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2014 Ford Transit Connect Overview
According to rumor, a significant change is in the works for Ford’s popular Transit Connect mini work vehicle for the 2014 model year. Rest easy that this unique workaholic will remain available as either a cargo van or up to 7-passenger wagon, and it’ll continue the tradition of offering the base XL and midlevel XLT trims in both cargo and passenger-wagon form, but a new Titanium trim is expected to replace the old XLT Premium iteration as the top-shelf variant in the people-toting Wagon trim level.
For this year, a sorely needed new look, with added curves and swoops, replaces the decade-old (at least in Europe) blandness common to Ford’s urban-warrior answer to Mercedes-Benz’s Sprinter. Additionally, a pair of wheelbases are slated to become available in the Transit Connect Wagon lineup, with a 104.8-inch wheelbase (WB) toting the 5-passenger version, while a 120.6-inch WB underpins the 7-passenger editions. Of course, over 100 cubic feet of cargo area returns in all 2014 Transit Connect variations, with the wagon trims offering fold-flat rear seats. Ford additionally claims that despite the added WB lengths, this agile city dweller still comes up shorter than any of Japan’s notable van/wagon offerings.
Another tweak likely to garner a share of attention in 2014 is the pair of new engine offerings. The old 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant, underpowered and laden with a dated 4-speed automatic transmission, is scheduled to be replaced by a peppier 2.5-liter four-banger or an even heftier turbocharged 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 engine. The rumor is that both engines will be mated with a 6-speed automatic for some 168 hp out of the base, normally aspirated I4, and 178 hp from the blown four-banger. Should trailer towing be on the agenda for that new Transit Connect, the latest whispers have it that trailer-toting capacity will be maxed out at 2,000 pounds in the standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) configuration with the available towing package installed.
A further interesting prognostication by Ford indicates that the 2.5-liter I4 will be adaptable to burn liquid or compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG) for a cleaner, greener footprint.
While the entry-level XL editions in both cargo and wagon iterations will be somewhat Spartan, with 15-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, air conditioning and an AM/FM radio boasting 2 speakers, the top-shelf Transit Connect Titanium will likely add cruise control, remote power door locks, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors and a single-CD player with 4 speakers.
Options, meanwhile, will doubtless be trim-dependent and are rumored to include Sync/Bluetooth infotainment interfaced with the still-teething MyFord Touch color touchscreen display, as well as Ford’s Work Solutions Crew Chief telematics (computer with internet capability), remote engine start and various interior upgrades. Oh, and Ford asserts that XL and XLT wagons can be delivered with a fold-flat front passenger seatback for even more work room.
Standard safety equipment in the 2014 Transit Connect lineup, finally, should continue to include 4-wheel antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), traction and stability control and front side-mounted airbags. Front fog/driving lights should again be standard, lineup-wide, while daytime running lights, a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors will be offered as options, again depending on the selected trim.
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.