Track Tested: 2010 Ford Transit Connect

Track Tested: 2010 Ford Transit Connect

2010 Ford Transit Connect tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "IL Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Imported from Turkey and reassembled in Baltimore, the 2010 Ford Transit Connect is a curiosity among cargo vans. It's compact, of course, and ungainly in appearance, thanks to its disproportionately tall roof. But the payoff is cargo capacity (135.3 cubic feet), which was heretofore unheard of in such a diminutive van. The engine is diminutive, too -- only four cylinders. In Europe, where sanity reigns on such matters, said engine is a four-cylinder turbodiesel. But here in the U.S., it's a normally aspirated, 2.0-liter gas engine -- you know, the one that's only so-so in the lighter Ford Focus.

Be that as it may, you know you'd jump at the chance to slalom a cargo van if you had access to an instrumented testing facility. So that's what we've done. Read on to find out whether the 2010 Ford Transit Connect handles more like an Econoline or a Fiesta.

First Drive: 2010 Ford Transit Connect

Odometer: 2011 Ford Transit Connect XLT
Date: November 17, 2009
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $25,620

Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Four-speed automatic
Engine Type: Inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,999/121
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 136 @ 6,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 128 @ 4,750
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc with single-piston sliding caliper
Brake Type (rear): Drum
Steering System: Hydraulic-assist power rack-and-pinion
Suspension Type (front): Independent, MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Solid axle, leaf springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 205/65R15 95T
Tire Size (rear): 205/65R15 95T
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: ContiProContact
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel Size: 15 inches
Wheel Material (front/rear): Steel
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,376

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 4.1
0 - 45 (sec): 7.5
0 - 60 (sec): 12.4
0 - 75 (sec):  19.2
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 18.6 @ 74.0
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 12.1
30 - 0 (ft): 32
60 - 0 (ft): 128
Braking Rating: Good
Slalom (mph): 61.9
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.79
Handling Rating: Very Good 
Db @ Idle: 44.7
Db @ Full Throttle: 72.9
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 68.1

Acceleration Comments: Um. Well, what did you expect? It has the engine of a subcompact car in a vehicle shaped and scaled like a barn. Crisp upshifts at redline, noisy (road, wind, tires), but stable.

Braking Comments: Good pedal feel and distances; moderate fade but still controlled and straight -- better than some minivans and SUVs with four-wheel discs!

Handling Comments: Skid pad: Steering offers a surprising amount of information with regard to vehicle roll, grip and condition of the front tires (i.e., about to unload and allow wheelspin). Slalom: Um, well, we didn't expect this... it feels like a jumbo Ford Fiesta with appropriate buildup in effort and good yaw response. It even responds (favorably) to throttle manipulation -- producing useful rotation and bite for the exit. WTH?!

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