MPG-o-Matic 2011 Ford Transit Connect Review Summary: Although the Ford Transit Connect has been around for nearly a decade in Europe, its entrance in America has opened up an entirely new market. The Transit Connect provides an impressive amount of cargo room along with a superior ride and maneuverability when compared to a conventional commercial van.
The 2011 Ford Transit Connect is equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The Duratec four produces a modest 136 horsepower (HP) and 128 foot pounds of torque. The Transit Connect is sold in five-passenger wagon and two-passenger cargo van versions.
The official fuel economy estimates for the 2011 Ford Transit Connect Wagon are 21 city / 26 highway miles per gallon (MPG).
We covered over 400 miles in our Dark Blue XLT Premium Wagon review unit and slipped past the official mileage estimates, achieving an average of 28.9 MPG on the Interstate highway and 27.1 MPG combined in mild autumn weather. Temperatures ranged from the high-sixties through the mid-eighties. Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the mid-to-high seventies. Our test unit was delivered with approximately 2200 miles on the odometer.
The effect of the air-conditioner’s load on fuel economy was considerable. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Transit Connect achieved a significantly higher level of fuel-efficiency in our highway testing when driving with the windows down and the air-conditioning system turned off.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
- Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C on, windows up: 26.9 MPG
- Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows down: 29.6 MPG
- Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows down: 30.2 MPG
The 15.4 gallon fuel tank allows for an acceptable amount of highway driving range. The gasoline-powered 2011 Transit Connect is designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline. CNG and Electric-powered versions are available. The CNG/LPG Engine Prep Package adds just $315 to the sticker.
Our test unit was equipped with the standard 15-inch wheels and Continental ContiProContact P205/65R15 tires. The Transit Connect’s four-wheel anti-lock braking system uses discs in front and drums in the rear. AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control is standard.
The Transit Connect does not have a standard fuel economy gauge. We recommend adding an aftermarket fuel-economy gauge to achieve the best-possible gas mileage.
Ride and handling are a high-point. The front-wheel-drive (FWD) Transit Connect is the best behaved commercial van to ever grace our streets.
With a curb-to-curb turning circle of 39 feet, maneuverability is a strong suit. Our test unit was equipped with the optional rear view camera and reverse sensing system.
The Transit Connect’s interior is cavernous, but not plush, buy any means. There’s plenty of opportunities for customization.
Audiophiles will want to look to the aftermarket. The standard four-speaker audio system provides AM/FM/CD and there were no options. Microsoft SYNC is promised for late 2011 (and will replace the Nokia Bluetooth option).
There are three 12-volt power outlets, with two at the base of the dash, and one in the cargo area.
The Transit Connect Wagon’s second row seats allow room for three, with 38.5 inches of leg room, 59.8 inches of hip room, and a remarkable 50.5 inches of headroom,. There’s so much headroom, you could wear a top hat.
The Wagon version provides 78.1 cubic feet of storage behind the second row seat and 118.7 cubic feet of storage with the second row seat folded flat. The cargo van version provides 135.3 cubic feet of storage behind the first row seats. Sliding side doors and swing-away rear cargo doors allow for plenty of access.
The wagon version has a maximum payload capacity of 1484 pounds. The cargo van’s maximum payload is 1600 pounds.
All-in-all, the Transit Connect delivering an awesome mix of cargo capacity, maneuverability, ride, and fuel economy at an affordable price point. This odd-looking little duck is an unrivaled alternative to conventional vans, minivans and pickup trucks. It’s even being put to taxi cab use. Electric and CNG-powered versions set the Transit Connect further apart from its conventional competition. We hope to see EcoBoost and turbo-diesel options in coming model years.
Parts Content Information
Final Assembly Point: Kocaeli, Turkey
Country of Origin:
Engine – Valencia, Spain
– by Daniel Gray