2010 Ford Transit Connect - media event in NYC, May 2009Enlarge Photo
As we've written several times, we like the idea of the 2010 Ford Transit Connect: A small, fuel-efficient van for use in urban areas or where a full-size delivery van isn't needed.
It's meant for smaller, lighter loads where a full-size van would be overkill. Think your local florist or deli, not a stone supply yard.
With fuel economy rated at 22 mpg city / 25 mpg highway, the Transit Connect does far better than Ford's best Econoline E-150 full-size van, whose 225-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 returns just 14 mpg city / 18 mpg highway.
Now we've had a chance to drive it through the challenging streets of New York City, where its compact size should appeal to many merchants. We have to say, if this is what delivery drivers have to look forward to ... bring it on!
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is powered by a 136-horsepower, 2.0-liter Duratec engine, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. For easy urban maneuverability, the turning circle is 39 feet curb to curb.
The payload is 1,600 pounds, and there's 135 cubic feet of cargo space (twice the 63 cubic feet in the 2009 Chevrolet HHR Panel van). The load bay is 6 feet long, 5 feet high, and 4 feet wide between the rear wheel arches. Gross vehicle weight is just over 5,000 pounds.
The options list is fairly short, including Roll Stability Control, rear doors that open at an extra-wide 255-degree angle, Nokia BlueTooth connectivity, and an engine-block heater for cold climates. There's also the suite of Ford Works Solutions tools, including an in-dash computer and the in-vehicle Tool Link system to keep track of tools and other items items fitted with RFID tags.