First Drive: 2010 Ford Transit Connect

Business sense

For a long time, we assumed Ford wasn't interesting in bringing one of its modern, efficient European-market vans here because it would rather sell customers the ancient, and therefore more profitable, E-series van. Of course, that notion assumes no other manufacturer is going to step in with its own smaller, more up-to-date offering. That might have been true of GM and Chrysler, but what about, say, Nissan? Recently, Nissan unveiled the NV200, a smaller sized commercial van that it plans to start building later this year.

Granted, Nissan made its announcement after Ford had already revealed its plans to import the Transit Connect, but it does show that Ford's action comes not a moment too soon. No subset of the market remains a backwater forever. And if you're not offering innovative new products to meet customer needs, then someone else will. That's something that any successful small business owner understands; it's good to see the leadership of the Ford Motor Company grasp it too.

2010 Ford Transit Connect

Base price (with destination): $21,475/$22,535 (XL/XLT)
Fuel economy: 22 / 25 mpg (city / hwy)
Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 136 @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 128 @ 4750 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Suspension (f/r): damper struts/solid axle, leaf springs
Brakes (f/r): Disc/drum, ABS
Wheels/Tires: 15" steel wheels, P205/65R15 tires
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