2018 Ford Transit Connect

2018 Ford Transit Connect Review

You'll be impressed with the Transit Connect's versatility and affordability.
author
by Peter Gareffa
Edmunds Editor

Commercial van buyers who operate in confined urban areas or carry smaller loads should find the 2018 Ford Transit Connect to be an affordable, practical alternative to a full-size van. It doesn't have the room, payload and towing capacity of the larger models, but its four-cylinder engine and car-based platform make it more economical to operate and easier to maneuver.

The Transit Connect is available in two body styles, three trim levels, two wheelbases, and with a number of options that make it easy to customize for the job at hand. The short-wheelbase passenger wagon can seat up to five, while the long-wheelbase model can accommodate up to seven. The highest trim level is comfortably outfitted with such features as leather seats, dual-zone climate control with separate rear climate controls, and a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation.

In addition to economy, utility and practicality, this Euro-derived van features a relatively stylish design that's a cut above some of its boxier competitors. And the cabin provides a comfortable environment, with decently supportive seats and a modern, well-organized dashboard. Shoppers looking for a small people-hauler or a work van that delivers many of the capabilities of a larger vehicle should consider taking a test drive in a 2018 Ford Transit Connect.



what's new

The 2018 Ford Transit Connect receives only minor changes in the availability of its standard and optional features.

we recommend

The base XL trim will do if you're shopping for a Transit Connect on a budget. But for only a modest price jump, we'd recommend the XLT. Stepping up to the higher trim level adds a number of comfort and convenience features that make for a more pleasant driving experience, and both are available in short- and long-wheelbase versions to suit your needs.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford Transit Connect is a compact minivan offered in Cargo Van and Wagon body styles, each with two different wheelbases. Three trim levels are available: XL, XLT and the wagon-only Titanium. The XLT and Titanium wagons seat five or seven, depending on which wheelbase you select, while seven-passenger seating is standard on the XL. All versions have dual sliding rear doors and give you a choice between swing-out back cargo doors or an overhead liftgate. (The Titanium trim only comes with the liftgate.)

There's only one engine available in the Transit Connect: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 169 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

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 adds rear parking sensors, driver lumbar adjustment, 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, carpeted floor coverings, driver lumbar adjustment, a passenger vanity mirror, a multifunction display, cruise control and a CD player.

The XLT Wagon comes in short- and long-wheelbase models and mirrors the XLT cargo's equipment. It also adds automatic headlights with configurable daytime running lamps, roof rails, automatic wipers, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver seat, a conversation mirror, a thicker acoustic windshield, four front speakers for the sound system and voice controls. Ford's MyKey system is also included.

The top-of-the-line Titanium wagon adds 16-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cornering foglights, power-folding mirrors, chrome exterior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, navigation and the Sync 3 infotainment interface.

Some noteworthy options include 16-inch alloy wheels, a compressed natural gas engine-prep package, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a towing package, a roof rack, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, satellite and HD radio, and the Ford Sync 3 infotainment system with 6.5-inch touchscreen.



trim tested

Edmunds has only limited experience with the Ford Transit Connect. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

Driving

Although the 2018 Ford Transit Connect lacks the get-up-and-go of many V6-powered competitors, it feels much lighter and a lot more agile around town. These characteristics are equally useful for large families and for delivery drivers needing to get in and out of tight spaces.

Comfort

The Transit Connect's ride can be bumpy over rough roads, and suspension-transmitted noises tend to make their way into the cabin. As a result, shoppers transitioning from a traditional minivan may find that the suspension doesn't quite provide the suppleness and isolation they've come to expect.

Seat comfort

The Transit Connect wagon makes a good family vehicle, with generous space for up to seven passengers. And both short- and long-wheelbase cargo vans are available to meet your needs. The quality of the interior materials is below that of many Ford products but is still pretty nice for its class.

Utility

If you need to haul cargo, the short-wheelbase cargo van offers 103.9 cubic feet behind the front seats, while the long-wheelbase models boast 128.6 cubic feet. Cargo room in the short-wheelbase wagons is reduced to a maximum of 77.1 cubic feet, and the long-wheelbase models offer 104.2 cubic feet.

Technology

The available Ford Sync 3 infotainment system is quick to respond to user inputs and feels much like a smartphone, with pinch-to-zoom and swiping gestures. Less user-friendly is the standard stereo interface, which consists of a small central screen controlled by many buttons.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.