2014 Ford Transit Connect Titanium Wagon Review
The unreview review of the unminivan minivan.No Comments
It's a safe, reliable, comfortable van that above all else is practical.
As I was heading out of the office on Good Friday, I was handed a set of keys to what would be my temporary whip for the weekend - Ford's Transit Connect Wagon. The 2014 Wagon is a redesign of Ford's Transit Connect, which until 2010, hadn't made its way to the North American market, as it was developed by Ford Europe where it was predominantly used as a cargo van. The same held true for the Connect when it finally debuted on the American stage, looking essentially like a utility or delivery van. Ford wanted to broaden its consumer base with the Transit Connect, appealing to those outside of its commercial-use Transit buyers, like local business owners, city dwellers, and families. Thus, the seven-passenger Transit Connect underwent a transformation, where it became less utility van like, and more compact passenger van like. So, basically, a small van. If only there were a name for this ...
If you need to transport stuff rather than people, the wagon is very accommodating with completely collapsible second and third row seating that can be positioned totally flat. In the Titanium Wagon long wheelbase model we had, there was just over 104 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row with the second and third folded flat. In more tangible terms, I was able to easily fit two adult bikes in the back, along with two suitcases, a cooler, and gifts for my Easter excursion out to the boonies.
In the same vein that the Connect's cargo area is very functional, I'd also categorize its interior comfort-level as practical. Power-adjusted seats are leather-trimmed and come with a manual lumbar to support your back. The front row enjoys heated seats and dual-zone front auto temperature control so both the driver and passenger can enjoy their own heating levels. And the rear seats also have their own climate control so it's possible to set three different temperatures within the various zones of the Connect.
The design of the wagon also allows for superb visibility. If you look closely at the windshield glass you can even notice a tiny pattern overlaid in the glass. This is a thin mesh of heating elements embedded between the layers of windshield glass that heat up with the press of a button for quick snow, ice, and fog removal.
We had the optional MyFord Touch infotainment system, providing GPS navigation, traffic updates, and voice-activated commands via Ford Sync for hands-free communication, and rear-view camera. One feature of the van that we weren't able to test but is worth mentioning is Ford's MyKey Technology. Meant to help parents foster safe, responsible driving habits for their new drivers, the system lets you program individual keys for the vehicle so that when various ones are in use, personalized settings specific to that key take effect. This means parents can set certain restrictions on their teenager's key, like limiting their top speed, and setting a maximum volume on the audio system - which won't turn on until seat belts are fastened.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Power Output: 169 horsepower / 171 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 20 city / 28 highway
Base Price: $29,000
As Tested: $32,145
Available Features: Ford Telematics, daytime running lamps, engine block heater, parking sensors, panoramic moonroof, electric windshield defroster, rear parking sensors, second-row overhead storage, key fobs, backup camera, satellite and HD radio