2012 Ford Transit Connect Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Easy to park and maneuver in tight spaces
- above average fuel economy
- large, versatile cargo area
- clever business-oriented electronics features.
- Glacial acceleration
- limited 1,600-pound payload capacity
- subpar crash scores.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Cargo Van XLT 4dr Minivan w/Side & Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
Okay, so the Microsoft hands-free radio is laughably, pathetically clueless. Hope Ford got a freebie, since a Microsoft badge is glued to the dash. Cabin noise on California's crumbling roads has reached 109 dB on my meter, about as loud as standing behind a jet taking off. I buy earplugs by the case, but then I have for 40 years anyway. Lots of positives, thanks to the designers. The standard door lock-unlock sequence protects me in crummy neighborhoods (unlocks the cargo doors while leaving the driver door locked, and vice versa, and it's programmable). If I leave the doors open in the garage for extended loading time, the interior lights go out after a few minutes. Very thoughtful. Power points are always on but the entertainment USB only powers up with the ignition, so that conveniently runs the dash cam. Astounding 1,600-lb payload includes me and gas — my big pickup is only rated for 1,100 lbs, and weighs 3,050 lbs wet, the same as this little Ford, to the pound. Don’t know how they did it. Does not jitter on tippy-toes when empty, does not wallow when loaded to the limit. Many SUVs have a load limit of only 900 pounds -- so you're overloaded if you only take three friends with you and fill the tank. Spec Continentals kept picking up nails: eight in 15,000 miles. ran two sets of Federal, an exact Taiwan copy of the Continental. Great tires, half the price. Michelin finally makes a Defender in this spec, so installed a set 50,000 miles ago. More expensive, somewhat quieter. Don’t replace the wheels with cheapie boy-racer alloys, as aftermarket wheels may not be rated for this 1,600 payload. 22-24 mpg combined, 25 mpg on occasion. Getting 22 at 159,000. I did okay in endurance racing back in the 70s, so I really appreciate the seats and view out front. This is the final English Ford design, I think, and shows off its performance heritage. The Limeys built the high-level 3rd brake light into one of the cargo doors, so it's only a few inches from precise center. Naturally, the Feds made them blank it out and pierce the roof for a separate unit. Thanks, guys. Don't drive much or own cars in Washington, do you? Progressive-rate steering centers well and allows flicking 90º to full lock. Low center of gravity, low cargo floor. Antilock brakes stop on a dime, straight and true. Traction control light comes on when I overdo it on off camber onramps, so I know it’s watching and helping. All controls within easy reach. A clear jump-in/jump-out path through the door to the driver’s seat make it the perfect setup for long shifts of multiple stops. Failures: Front brake caliper seized in a few months, 3 batteries, a tiny plastic tab in the interior light assembly broke ($78), high-level LED 3rd brake light assembly went dead ($120), coolant reservoir cracked (warranty), one of the remotes failed (warranty), visor is unraveling along one edge, wheel covers break a lot (replaced two at $53 each, then gave up and got half a dozen Chinese phonies on eBay for $120. They dig into the wheels, but they stay on. Wheel paint and primer have vanished, although always garaged out of the 120º Sacramento sun. Local car wash chain snapped off 4 rear wiper arms, so I’ve yanked them and rely on Rain-X. Since they park vertically and most robot car washes use horizontal brushes, hit-and-miss company attempts to tape them down or tube them with big baggies fails much of the time. Styling department designed a cheesy plastic cover over the rear wiper hinge that looks beefy, but under the cover it's the width of a pencil, and breaks a lot. New Ford shocks, and on my 4th windshield -- welcome to California's Gravel Emporium. Following some windy rainstorms, a pine branch swung over an Armco and I hit it at 70. New power driver side mirror: $450 installed, not bad at all. Is the engine gutless? Not really. Just set Cruise before the highway rises and let it rev it right out to 6,000. Transmission and engine smooth and reliable: My copier tech’s Focus with this motor needed a water pump at 235,000. My copier tech replaced his Focus with a Transit Connect a year after I did. If tech gurus like Transits, I take their advice. Trade-in is astoundingly low -- at 108,713 miles, my spotless, maintained, pothole-avoided van is worth FOUR thousand bucks. Only 14% remains after less than five years. Mercedes claims a better resale value, but their new $40,000 Metris is Spanish, so who knows how far it'll fall from its current $21,000 trade-in with high miles? To be fair, many tradesman vans get driven by guys who don't own them. Would buy another, but the newer Spanish-build version does not offer a high roof. The new motor is stronger, though -- drove one as a rental. Get the most doodads, even leather if you can find one. Dealer lead time for custom builds has been as high as 6 months, so you may have to take whatever is on the lot, like I did.
Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/o Side & Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
I was surprised to see the scathing reviews for the ford transit connect. My experiences were quite different from those mentioned before. I am a subcontractor with dish, and so far, I have nothing to complain about! On average, I get 25 miles to the gallon fully loaded (and I mean LOADED) with some very heavy equipment. This saves me $10,000 on gas a year versus most other chevy express vans in my fleet. Yes, it may not be the best to drive or accelerate, but if you've bought a work van for comfort or acceleration, you might want to pick a desk job instead. Overall, great little reliable and efficient van, as long as you don't overload it of course. Going strong at 95,000 miles.
Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/Rear Glass (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
We have operated about 10 of these in our fleet, model years 2010, 2011 and 2012. They all have the same reliability issues, tranmissions failures, we have replaced at least 5 of these, radiators start leaking and assorted electrical issues that lead to overheating. These issues started occuring at 40k -50k miles and we do not carry heavy loads so it is was not abuse. It all comes down to one thing, they used an undersized passenger car drivetrain and tried to pass it off for commercial use. It is a great idea, but Ford totally botched the execution. Let's hope they learned some leasons with the new design. Did I mention that all have a weird musky smell inside?
Wagon XLT 4dr Minivan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
61800 and 1 month past warranty date - the transmission fails. My husband has babied this vehicle-no heavy loads, no fast accelleraton, garaged most of the time. Transmission failure appears to be an issue with Ford Transits. We got no satisfaction from Ford. Avoid these vehicles.