2014 Ford Transit Connect Review
2014 Ford Transit Connect Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Fuel-efficient engines
- two available body lengths
- customizable cargo area
- less expensive and more involving to drive than regular minivans
- attractive interiors on Titanium trim level.
- Complicated seat folding procedure
- turbo engine unavailable on long-wheelbase wagon
- second row doesn't slide or recline
- limited payload and towing capacities.
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect has been fully redesigned. Highlights include sleeker styling, new engines and additional standard and optional features. Newly available third-row seating also makes it a viable, more cost-conscious alternative to minivans.
The compact, front-wheel-drive 2014 Ford Transit Connect boasts numerous improvements. It's a smart choice if you're seeking a smaller, more fuel-efficient alternative to a full-size van or larger minivan.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/Rear 180 Degree Doors SWB (2.5L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.52 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$179/mo for Transit Connect Cargo Van XL
Transit Connect Cargo Van XL
Avg. Compact Minivan
When it was introduced to North America for the 2010 model year, the Ford Transit Connect became popular with small business owners desiring a smaller, more fuel-efficient cargo hauler than the traditional, full-size commercial van models that had dominated the segment for decades. For 2014, Ford has given the Connect a complete overhaul.
With this second generation, the front-wheel-drive Transit Connect (not to be confused with the Transit, which is Ford's new name for its new full-size van) gains more than just a svelte new shape. For starters, there are now two different wheelbases, along with two new engines, both of which are more powerful and fuel-efficient. Despite the loss of that high roof line, total cargo capacity is down by just 5 cubic feet on long-wheelbase models. The maximum payload spec remains unchanged at 1,600 pounds, while towing capacity checks in at 2,000 pounds.
Buyers can still order the Transit Connect in the popular two-seat cargo van configuration preferred for delivery uses. The passenger-oriented Wagon body style, which was previously offered with only a second-row bench seat and seating for five, can now be had in a long-wheelbase version with three rows of seats and seven-passenger capacity. Twin sliding side doors are standard, and buyers can choose between a rear liftgate or twin barn-style doors that open 180 degrees out back. A variety of side and rear window glass configurations are also available. Finally, there are a handful of new options on offer, including compressed natural gas engine preparation, the MyFord Touch infotainment system and an available panoramic fixed sunroof.
As a result of its new, more passenger-friendly long-wheelbase version, the Ford Transit Connect essentially belongs in two different segments. One is the commercial van market, which the previous generation helped to transform by providing businesses with an alternative to big and inefficient full-size vans they didn't really need. In this segment, the 2014 Ram C/V offers the advantages of quicker acceleration and higher payload and towing capacities because of its strong V6 engine. The recently introduced Nissan NV200 is also worth a look, but the Transit Connect is currently the most appealing.
Its new segment, though, is that of family minivans. It's obviously quite a different vehicle from our top-rated Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, offering less overall space, power and equipment. However, it's also cheaper, more efficient and sharper to drive. Budget-conscious families should definitely give it a look.
Performance & mpg
Under its low-profile hood, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect is fitted with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 169 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder good for 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque is available as an option on select variants (the long-wheelbase wagon is not one of them). Both engines send power to the front wheels by way of a six-speed automatic transmission.
EPA estimated fuel economy for the cargo van with the 2.5-liter engine is 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city/29 mpg highway). The wagon is slightly less at 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/28 mpg highway). Opting for the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine gets you an estimated 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city/30 mpg highway).
Standard safety features on the 2014 Ford Transit Connect include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assist, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags that cover all rows of seats.
Front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are available as options. The optional Ford Sync system includes an emergency crash notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. Ford's MyKey system, which can be used to set certain parameters for teen drivers, is also optional.
Even if the Transit Connect lacks the get-up-and-go of V6-powered traditional minivans, it's still much better to drive, with sharper handling and an overall feel that makes you forget about the apartment's worth of space over your shoulder. If you live in the city or frequently travel on tight rural roads, the Transit Connect will feel like an athlete compared to a Honda Odyssey – much less a behemoth like a Chevy Express. We'd recommend getting the punchier turbocharged engine, but unfortunately, it is unavailable on long-wheelbase wagon models.
The steering in particular is worthy of praise, offering the same sort of just-right effort and impressive road feel found in other Ford vehicles. On the other hand, its ride is much firmer and indicative of a smaller, sportier vehicle. That'll be just fine for those transitioning from something like a Focus, but current minivan drivers may find the suspension does not provide the sort of suppleness and isolation they've come to expect
Apart from its Popemobile windshield and acre of dashboard, the Transit Connect could just as easily be a Ford Escape or C-Max from the driver or front passenger seat. The interesting, quasi-futuristic design is virtually identical, with climate controls below clearly separated from the infotainment controls above. The optional MyFord Touch system has received its fair share of complaints for its usability and electronic glitches, but these have mostly been corrected with software updates, and MyFord Touch is now easier to use than several other interfaces. The same can't be said, however, about the standard stereo interface that consists of a small central screen controlled by many buttons.
Behind the driver, however, things get considerably different -- and vary considerably depending on the wheelbase and whether you're carrying people or cargo. The XL cargo van, for example, is a bare-bones workhorse with vinyl upholstery and floor coverings with mounting points for customizable shelves and whatever a business might need. Upper trim levels add creature comforts, but the van is still very much a dedicated work vehicle.
The wagon -- and specifically the seven-passenger long-wheelbase model -- can be used as a family vehicle. The second-row seat doesn't recline or slide, and folding both rows of seats is complicated compared to regular minivans, but space in both rows is just as good (and sometimes better) than you'll find in those same minivans. The quality of plastics isn't quite up to Ford's current top-notch standards, but it's not objectionable, and the Titanium trim's leather upholstery and advanced technology should please its owners at a price point that significantly undercuts similarly priced rivals.
If it's cargo you're looking to haul, the short-wheelbase model offers 105.9 cubic feet behind the front seats, while the long-wheelbase version's larger cargo hold can swallow 130.6 cubic feet. This is less than a regular minivan, but still much better than a large crossover. Even more capacity is available thanks to the fold-flat front passenger seat.
2014 Ford Transit Connect models
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect is a compact commercial minivan that's offered in cargo or passenger-oriented wagon body styles and two different wheelbases. There are three available trim levels: XL, XLT and Titanium (wagon only). The XLT wagon seats five or seven, depending on which wheelbase you select, while seven-passenger seating is standard on the XL and Titanium.
Base standard equipment on the XL cargo van includes 16-inch steel wheels, gray grille/bumpers/side moldings, keyless entry, air-conditioning, vinyl upholstery and floor coverings, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front windows, power door locks and a two-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio input jack. The XL wagon version is long-wheelbase only and has a second-row seat, a third-row seat, a front-seat center console and power second-row windows.
Stepping up to the XLT cargo van gets you body-color bumpers, foglights, power-adjustable heated mirrors, cloth upholstery, a 4.2-inch multifunction display, cruise control, a front overhead storage shelf and a CD player. The XLT wagon (which is available in short- or long-wheelbase form) also has rear privacy glass, a rearview camera and rear climate controls.
The top-of-the-line Titanium wagon adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, adaptive cornering foglights, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, four speakers for the sound system and Ford's voice-controlled Sync system.
Many of the features that come standard on upper trim levels are also available on other models. Other major options include 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, a compressed natural gas engine prep package (late availability), front and rear parking sensors, a towing package, a fixed panoramic sunroof, a roof rack, satellite/HD radio, the MyFord Touch electronics interface (includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and a navigation system) and the Crew Chief telematics system designed for fleet operators.
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.13 out of 5 stars
Just what I needed
2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon Titanium LWB 4dr Minivan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I just bought the fully loaded Transit Connect Titanium model last week. So far I am really enjoying it. I went from a lnfiniti FX35 so I was a bit hesitant to make such a drastic change at first but the more I drive it the happier I am with my choice. I had been in Italy this summer and rode in a more striped down version. That was roomy and able to carry 7 full sized adults on our … various adventures. I had never considered getting one for myself but after looking at the Flex, Explorer, and the MKT, frankly, this really fit my needs the best. This had the fuel efficiency, tech goodies, AND hauling room! Plenty of room for taking my paintings places. No need to rent a van!
1 out of 5 stars
Great Concept, Poor Execution.
Val S, 02/15/2016
2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon XLT 4dr Minivan w/Rear Liftgate LWB (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I purchased mine new, in September of 2015; dealer gave me a good deal since it was almost a 2yr old model. The engine is fine, the transmission gets stuck between gears( going to cause an accident one of these days). The dealership "cannot duplicate the problem". The tires need to be bigger, since it is so big, riding on teeny tiny tires, they like to follow any grooves or deviations … in the road, especially at higher speeds. My main reason for buying it, was the comfort of the drivers seat, which I love. The second and third rows however are not nearly as comfortable. I had to purchase a car seat with a smaller base for my son, his was wider and couldn't sit on the middle or back row evenly, it would tip to one side or the other. Also, the second and third rows are backwards. It should have 2 seats in the middle, and 3 in the rear, so that you aren't required to fold seats around and climb over them to get into the third row. Almost every plastic part on the outside, and all the weatherstripping has had to be replaced. Many of the interior pieces are broken. Both sliding rear doors are sometimes impossible to open/ close; its been repaired 6 times, and still don't work properly. There was a water leak at the 3rd brake light, which took the dealership months to locate and fix, after fixing that, the rear wiper broke, and took 4 tries to correct. The air conditioner likes to suddenly quit working, forcing me to restart the van to get it running again. I currently have 4 different body parts hanging off the van that the dealer is making arrangements to fix. There are other problems I don't have the space to list. I have had to go to arbitration with the BBB in an attempt to get Ford to do the right thing and take back the van.
2 out of 5 stars
2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon XLT 4dr Minivan w/Rear 180 Degree Doors LWB (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Bought it for the cargo space and getting the A plan, but even with the A plan, this is the last straw for me owning a Ford. Some of my friends say Fix Or Repair Daily, well bought it new and has spend way too much time at the dealer, door latches broke, could not close sliding doors/ transmission would not up shift/ transmission fluid leaked from axle shaft/ rear parking aid stopped … working/ AC is lousy so are headlights. The only positive is the cargo space and I liked the 2 swinging doors. Bought it new to avoid problems using the van for my business. Will sell as soon as warrnaty is up!
4 out of 5 stars
Good not great.
2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van XL 4dr Minivan w/ Rear Liftgate LWB (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Much nicer to drive than any other van I've owned, good suspension, quiet and better gas mileage, though I only get 19 or 20 mpg. The latter probably because I carry about 500 pounds and most of my driving is in Los Angeles. I badly need a back up camera because the van has a ridiculous design flaw, the handle on the rear gate is near level vertically with the rear bumper face so if … there is an unseen wall or pole they both make contact at the same time. The bumper should stick out at least 2 inches more. A really annoying feature is the self locking front doors with keys in ignition. It happens when I have the rear doors open, which would not be a problem if I had not installed a partition.
2014 Transit Connect Highlights
|Combined MPG||24 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$179/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5PassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRolloverNot RatedDynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated