2010 Ford Transit ConnectPosted on July 20th, 2009
Fuel-efficient commercial vehicle is ideal for active lifestyles
By Larry Edsall
At first glance, the 2010 Ford Transit Connect is the DSPALV, which is short for Dead-Solid Perfect Active Lifestyle Vehicle.
Consider a vehicle that gets 22 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway, earns ULEV (ultra-low emission vehicle certification) and has a cruising range of more than 350 miles.
Or that it swallows 135.3 cubic feet (or up to 1600 pounds) of cargo on a floor that stretches six feet front to back, and shelters that cargo and its occupants beneath a roof that provides 59.1 inches of clearance from floor to the ceiling. That’s right, if you’re four-foot-nine or shorter, you can stand up in this vehicle.
By the way, that load floor is a mere two feet above the pavement, so there’s very little lifting involved in stowing that bicycle, camping gear, sporting goods, home improvement hardware or plants for the yard and garden.
Access to whatever is inside is further enhanced by sliding doors on both sides of the Transit Connect, by French-style rear doors that open 180 degrees in standard configuration or 255 degrees when equipped with optional hinges.
But wait, there’s more: The Transit Connect can seat up to five people, protects whatever’s inside with a double-wall body construction – and protects its driver and front-seat passenger with front and side airbags. It also provides them with a wonderful overhead storage shelf that stretches across the full width of the windshield header. The Transit Connect also comes with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and offers anti-rollover control as one of its options.
All this on a footprint smaller than that of Ford’s mid-size Fusion sedan, and thus with the sedan-like maneuverability including a tight and tidy 39-foot, curb-to-curb turning circle.
And before we forget, the base price is just $21,475, and even if you opt for the more upscale XLT model and load it with every option available, you’re still going to be well short of $30,000.
(Some background: Ford launched the Transit Connect in Europe as a 2003 model. So far, more than 600,000 have been sold and have proven their durability on the paved and largely unpaved roads in 55 countries on three continents. The 2010 model coming to the United States launches the vehicle’s updated second generation and differs from the global version only in the fact that it carries some extra safety equipment, and instead of a small diesel engine it gets the very spunky 2.0-liter, 136-horsepower four-cylinder engine from the Ford Focus.)
So why, you may wonder, why don’t we just proclaim the 2010 Ford Transit Connect as the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year for 2010?
Well, you see, there’s this one thing: Ford designed the Transit Connect as an ideal commercial vehicle for small businesses, and even worked with some highly regarded suppliers to come up with all sorts of bulkheads, racks, bins, drawers and shelves to provide specific applications for plumbers, surveyors, caterers, painters, musicians, carpenters, heating and air conditioning specialists, appliance service companies, courier services, florists, electricians, bakers, cleaning crews, window and glass installers, pet care specialists, delivery companies, personal trainers — and even did a one-off prototype version for a kayak school.
Those businesses can equip a Transit Connect with the Ford Work Solutions setup, an onboard, in-dash computer with Bluetooth-enabled wireless keyboard (and even an optional wireless printer). Work Solutions provides Internet connection (via Sprint wireless) and the ability (through Log Me In) to access a computer back at your office or in your home.
But that’s not all: There’s also Tool Link technology that uses RFID (radio frequency identification tags) so you can track your inventory and make sure everything’s onboard – both when you leave for the job site and before you leave from the job site; Crew Chief software that provides real-time status reports from the other vehicles in your fleet; and Cable Lock, a way to secure your gear even if you leave the vehicle’s doors open or unlocked.
But while developing the Transit Connect for such small business applications, Ford never considered engineering the vehicle for a trailer hitch receiver that could be used for bike or other racks, or to pull a small teardrop or pop-up camping trailer, fishing boat, jet ski, ATV or off-road motorcycle. Nor did it consider an internal bike rack or a handy way to carry snow skis.
Don’t worry: Such issues likely will be addressed soon, if not by Ford itself then by various aftermarket suppliers who will be eager to provide the accessories that convert this nifty commercial vehicle into the DSPALV.
Likes: A fuel-efficient truck that holds lots of cargo, and is small enough for city driving. The Transit Connect’s small but spunky engine provides amazing fuel economy for a vehicle that hauls 1600 pounds of cargo. Sliding side doors and double rear doors provide easy access to the cargo area. Handy storage shelf spans across the front of the vehicle interior along the top edge of the windshield.
Dislikes: Designed as a commercial vehicle, and thus may seem Spartan to those used to driving luxury cars. No provision for towing.
Model: Transit connect
Base price: $21,475
As tested: N/A
Horsepower: 136 Hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 128 lbs.-ft. @ 4750 rpm
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: N/A
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Fuel economy: 22/25 mpg city/highway
12 responses to “2010 Ford Transit Connect”
bring the diesel to the u.s.
I picked mine up yesterday. So far so good.
Bought mine yesterday….So friggin ugly its cute.It is the right vehicle for the green movement. My company is green tech designer installer, so it is a perfect fit.
SEA ANTSY October 12th, 2009 at 07:45
What about the road noise… I wish there were some saftey ratings.. how can they sell this in the US without saftey reports….
Daryl Caswell October 30th, 2009 at 21:52
I purchased a 2010 Connect wagon as soon as they arrived in Alberta. It is an ideal base for just about anything you can think of. I have used mine for a mobile music repair shop, an orchestra concert dressing room, a moving van, a people hauler and I have only had it for a month. The next thing is to camperize it in a modular way so it can go from workshop to camper by exchanging modules. Finally, some European working vehicle concepts are making their way to North America which is weird since Ford is North American, is it not? My only complaint is that the first dealer I went to couldn’t be bothered to show us the vehicle. We came back another day, stood around, and finally went away and bought the car from a more remote dealer who paid attention to us. I have had this kind of lousy service from other North American auto dealers but never from Toyota, Mazda, etc. Heads up, Ford GM and Chrysler.
Gary Smith November 19th, 2009 at 15:06
25mpg is not fuel efficient or particulary eco friendly!
UK diesel version will get around 45mpg!
My Subaru gets more than 25mpg, some of the time 😉
Chris B December 2nd, 2009 at 07:19
Does any one have feedback on how it handles in the snow?
Burgess December 29th, 2009 at 16:11
I bought one in October and have about 3500 miles. I LOVE it. I have an XLT so it has the rear bench seats.
I use it solely as my personal vehicle. Article says it all, I race my road bike it can fit in the back with out taking the front wheel of by standing it at an angle. i can fit my dogs in their cage, bikes, luggage, and still have room to stop by the antique shop on the way home and fit some furniture.
I’ve been driving it in 1-3 inches of snow the past couple of days with no problems(drives like a ford focus)
Gets between 22-24 mpg. I wanted a diesel and a standard, but its still a good drive, when you floor it, it immediately shifts and accelerates quite well.
-Rear seats are not removable.
– Windows in the back do not open, which makes having the front windows down in anything faster than 45 mph unbearable due to the helicopter noise, even with both windows open.
-wish it were 2 feet longer to hold a 4X8 piece of plywood, but can easily be driven with the rear door open, i’ve already done it several times.
-all the people coming up to me asking me how i like it…go get one!
You have to wonder why no one else is talking about this. Glad you are. Great post.
mobile music is great, i love to listen to mp3 while on the move..-;
have had one for 2 months. Use it for office cleaning. Have had 4 E150s. this thing is great. gas milage is double what I was getting. Handles well. parks great.
Its a great vehicle if you business can fit in it.
Leave a reply