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2013 Ford Transit Connect Overview
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The 2013 Ford Transit Connect van is not a looker, but its fuel efficiency and functionality make it a great vehicle for commercial use. The Transit Connect remains unchanged for 2013 and has had no changes since its introduction in 2010. The vehicles have actually been on the European market for over 10 years with much success. The Connect appeals to specific buyers—those who need a minivan/utility vehicle for light-duty commercial use or transporting a number of passengers at once. The vehicle features a high roof and open rear interior that is ideal for customizing to suit the owner’s individual commercial needs. It is also available with rear seating to accommodate additional passengers. The exterior is all business with no "style" to speak of, just the basics you need for a work van. It almost looks as though they built the interior first, then molded the sheet metal around it and put Ford emblems and a grille on it to qualify as a motor vehicle. For those looking for a stylish minivan to take their family on road trips, the Transit Connect is not the vehicle for you, but if you need a dependable utility vehicle for your business that will not eat up your profits in gas, the Transit Connect is perfect for you.
The Transit Connect is available in a number of trims based on different commercial needs. The Cargo XL is available with no rear panel glass, rear glass only or side and rear glass. It features dual sliding side doors as well 180-degree-opening rear doors. The Cargo XLT is available with no glass, rear glass or rear and side glass as well. It is equipped with an electronic passive antitheft system, an AM/FM stereo/CD player, cruise control and an additional 12-volt power plug in the rear. These two trims' design lends them to be cargo or equipment vans. The open rear allows the installation of a cabinet or shelves and includes areas to tie down equipment as well. The Wagon XLT and Wagon XLT Premium both feature a second-row manual 60/40 split cloth bench seat along with standard side and rear door glass, allowing them to be used as limousines or taxi vehicles.
Under the hood of the Transit Connect is Ford’s 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that produces 136 hp. The vehicle comes standard with a somewhat outdated 4-speed automatic transmission, but for the vehicle's intended use, it serves the purpose. Although the vehicle can feel slow at times trying to reach highway speeds, its overall performance is sufficient for a utility vehicle. The fuel economy of the Transit Connect is one of its strong points. With an EPA estimated 21 mpg city/27 highway, it provides much better fuel economy than the traditional cargo van with almost as much usable space. There is talk of a battery-powered Transit Connect in the near future, which would make it the only green-friendly fuel-efficient cargo van available.
Even though the Transit Connect has an unusually tall stature, one of its selling points is its excellent maneuverability on city streets. Unlike its larger cargo van counterparts, it has a tight turning radius, and its compact build makes it easy to squeeze through tight areas. Turning corners quickly is not advised, as it definitely rolls and leans when turning due to its top-heavy design. It is also lower to the ground than larger vans, so it does not have quite the suspension travel and overly bumpy roads require driving just a little slower. The reason you buy a cargo van is for the space, and the Transit Connect gives you 135 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Ford has also designed the vehicle so you can access the space from both the rear tailgate and the sliding side doors. Ford also offers Transit Connect owners a wide variety of add-on components and accessories that allow the addition of racks, rails and cargo bins.
As the Transit Connect's design is that of a commercial vehicle, there are minimal interior amenities available. Although you can get the vehicle equipped with Bluetooth, the Ford SYNC system is not available. It is basic in every sense of the word, as it's designed to be for work not for pleasure. There are available options such as parking sensors and rear-view cameras, as well as a GPS tracking package designed to monitor the vehicle as well as the workers driving it.
Safety features for the Transit Connect is one area that has been improved since 2010. Ford added its stability control system that includes anti-roll programming to all trims. They are standardly equipped with antilock brakes and 6 airbags. The Transit Connect's passenger and driver safety features are for front passengers, as the rear is for cargo, with the windows replaced by sheet-metal panels.
by Tammy Lettieri
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