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Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 Ford Transit Connect XLTFord gets back in the minivan game with an accent.
You sure won't not notice it. From there, it tends to go either toward love or hate. But, either way, this vehicle gets Ford back into minivans in a very different way. Let's drive the Ford Transit Connect XLT and check the tech. The question I've answered dozens of times while I've been driving this is, what is it? It looks like something that we deliver a package to your hotel in Paris right with the DHL Library on it. For what's Ford's first minivans since the rather unloved, the Aerostar. This guy is built on the Focus platform. Not the new Focus but the previous North American style Focus we had for too many years to be honest. It's available in two configurations. We have the Wagon that means glass around the side panels and second row seats and belts but also most of these as a van with mostly metal panels around it and just a big cargo box in the back. Check the tech. What tech? These and [unk]. It's so little. I may be gonna sit down. AM/FM/CD. Uh-huh. 4-speakers. Uh-huh. There is a back-up camera and a little posted stamp thing in the rear view. That's about it. -Now, you can get a version of Sync on a Transit Connect even though you never get an LCD screen but it's real basic without 911 Assist, no sync services, and no support for apps. It basically handles music and hands-free calling. -It's here on the second row where things start to get interesting. The roof starts to really slope up pronouncedly. You get a really airy feeling back here. Your second row holds through it obviously and these seats can fold forward or fold all the way forward but they don't coming out. Now, when everything is all boxed up back here, you've got about 130 cubic feet of cargo area. It's just 7 cubic feet short of a full size Suburban which is a hell of a lot bigger car that uses a lot more gas and a lot more of your dollars on the MSRP. Different kind of vehicle but it's a pretty app comparison. Interesting story how this come into the country. They all arrive from the factory in Turkey and setup like these as Wagons and they've got glass windows in the side, rear seat, rear seat belts. The majority though are gonna be sold as vans. So, they end up having all of those [unk] torn out, recycle, and then they put metal panels where the glass used to be. In that way they avoid what's called the chicken tax. Apparently when commercial vehicles and trucks come in from Europe to the US, they get this 25 percent tariff. By bringing them in like this and then converting with the ports, it saves a lot of money on the MSRP. More examples of how spurting this vehicle is and that's how they keep the price so low. This little cargo pocket here, that's part of the premium package. That's not premium. That's just barely above Soviet Era car manufacturer. As 2.55 [unk]nicely exposed leads for the heating element in the glass. Don't lay your tongue across that, kids. You do have a nice of these like this simple button that let you open this door flat. You can also option 255-degree doors. They go flat against the body all the way. -Also part of the Premium trim, these rear side windows flip out. -Now, the Transit Connect rather jealously guards its little motor. Check this out. You need the key outside the car to open it up. You flip the badge. Put the key in their like that. Turn it once to the left to unlock. Once to the right to unlatch and then up she goes. 2-liter, inline-4 gas engine. Nothing really tricky going on here. Transversely-mounted drives the front wheels only. You're gonna get 136 horsepower, 128 foot-pounds of torque, garden variety stuff gets this guy up to 60 in a leisurely 12 seconds but delivers 22/27 MPG with something that shape and all that power goes out through not a 6, not a 5, but a 4-speed automatic. I don't even know where they source such a thing anymore. I just like driving the Transit Connect. I don't know why. It's slow. It's not a handling vehicle. But, there's something so good about it being big and small at the same time. Incredibly useful. I think it has a nice eurolines and it's a great price. So, you come to the vehicle with relatively-- shall we say, modest expectations but it works and it over delivers I think. The interiors are clean and simple. Nothing to stylized. That's in keeping with the utilitarian nature of this thing and the mind just reels of all the things you would do if you own one of these things. All the things you do on the weekend. How you go and do various trips differently. How you'd be the one who picks up friends when a bunch of people go out. You're right. Not a good vehicle to own. The weak link in this car as we had a feeling it would be is basically the transmission. With only four gears to choose from, it's basically in the wrong one all the time. You might think the visibility is going to be dreadful in this vehicle but it's not if you get a Wagon with the full compliment of glass all the way back. Then, you've got pretty decent sight lines of those headrests. They're actually your biggest issue in the second row. Not the actual body work. If those are out, you have tremendous visibility. I just think the Transit Connect is fun to drive and it allows you to have all that kind of cargo ability, everyday cargo ability without the penalty of driving around in a truck all the time. Alright, let's place our little red friend. This is a Transit Connect XLT Wagon, the passengerized version 242. There is a premium package which gives you those flip-out glass rear windows and that little mess covered cargo binnacle on the back door. That's 150 bucks. Why wouldn't they make that standard? Now, free tech options on that top of all that. That [unk] version of sync that run you at $220. Yeah, do it. The backup sensors at $280. Yeah, do it. And, the backup camera and the mirror is $470. Probably, do it. Beyond that, you do want to change at the head unit almost certainly that put some wheels on it and this is kind of a hot little [unk].