Used 2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon XLT Minivan Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon XLT Minivan.

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great when you want a small minivan
Chris N.,09/29/2016
Wagon XLT w/Rear Liftgate SWB 4dr Minivan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
We bought this to replace our beloved Mazda MPV after 220k miles. The MPV was small, we wanted a similar sized minivan. We test drove about 20 minivans and similar hybrids, but when I got in this, I told my wife "this is it". The forward view is so wide it feels like driving a motor coach or bus. I love the open view and light. The little details like the notch mirrors are great... but needed as there is a bit of a blind spot on the passenger shoulder area. Overall it feels very open with high visibility. Storage space is great on the 3 row model. The fold flat seats take some getting used to, but offer a very flat large storage area. A bit smaller than our MPV, but large enough to haul most of the bigger stuff from the store like chairs and tvs. The worst downsides for me are 1. slow acceleration 2. AC takes forever to cool down 3. things will roll right out of the back unless you put the optional net in because there is no storage well 4. second row seats do not recline (oddly the third row does) 5. with the third row seats up there is very very little storage room behind those seats. 6. no volume controls on the left of the steering wheel which means I can't fully drive with only one hand there on the left 7. I always find the cruise control a little confusing. 8. microsoft sync system can be a bit buggy (i've had to power down the car a few times to get it to fully restart, it's done "scheduled maintenance" where it's updating lord knows what for 8 min and not working) 9. I don't like that you can't turn off the proximity alerts. Sometimes they get annoying; YES I KNOW I'M NEAR THE WALL AT THE DRIVE THROUGH. 10. the steering is a bit loose, it's not a car that you want to steer with your knee for even a second. That may sound like a lot of bad stuff, and those things ARE annoying, but overall, I still love the car. What it gets right, it really gets right. It's comfortable, flexible, and for the most part I love the controls and sound system. There are lots of little things like bag hooks and storage nooks that just make it a pleasure to use. My wife is short and I am tall, and it works for both of us quite well. Backup camera is amazing.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon XLT Minivan

Pros & Cons

  • Punchy and efficient turbocharged engine
  • two available body lengths
  • customizable cargo area
  • less expensive and more involving to drive than regular minivans.
  • Turbo engine unavailable on long-wheelbase wagon
  • second row doesn't slide or recline
  • limited payload and towing capacities
  • unimpressive mpg with base engine.


Full Edmunds Review: 2016 Ford Transit Connect Minivan

The 2016 Ford Transit Connect can be a smart choice for small business owners or families seeking a lower-cost, more maneuverable alternative to full-size cargo vans or minivans.

Vehicle overview

Ford's Transit Connect has long been a hit outside the United States, where small vans are among the most popular vehicles. These vans make it fairly easy to cope with crowded, narrow streets, cramped parking spaces and fuel prices that would make most U.S. motorists blanche. Now stateside shoppers are beginning to discover the virtues of small. For several years, Ford was pretty much alone in offering its compact Transit Connect cargo van and passenger wagon. Several competitors arrived last year, but the 2016 Ford Transit Connect van and wagon remain excellent choices for families and for small-business owners looking to downsize from a full-size van.

Families needing to carry people will find the 2016 Ford Transit Connect wagon pretty useful. It can seat five or seven, depending on which wheelbase you select, and headroom and legroom are plentiful, even for adults. It's a great option if space and affordability are your priorities. But compared with more conventional minivans, the Transit Connect is bound to feel a bit bare-bones, whether you're looking at its so-so interior plastics or its relatively modest list of amenities.

Commercial users will find more to like. The Transit Connect van comes in several different configurations, with two available wheelbases and two available, moderately fuel-efficient engines. Ford has pre-drilled holes to allow for easy setup of shelving and storage units, and if you have a lot of cargo, the Transit Connect can haul up to 1,600 pounds or tow up to 2,000 pounds. That's not much compared with full-size cargo vans (including Ford's full-size Transit Van), but for smaller businesses, this might be just enough capability. Plus, even when carrying a full load, the Transit Connect feels agile and easy to maneuver.

Of course, if you're comparing the Ford Transit Connect van to those larger cargo vans, its sacrifices in power, space and overall capability are obvious. The Transit Connect's more direct competitors are the Nissan NV200 (and its Chevrolet sibling, the City Express van) and the Ram ProMaster City. Meanwhile, top-rated minivans like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are far more comfortable and spacious than the Transit Connect wagon, but they're also quite a bit larger and more expensive. Overall, we think the 2016 Ford Transit Connect is an excellent choice.

2016 Ford Transit Connect models

The 2016 Ford Transit Connect is a compact commercial minivan offered in cargo van and passenger wagon body styles, each with 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. All versions have dual sliding rear doors and give you a choice between swing-out cargo doors or an overhead liftgate.

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, built-in cargo tie-down hooks, an overhead storage shelf, 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 comes with the same standard equipment, but is long-wheelbase only and adds second- and third-row seats, two rear speakers for the stereo, rear climate controls and power second-row windows.

Stepping up to the XLT cargo van gets you body-color bumpers, foglights, power-adjustable heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, cloth upholstery, driver lumbar adjustment, a passenger vanity mirror, a multifunction display, cruise control and a CD player. The XLT wagon comes in short- or long-wheelbase styles, mirrors the XLT cargo's equipment and adds a rearview camera and a thicker acoustic windshield. Rear climate controls aren't available on the short-wheelbase XLT wagon.

The top-of-the-line Titanium wagon adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, adaptive cornering foglights, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding mirrors, chrome exterior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with built-in compass, four front speakers for the sound system and Ford's voice-controlled Sync system.

Many of the features that come standard on the 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, 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 Ford Telematics system designed for fleet operators.

2016 Highlights

Other than a few new available features for upper-level trims, the 2016 Transit Connect is basically unchanged from last year.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Ford Transit Connect comes with two engines choices. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 169 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque is standard in all models. A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder good for 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque is an option on all variants except the long-wheelbase wagon. Power from either engine is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the cargo van with the 2.5-liter engine is 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway). The wagon is rated lower, at 22 mpg combined (19/27), which is only barely better than you'd get with a larger V6-equipped minivan. Opting for the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine gets you an estimated 25 mpg combined (22/30) with both the cargo van and the wagon.

Safety

The 2016 Ford Transit Connect's standard safety features include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill start assist, and front seat side and side curtain airbags.

Front and rear parking sensors, daytime running lights, a blind spot and cross-traffic warning system and a rearview camera are available as options on various models. The optional Ford Sync and Sync with MyFord Touch systems includes an emergency crash notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. They aren't as good as the new Sync 3 system being introduced on new and redesigned Ford models, but are a lot more refined than when first introduced. Ford's MyKey system, which can be used to set certain parameters for various drivers (think teens, valets or employees), is also optional.

In government crash tests, the 2016 Transit Connect wagon earned five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for side crash protection.

Driving

Although the 2016 Ford Transit Connect lacks the get-up-and-go of V6-powered traditional minivans, it feels much lighter and a lot more agile around town. Those are characteristics that are equally useful for large families and for delivery drivers needing to get in and out of tight spaces. They may even trump the regulation minivan's greater power. If you live in the city or frequently travel on tight rural roads, the Transit Connect will feel like an athlete compared with a Honda Odyssey. We recommend getting the punchier and more efficient turbocharged engine, but unfortunately, it isn't available on the seven-passenger wagon models that are most attractive to non-commercial buyers.

The steering is particularly praiseworthy, offering the just-right effort and impressive road feel found in other Ford vehicles. On the other hand, the ride can be bumpy over rough roads, and suspension-transmitted noises tend to make their way into the cabin much as they can on smaller, sportier vehicles. That may be fine for those transitioning from something like a Focus, but minivan drivers may find the Transit Connect's suspension doesn't provide the suppleness and isolation they've come to expect.

Interior

With the Transit Connect, flexibility is paramount. The wagon -- particularly the seven-passenger long-wheelbase model -- can be used as a family vehicle. Granted, the second-row seat doesn't recline or slide, and folding both the second and third rows of seats takes an extra step compared with most minivans, but space in both rows is just as good (and sometimes better), especially the headroom. Though not objectionable, the quality of plastics isn't up to Ford's current standards. 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 cargo van offers 103.9 cubic feet behind the front seats, while the long-wheelbase version's larger cargo hold can swallow 128.6 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. Cargo room in the wagon models is reduced, but if the seats are folded, the short-wheelbase wagon offers a maximum of 77.1 cubic feet and the long-wheelbase models offer 104.2 cubic feet.

Although the Transit Connect has a much larger windshield and dashboard than its siblings, the Ford Escape and C-Max, from the driver seat it could easily be either. The distinctive dash 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 in years past. The same can't be said, however, for the standard stereo interface, which 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, especially in the wagon models, add creature comforts, but the van is still very much a dedicated work vehicle.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2016 Ford Transit Connect in Virginia is:

$58.42 per month*
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