2010 Ford Transit Connect Review

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble in the city, excellent fuel economy, cavernous space given its exterior size, innovative high-tech options.
  • Glaciers are quicker, modest payload capacity, funky Fusion-meets-Sprinter van styling.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$3,565 - $4,624

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is a new type of compact work van that should appeal to small business owners who don't have heavy-duty hauling needs.

Vehicle overview

Europeans are into some weird stuff: warm beer, curtainless showers, techno music, shrimp with the antennae still attached -- and lots more that's less fit to print. Europeans also use funky work vans with goofy tall roofs and tiny, fuel-efficient engines. They're quirky, to be sure, but unlike techno, they definitely hold some appeal for folks on our side of the Atlantic. Enter the new 2010 Ford Transit Connect, a European-style compact work van intended for small business owners who view a V8-powered cargo van as overkill.

In case you haven't glimpsed the Transit Connect, just imagine the unholy spawn of a Ford Fusion and a Dodge Sprinter crunched in a trash compactor and you'll get the idea. Indeed, there are many similarities to the Sprinter, which is also a European-sourced work van that features a fuel-efficient engine, relatively nimble around-town handling and cavernous interior space. Think of the Transit Connect as Sprinter lite -- a conceptually similar vehicle in a smaller and dramatically more affordable package.

Unlike other work vans, the 2010 Ford Transit Connect comes in only one body style and with one engine. It also features unibody construction rather than the typical body-on-frame, which yields a much lower load floor and consequently an enormous cargo hold relative to the Transit Connect's tidy footprint. With 135 cubic feet of space behind its front seats, the Transit Connect offers 100 fewer cubes than the full-size Ford Econoline, but the same as a Chevy Suburban. Moreover, the Transit Connect's ample interior height and low floor make accessing all your work-related items much easier than it would ever be in a Suburban. There is a passenger-van version available with a second-row seat, but we're guessing that it'll appeal more to work crews and perhaps cab companies than a family.

A downside of that unibody construction is that towing capacity suffers, but with only a 136-horsepower gasoline four-cylinder under its longish nose, the Transit Connect won't be towing much beyond a little red wagon anyway. That's even less power than you get in the Ford Focus, which employs essentially the same 2.0-liter engine. Although the Transit Connect's willing four-speed automatic and short final-drive ratio do their best, acceleration would still be best described as glacial. On the upside, fuel economy is outstanding for a work van with an EPA combined estimate of 23 mpg.

The Transit Connect also introduces a variety of new features designed specifically for small businesses. Shelving units are a thoughtful basic option, while the new Ford Work Solutions lineup is geared toward more high-tech operations. The centerpiece is an in-dash computer that features a Microsoft operating system, a touchscreen, a wireless mouse and keyboard, a Garmin navigation system and Internet access. Also on the Work Solutions menu are the Crew Chief, which tracks the vehicle's location, speed and idle time, making 3-hour lunches at Fuddruckers a thing of the past; and Tool Link by DeWalt, which keeps track of your tool inventory via radio frequency ID tags.

Built in Turkey, the Transit Connect has racked up more than 600,000 sales worldwide since its 2003 introduction. Given its impressive interior space, fuel economy and innovative business-oriented features, we think Ford's new van will attract business owners here in the United States as well -- especially in urban areas. The 2010 Ford Transit Connect enters a market with virtually no direct competitors (the Chevy HHR panel van is too small, the full-size domestic work vans are too big and thirsty and the Sprinter is pricier), so only time will tell how customers will take to this newfangled conveyance. No doubt Ford is hoping they find it more appealing than techno and warm beer.

2010 Ford Transit Connect models

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is a compact work van available in Van XL, Van XLT, Wagon XL and Wagon XLT trims, but the only difference between Van and Wagon is the presence of a second-row seat. All come with dual sliding side doors, but these can be deleted, as can the rear glass on the Van.

Standard equipment on the XL includes 15-inch steel wheels, gray plastic bumpers, 180-degree rear doors, air-conditioning, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, driver seat height adjustment, cloth upholstery and a two-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The Wagon XL includes a two-person bench seat. The XLT adds body-color bumpers, full power accessories, heated mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, a cargo area 12-volt power point and a CD player. The Wagon XLT includes a split-folding 60/40 three-passenger second-row bench seat.

Options on all trims include an in-dash computer (featuring a touchscreen display, a Microsoft operating system, a wireless mouse and keyboard, a Garmin navigation system and Internet access) and the Crew Chief vehicle tracking system. The Van trims can be equipped with the Tool Link by DeWalt tool tracking and inventory system. Options available on the XLT trims include rear parking sensors, 255-degree rear doors, Bluetooth and remote ignition. Port-installed rear shelving units are also available.

2010 Highlights

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is an all-new compact work van. Already sold in Europe and other markets, the Transit Connect is designed for small business owners who don't need a full-size, V8-powered van.

Performance & mpg

Every 2010 Ford Transit Connect features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 138 hp and 132 pound-feet of torque. In our testing, we recorded a sluggish 0-60 mph time of 12.4 seconds. The mandatory four-speed automatic transmission sends that meager thrust to the front wheels. EPA estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes four-wheel antilock brakes (disc front, drum rear) and front side airbags. Stability control is optional on the Van trims and standard on the Wagon.

Driving

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect's tall and narrow dimensions make it easy to maneuver through narrow urban streets that would leave an Econoline driver double-checking that his company's insurance is paid up. At 39 feet, its turning circle is quite small for something that can lug about 135 cubic feet of stuff. So agility is present, but alas, rapidity is not. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder that feels taxed in the 2,642-pound Ford Focus is completely zonked in the 3,470-pound Transit Connect. Naturally, adding cargo will further reduce its pep.

Interior

The Transit Connect's front cabin doesn't look like a traditional work van's; rather, you'll find a carlike dashboard and driving position. It's a pleasing look that's accented by funky patterned upholstery. Climate and stereo controls are appropriately straightforward. The various high-tech Work Solution features should be a boon for modern business owners with their increasingly complex needs.

In terms of cargo space, the Transit Connect Van offers a palatial 135 cubic feet. Much of that comes from the tall roof, so long items may not fit lengthwise, but the available shelving units make the most of the cargo area. Maximum payload is a modest 1,600 pounds. For ferrying work crews around, the Wagon's rear seats offer a firm seat bottom and reasonable space. The Transit Connect isn't really suitable for families, though.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Ford Transit Connect.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Looks good, performs bad
Betsy,07/30/2015
Wagon XLT 4dr Minivan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
We have had brake issues from day 1. First set had to be replaced at 8000 miles. Dealer said it was "normal wear" not covered under warranty. Second day we had van a hubcap flew off while travelling on the highway at 65 mph. Dealer said that it was our fault and that without the hubcap there was no evidence that it was defective and that it is not covered under warranty. Side sliding doors constantly go out of alignment and require tightening of set bolt. Dealer over torqued bolt and door wont shut correctly now, not covered under warranty. Plastic adjustment handle for driver's seat broke off in my hand at about 10,000 miles, Ford dealer said not covered under warranty. Original tires had to be replaced at 25,000 miles, not covered under warranty. TPMS light wont go off. Dealer tried to reset using procedure in owners manual and it didn't work. Said they "weren't real good with these import Fords" and that it was probably due to "abuse" and not covered under warranty. At 69,250 miles suffered brake failure that caused serious rear end collision that injured passenger. Pedal fully depressed, no skid marks while traveling at 45 mph. Van undriveable. Looking to replace it with anything but a Ford now.
Mini Van Make Over
JackSpranto,09/07/2009
I and my coworker test-drove this vehicles because our company tried to purchase 2 of them to replace our current Ford 250s. We are afraid that this vehicle may not handle in the winter season because the chassis is way too low than what we expected. The cargo space is too little after you install the cabins, is very hard to get in from side doors.
Work Van- Not very nice, I would hate it if I had paid for it!
dalebass3,04/03/2013
Wheel bearings went out at 50,000! All but one hubcap has come off. Power windows have stopped working. Driver side door does not unlock with the key fob. Fuel tank is tiny, I need to fill up every other day. Ride is so loud I can't even use the blue tooth. Overall this car has a lot of issues. It is free for me to drive so that makes up for it some, but if I had paid my own money for this I would be mad.
Sprinter on a budget
Paul Mann,05/21/2016
Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/o Side & Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
First a little background. I own a small chain of bookstores and at least 50% of the 196,000 miles on this vehicle were spent loaded with books. I typically carry 1,000 pounds, but have gone up to 2,650 pounds (plus driver). It's not fast, it's not sexy, but it's a very economical workhorse. Since new, the Transit Connect has averaged just a bit shy of 28 mpg. On the highway, it typically yields 31 mpg. Note: fully loaded, I tend to keep things going at about 65 mph. The vehicle has no problems maintaining a higher speed, but the road/engine noise does get daunting. If you're concerned about reliability, don't be. This cargo van just doesn't break. Other than regular, synthetic oil changes, maintenance has been almost nil. The transmission was serviced at 195,000 - mostly because I felt guilty about neglecting my reliable partner. At the same time, the coolant was swapped out. Oh, and the plugs were changed at 100,000 miles. That's it. Nothing has fallen off, broken or failed to work. If this cargo ever gets stolen, I will happily buy another one. May 2019 update. I'm no longer hauling books as the book store chain is now closed. But this workhorse is still plugging along at 219,000 miles carrying most anything I need to be hauled. This week I'm taking the Transit in for a service that includes an oil change and a $10 thermostat. Not bad for more than 200,000 miles. Still, the Transit Connect has never let me down - even when it's been overloaded and toting too much stuff through the Tennessee mountains. This is one tough truck.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2010 Ford Transit Connect features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2010 Ford Transit Connect
More About This Model

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect may look a bit odd to American eyes, but around the world, it's been roaming other cities and countrysides for more than eight years. The big box on wheels has been a big hit for businesses that need an urban delivery or on-site service vehicle, thanks to its small-car maneuverability, favorable fuel economy and wide range of utility.

As good as the Transit Connect is for commercial endeavors, it should not be considered as a replacement for the family minivan. Rear-seat comfort is far below the standards set by nearly any other family vehicle, and the harsh bare metal and hard plastic surfaces are comparable to that of a rented U-Haul van. However, the Transit has excellent potential for the mobility-challenged, with its high roof line, small footprint and easy driving nature.

As a light-duty commercial van, the 2010 Ford Transit Connect is pretty much in a class of its own. Full-size vans from Ford and GM have not undergone any significant changes in decades and are unwieldy, thirsty and expensive in comparison. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has the same Euro flavor, but it, too, is much larger and much more expensive.

Used 2010 Ford Transit Connect Overview

The Used 2010 Ford Transit Connect is offered in the following submodels: Transit Connect Minivan. Available styles include Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Cargo Van XLT 4dr Minivan w/Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/o Side & Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Wagon XL 4dr Minivan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Cargo Van XLT 4dr Minivan w/o Side & Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/Side & Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Wagon XLT 4dr Minivan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), and Cargo Van XLT 4dr Minivan w/Side & Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Ford Transit Connect?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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