30+ MPG and Seating for Seven
November 13, 2012
By: Austin Rutherford
Ford has not offered a minivan in the North American market since the Freestar was killed in favor of the Flex. Now, after a 7 year hiatus, Ford is ready to expand back into the market, but in a different route than other automakers.
Whereas other automakers continue with their full-size minivans, Ford has decided to bring the passenger version of their compact utility van. Usually called the Tourneo Connect in Europe, they are simply calling it the Transit Connect Wagon in the US.
Like the utility van version shown earlier this year, the wagon rides upon a heavy duty Focus platform and will be offered in two wheelbases. This will give the Transit Connect better cargo space than the Mazda5 and be able to handle a heavier payload than a Toyota Tacoma. Seating arrangements of five or seven passengers will be available, all with fold flat loading floors.
The 2014 model will be available with the 2.5L I4 and the 1.6L I4 EcoBoost. Though Ford is not giving up the exact numbers, they are expecting a rating over 30 MPG highway.
Though based upon the utility van, the Transit Connect Wagon features many upper level features including MyFord Touch and a full-glass panoramic roof.
Ford expects sales to rise from their current 35,000 unit sales a year. Transit Connect Wagon sales start in Q4 2013 and will be imported from Spain with the utility van version.