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2011 Ford Transit Connect (photos)

The Transit Connect is a funky little utility vehicle from Ford. Designed in Europe, it fits many commercial needs in U.S. urban and suburban areas.

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Wayne Cunningham
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Along with the Fiesta and Focus, Ford brought the European-designed Transit Connect to the U.S. market. With a growing urban population and higher gas prices, the Transit Connect fits a U.S. demographic that more resembles Europe's each year.

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The Transit Connect takes simplicity as its design cue. The grille sits tight and flush with the bodywork and the headlight casings are big and square. Lines in front and down the sides are straight and level.

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The Transit Connect can be had in Wagon form, which offers a second-row bench, suitable for three people, or in Van form, with no bench and no side windows.

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The 2-liter four-cylinder engine only produces 136 horsepower, but it is enough to get the Transit Connect around adequately in an average city. Its fuel economy is in the mid-20s, much better than a full-size van.

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With front-wheel drive, and without much horsepower, the Transit Connect is not appropriate for trailer hauling.

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The rear cargo area is very spacious, and designed as a blank slate to accommodate the needs of any number of businesses.

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Don't expect leather or soft-touch materials in the cabin; the Transit Connect is all about hard, durable plastics.

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The Transit Connect's turning radius is not remarkable, and its power steering could offer more boost to make the vehicle more maneuverable in urban centers.

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The Transit Connect gets a simple AM/FM stereo with a CD slot. There is an auxiliary input as well. Ford's Sync system, which integrates a Bluetooth phone system and MP3 players, is an option.

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Ford incorporates a rearview camera into the rearview mirror, a very helpful piece of equipment in a vehicle that would be frequently backed into garages and work spaces.

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