Car of the Year Car Reviews

Ford Transit Connect: 2019 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender

A disappointing package

A disappointing package

WE LIKE The idea of a compact, back-to-basics minivan

WE DON’T LIKE Where to begin?

Before I got married, my fiancee and I made wine for our wedding guests. We selected our grapes, crushed ’em, added yeast, fermented the batch, and patiently waited to try it. When the day came, we eagerly poured ourselves a glass, took a sip, and immediately spit it out. We had created artisanal vinegar. Useful, but not wine.

We had a similar experience with the Ford Transit Connect Wagon. We mostly liked the original, handsome version, but we felt it needed a little bit more fermentation (and a lot more power) to make it what it should be. Come the 2019 refresh, all looked promising. The sheetmetal had matured, driver-assist technologies were added, and Ford announced two new I-4s under the Transit Connect’s hood: a gas 2.0-liter and a 1.5-liter turbodiesel.

Unfortunately, beyond physically being capable of fitting six adults or their luggage (not both), the Transit Connect package doesn’t work. The new 2.0-liter was described by Mark Rechtin as “wheezy,” and the numbers show it. The Ford’s lurchy eight-speed automatic did what it could to help the gutless four-pot, but as a man wiser than me once said, there’s no fighting physics.

Inside, the Transit Connect disappoints, too, as we found the seats to be uncomfortable. Worse still is our tester’s value equation. Our 2.0-powered Transit Connect Titanium LWB stickered for far more than its $28,040 USD base price.

“At $37,010 USD, this van in passenger form is a joke,” Zach Gale said. “The seats are difficult to fold down and don’t really fall flat, and the infotainment screen isn’t particularly large. But hey, at least it costs as much as a nicely equipped Chrysler Pacifica.”



2019 Ford Transit Connect Titanium (LWB)
Base Price/As tested $32,790/$37,010
Power (SAE net) 150 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 144 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Accel, 0-60 mph 10.5 sec
Quarter-mile 17.8 sec @ 77.5 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 115 ft
Lateral Acceleration 0.74 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 29.9 sec @ 0.53 g (avg)
EPA City/Hwy/Comb 24/29/26 mpg
Vehicle Layout Front-engine, FWD, 6-pass, 4-door van
Engine/Transmission 2.0L DOHC 16-valve I-4/8-speed automatic
Curb Weight (F/R Dist) 4,053 lb (56/44%)
Wheelbase 120.6 in
Length x Width x Height 190.0 x 72.2 x 72.0 in
Energy Cons, City/Hwy 140/116 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 Emissions, Comb 0.75 lb/mile