, including power windows, door locks, and heated mirrors, cruise control and a single-CD player. The XLT five-passenger wagon, of course, features a rear bench seat with split-folding seatbacks and rear windshield wiper, while the XLT Premium wagon throws a couple more speakers into the mix.
Options for the XL cargo van include several of the XLT’s standard features, with an in-dash computer, electronic tool-tracking device, CNG/LPG conversion technology, rear-view camera, Bluetooth technology, Garmin navigation and rear parking sensors additionally available across the lineup. Finally, Transit Connect passenger wagons are available with optional remote engine start.
Safety scores for the 2011 Transit Connect are middling good, with standard four-wheel ABS (front disc, rear drum), dual front side-mounted airbags and auto-off headlights delivered on the entire lineup. Both the Transit Connect XLT and XLT Premier wagons also boast standard traction and stability control and front fog/driving lights. Stability control is optional for the cargo van trims, while a remote anti-theft key fob is available for both five-passenger minivan trims.
Virtually all owners of the two-passenger cargo version of the 2010 Transit Connect feel that another foot or so of length would make this a perfect cargo hauler. However, what that would do to this mini’s acclaimed nimble handing on crowded city streets, its preferred venue, is a serious consideration. Fuel efficiency nicely balances out an ultra-basic cabin, according to most owners, while opinion seems to be divided regarding the I4’s acceleration. A low-slung chassis is a concern to owners in wintry climes, but owners are taken with its European flair. One final owner complaint is that this semi-unique vehicle ought to be equipped with a diesel engine for even better mileage and acceleration.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.