We had our first look at the all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect during Ford’s global product roll-out in September, but the automaker is now revealing more about its passenger-friendly, U.S.-spec 2014 Transit Connect Wagon.
Ford previously offered a five-passenger Transit Connect Wagon in our market, but with its limited seating and bare-bones interior (the cargo area was devoid of insulation or paneling, for instance), it was far more likely to appeal to small businesses than small families. No more: the 2014 Transit Connect Wagon finally receives a fully-trimmed interior and a third row of seating, allowing Ford to carve yet another niche for its already niche small van.
“The new Transit Connect Wagon expands the personal-use audience for this nameplate by offering up to seven-passenger capacity across three rows of seating in a fully-trimmed interior,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s vice president of global product development and engineering, said in a prepared statement. “It has an extensive selection of comfort, convenience, and connectivity options, making it a modern, family-friendly alternative to oversized minivans.”
Early press materials reveal the New Transit Connect’s interior to be as attractive, modern, and consumer-friendly as its car-like exterior. Like its platform, the Transit Connect’s dashboard is nearly identical to the 2012 Focus, and can be fitted with Sync or MyFord Touch infotainment systems. Ford touts the availability of a panoramic glass moonroof apparently inspired by the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, but vans without that option appear to receive large storage bins located over the second row.
Speaking of seating, the 2014 Transit Connect will be sold in both five- and seven-passenger forms, which necessitates offering the small van in two different wheelbases. Customers will be able to choose from three trim levels, including XL, XLT, and a top-tier Titanium.
Buyers will also be able to choose between a standard 2.5-liter I-4 and an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged I-4, but are relegated to a six-speed automatic transmission. While we’d hope the EcoBoost offers better acceleration than the current van, it will almost certainly deliver a fuel economy improvement. Ford says the EcoBoost engine allows the Transit Connect Wagon to return over 30 mpg on the highway; in context, a 2012 Transit Connect Wagon is EPA rated at 22/27 mpg city/highway. Ford also says the Transit Connect Wagon can tow up to 2000 pounds, putting it slightly ahead of other similarly-sized SUVs.
Expect more detail and pricing to be announced closer to the 2014 Transit Connect’s U.S. market launch, which is presently slated for the third quarter of 2013.