Capable and durable, the Ford Transit Connect small panel van is hard to beat for everyday ease and usability. With lots of technology designed to make driving easier, smooth engines and a comfortable cabin, the UK's fifth bestselling van is a pleasure to travel in.
Derived from the Ford Focus, with which it shares some components, the Connect is available in a variety of configurations, and can carry a payload of up to 3.6 cubic metres or 865kg in a loading bay up to 2.2m long and 1.5m wide. It comes in two lengths – the shorter version can carry two euro pallets, while the longer model can fit four 8ft x 4ft boards. It can also tow up to 1,300kg.
Panel vans seat two or three people, and three-seater versions have a hatch in the bulkhead for long, thin objects. A sliding side door (sometimes two) and a low load height make getting cargo in and out easy, and load bay lights, six tie-down points and a full steel bulkhead are standard. Other versions of the Connect seat up to seven, with split-folding back seats for extra practicality.
The cabin is spacious and pleasant and feels good quality, with hard-wearing materials and large, easy-to-operate controls; it should prove comfortable even if you're spending all day at the wheel. Storage is excellent, and includes a box in the dashboard, overhead storage and two cup holders. Standard equipment includes electronic stability control, brake assist, power steering and a four-speaker DAB radio with USB connectivity, Bluetooth and steering-wheel-mounted controls so you can use it easily while driving.
The Connect is great on the road, and although it's designed for urban driving, it's a joy on long journeys. It drives like a family car and is easy to manage, with a comfortable, absorbent ride whether fully loaded or not, good handling and road holding, and little body roll. A variety of diesel engines are available, delivering up to 118bhp and 221lb ft of torque.
Running costs should be low, and fuel economy in particular is excellent, reaching 72.4mpg in the 98bhp 1.5-litre Econetic if it's fitted with the optional 62mph speed limiter. The 1.0-litre engine has a feature called cylinder deactivation, which means it can run on two cylinders when you're carrying a light load to improve efficiency. The Connect's 2018 facelift should mean even better deals on anything from before then, too.
If you’d like to test drive one of the used Ford Transit Connects for sale at commercial vehicle dealers Vanwise Group, call us at our Maidstone dealership on 01622 233151, or our Harlowdealership on 01279 216163.