Phenomenal interior space and cargo-carrying ability is what makes the Transit Connect unlike any other vehicle in the U.S. market. It features 135 cubic feet of cargo volume--including more than 59 inches of floor-to-ceiling load height inside and nearly 73 inches of load width. Split cargo doors in back open up to 255 degrees to aid loading, and cargo weight capacity is an able 1,600 pounds.
The Transit Connect promises to drive like a car and has a 39-foot curb-to-curb turning circle. At just 180 inches long, its parking footprint is smaller than that of a mid-size sedan. Underneath, the suspension combines the MacPherson strut front suspension of a car with the load-carrying rear suspension of a cargo van; the combination of leaf springs and a stabilizer bar helps accommodate heavy loads.
Inside, the Transit Connect's driver's seat is 6-way adjustable and comes with an armrest. The steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach. A standard center console has twin storage bins and cupholders, and there's space for overhead storage. Air conditioning and a 2-speaker radio are standard across the model line. The XLT model adds many of the convenience features of passenger vehicles, including cruise control, remote keyless entry, power windows and locks, heated mirrors and a CD sound system with auxiliary input.
Ford will offer a wide range of accessories and special configurations of the Transit Connect to suit various commercial purposes. Possibilities include a panel-van version or a wagon version with a folding second-row bench seat. All versions come with sliding side doors. The available Ford Work Solutions system helps those who take work on the road with them with navigation and messaging, while Tool Link attaches radio-identification tags to make sure tools aren't left at a worksite. There's also Crew Chief, a tool to help companies with large fleets monitor their vehicles.
Most notable is the addition of an all-electric version for 2011, which Ford says is "perfect for fleet vehicle owners who have well-defined routes of predictable distances and a central location for daily charging." With an 80-mile range and a top speed of 75 mph, it's a "green" alternative that requires fuel, aside from an estimated 6-8 hours of charging time.