Ford has finally unveiled what could offer the best mix of practicality and economy on the market--the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon.

With seven seats and estimated highway mileage of 30 mpg, the Transit Connect is much more family-orientated this time around.

Beating its traditional minivan rivals on both efficiency and space, customers will be able to choose from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, or an efficient, punchy 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost unit.

The latter is expected to achieve 30 mpg on the highway--higher than other seven-passenger vehicles on the market. Both are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Connect models will also be offered in different sizes, with two wheelbase lengths, five- and seven-passenger interior layouts, and in XL, XLT and Titanium series levels.

The commercial-inspired design also offers a minimum 100 cubic feet of cargo space and a 1,200-pound payload--both greater than any other wagon on sale. Towing capacity is up to 2,000 pounds.

Ford hasn't held back on equipment levels either, with available options including a full glass panoramic roof, rear-view camera, 6.5-inch touchscreen display with navigation, and Ford's SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system. Leather, cloth or vinyl seats are available depending on the buyer's needs.

The company is hoping the new Transit Connect Wagon replicates--and eclipses--the success of the previous model, which sells at the rate of 35,000 units per year and has been embraced by taxi firms, businesses and individual owners.

As yet, Ford hasn't announced where the new Connect is to be built, nor whether an electric version will follow.

With improved practicality and a more car-like drive--not to mention 30 mpg potential--the figures alone suggest the new version could be even more popular.


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