2015 Ford Transit Connect Review

Transit Connect

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2015 Ford Transit Connect Overview

Despite its legendary flexibility, utility and agility, try not to call Ford’s 2015 Transit Connect a minivan in front of any of the automaker’s marketing folks. Apparently the accepted description of this compact cargo- and people-hauler in Fordville is now and forever will be “wagon” or just plain “van.”

In any case, this latest Transit Connect iteration remains sort of a sawed-off E-Series (Econoline) that comes in cargo-van and passenger-wagon variations. Cargo variations tote two seats, while the passenger-packing Wagons can seat up to 7 people in relative comfort as they’re wended through urban streets and mall-infested byways.

Call it what you will (though circumspection in the hearing of Ford executives may be in order), this perfectly sized city dweller returns for 2015 in essentially 5 trim levels, the base Cargo Van XL, the slightly up-featured Cargo Van XLT, the family-friendly Wagon XL and Wagon XLT, and the top-shelf Titanium, with the latter delivered only in 7-passenger wagon form. Oh, and a Transit Connect Taxi version is offered as a sub-trim.

Each trim level except the Titanium is offered in either SWB (short wheelbase) or LWB (long wheelbase) configuration, with SWB versions sporting a 104.8-inch wheelbase and LWB trims boasting a 120.6-inch wheelbase. SWB wagons, additionally, are delivered with standard 5-passenger seating, while the LWB designates pack 3 rows of seating for the aforementioned 7 riders. Back door choices, by the way, include standard side-mounted sliding passenger or cargo doors, with 180-degree opening barn-type doors or a liftgate each available in the rear. The Titanium trim level, meanwhile, is delivered only in the LWB profile with rear liftgate.

Cargo capacity in SWB Cargo iterations returns at 103.9 cubic feet behind the front row, with LWB Cargo variations again flaunting 128.6 cubic feet of cargo area behind the front seats. Passenger wagons, meantime, will carry up to 77.1 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats folded in SWB adornment, or 104.2 cubic feet in the LWB variants with the same seatback-down parameters. Furthermore, the entire Transit Connect stable remains available only with front-wheel-drive (FWD).

A hefty redesign for 2014 leaves the popular Transit Connect van/wagon with no notable revisions for 2015, though some minor upgrades to, for instance, exterior paint colors and interior material selections could be in the works.

Based on the Focus platform, with a dash of Escape crossover thrown in, the 2015 Transit Connect is tasked with delivering cargo, as well as people with their possessions and purchases, through traffic-laden neighborhoods and parking-challenged alleyways. Agility, therefore, is a strong point in the Transit Connect lineup, as are its relatively compact dimensions.

The standard powerplant in all Transit Connect trims, meantime, remains a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that mates with the returning 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 169 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. Mileage numbers, however, reflect this 4-banger’s upside at 21 mpg city/29 highway.

Better yet, the 1.6-liter turbocharged I4, available to all SWB variations, is again managed by the traditional 6-speed shiftable automatic and offers 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Mileage figures for this turbocharged I4 are again estimated at an even more impressive 22/30.

Appearance-wise, the 2015 Transit Connect lineup features, depending on the trim level selected, 16-inch steel or alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable and power-folding mirrors, and in Wagons only, rear wipers.

Inside each variation except the Titanium, look for vinyl or cloth seating, full power accessories, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, air conditioning and dual sliding rear passenger/cargo doors. A rear-view camera remains standard in Wagon XLT and Titanium iterations, as do rear-seat climate control and power-operated rear windows, while the Titanium also tosses standard leather-trimmed upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and dual-zone (front) auto climate control into the mix.

Entertainment throughout the 2015 Transit Connect family tree includes an AM/FM stereo with either 2 (Cargo) or 4 (Wagon) speakers. The XLT and above variants, meantime, gain a single-CD player and auxiliary audio input as standard equipment, while the Titanium, again flaunting its princely status, boasts standard Sync infotainment technology and some upgraded audio features.

Options, you ask? Of course, lower trim levels remain eligible for a bunch of stuff that comes standard on higher trims as optional equipment, while, again depending on the trim level chosen, there’s an available trailer-towing package, remote engine start, satellite radio and Ford’s Crew Chief telematics with vehicle tracking. An upfitter wiring harness for additional power equipment is also available to all trim levels, while 17-inch alloy wheels (XLT and Titanium Wagon), front and rear parking sensors and a fixed glass Vista sunroof are again optional in all Transit Connect wagons.

Finally, standard safety equipment returning to the 2015 Transit Connect stable includes 4-wheel antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and head curtain airbags for each seating configuration. A remote antitheft alarm is standard lineup-wide, while the XLT and Titanium trim levels carry standard programmable MyKey speed and audio-level governance. Additionally, daytime running lights are a safety option for all Transit Connect variants, as is an upgraded perimeter antitheft alarm system.

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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.

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    Adding Oem Cruise Control To A 2015 Transit

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