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2011 Ford Transit Connect Review


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RELEVANT: Ford Buyers Guide

2011 Ford Transit Connect Review
by Mark Fulmer
TACH Editor In Chief

All week long folks of all sizes and ages would gather around this strange looking red box on wheels and ask,

"What IS this?"

This, I would explain, is Ford's Transit Connect - a mini panel van manufactured by Ford Europe. Oddly enough, the 10 year old Transit is based on the same platform as the North American Ford Focus, but the similarities end there. This is a vehicle for the small business person, the entrepreneur who needs to bring his services to the public - a key maker, a wedding planner, a musician.

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This most modular of minivans comes in for separate flavors. There is the XLT Premium, the XLT Wagon, the XLT Fan, and the XL Van. All of these models come equipped with dual sliding doors which can be replaced if needed. The wagons come with a second row seat and the vans don't.

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You also won't find very many cars that your equipped with an overhead luggage compartment. The transit has one. Sort of. Of course there is copious cautionary signage attached making sure that you don't put heavy, bulky items up there that can come crashing down on you as you drive through hilly territory. But it's the air holes on the right-hand side of this compartment that fascinate me. Small children and animals notwithstanding, the mind does ponder the possibilities.

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Driving the transit connect is very much like driving a car rather than driving a van. Except there aren't too many cars with a 5 foot, yes 5 foot, ceiling. During our evaluation we we drove the Transit through some pretty nasty winter weather. Even while traversing the infamous winds that whip across the Yolo Causeway, the Transit held firm ignoring what could have been sail-like behavior.

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Options include: in dash computer which features Microsoft Operating system, Garmin navigation system with internet access, wireless mouse and keyboard and touch screen display and crew chief vehicle tracking device, rear door with 255 deg opening, remote ignition, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth interface.

With a base price of $21,200 (excluding destination charges) the Transit can be a terrific tool in the hands of a do-it-yourself small business person.

Specifications:

Base Number of Cylinders: 4
Base Engine Size: 2 liters
Base Engine Type: Inline 4
Horsepower: 136 HP
Max Horsepower: 6300 RPM
Torque: 128 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4750 RPM
Maximum Payload: 1600 Pounds
Drive Type: FWD
Turning Circle: 39 feet
Mileage:
City: 21 MPG
Highway: 26 MPG
Combined: 23 MPG