2018 Ford Transit Connect Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Ford Transit Connect sees a few minor changes in the option selection compared to last year, but is otherwise completely unchanged. The Transit Connect was last redesigned for the 2014 model year, making this a relatively long-running vehicle. It is based on the same architecture as the Ford Focus, making it likely that the two will see a refresh at the same time.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Ford Transit Connect – The Pros
1. Easy to Drive
For a van, the 2018 Ford Transit Connect is an incredibly responsive and controlled in its driving habits. Because it is built on a unibody compact car platform, rather than a more conventional body-on-frame van design, it feels very car-like it its behavior on the road. That means a good turn radius, precise steering and a limited amount of body roll. Few other vans can boast that.
2. Variety of Models
The 2018 Ford Transit Connect is a very versatile vehicle, available in a dizzying array of different styles and configurations. Buyers can pick between a more cargo-oriented Van model or a passenger Wagon model, each of which is available in a long-wheelbase and a short-wheelbase configuration. It is available with either rear doors or a hatchback opening, as well as a slew of other configuration options, making designing your own perfect vehicle an easy task.
3. Car-like Exterior
Despite its obvious van nature, the 2018 Ford Transit Connect actually manages to look modern and refined from the outside. There is no hiding the large cabin area, but it is contained with rounded corners, smooth lines and tasteful accents. From the front, it is easy to mistake it for one of Ford’s passenger vehicles, and it is far better looking than many of its competitors.
4. Comfortable Cabin
Whichever of the configurations of the 2018 Ford Transit Connect you end up driving, both you and your passengers will find sitting in the car to be a very pleasant experience. The seats are nicely cushioned and provide plenty of support, and the second and third row are very versatile. They can be folded down and even slide forward and back, allowing you to maximize space depending on your passengers.
5. Seating for Seven
The long-wheelbase model of the Transit Connect Wagon has three rows of seating, which places it squarely in contention with many vehicles much larger and much more expensive. There is a lot of room for all of these passengers as well, thanks to the large cabin. If you are after a vehicle that will let you transport a lot of people at once, this may be a very viable alternative.
6. Tons of Head Room
The tall cabin of the Transit Connect offers a very unique advantage - there is plenty of headroom for even the tallest people inside the vehicle. The high ceiling allows the car to have an upright seating position while still accommodating very tall drivers and passengers. Those who find themselves lamenting their truck or minivan’s low ceiling should give this car a try.
7. Quiet Ride
For a commercial vehicle, the Transit Connect is surprisingly quiet and nicely insulated from road noise. This is because it shares much of its design with Ford’s more mass-market vehicles, such as the Ford C-Max. It is certainly quieter than many of the other small vans against which the Transit Connect competes.
8. Low Ride Height
As has already been mentioned, the 2018 Ford Transit Connect is built on a passenger-car platform. One of the advantages of that is that it rides much lower to the ground than other vans. That makes it easy for passengers to get in and out of the Wagon model, as well as providing a low loading floor for the commercial Van model, making life easier for everyone.
9. Tow Package
Adding even further to the Transit Connect’s versatility is the optional Tow Package. When equipped with it, the Transit Connect can tow up to 2,000 pounds, which matches many compact and mid-size crossover SUVs. This expands its utility for small businesses, as well as adding another potential use for buyers planning to use it as a family vehicle.
10. Top Safety Score
The 2018 Ford Transit Connect does very well when it comes to crash testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the government agency tasked with testing cars’ crashworthiness, has given the Transit Connect five stars for overall safety, out of the five maximum. That makes the Transit Connect a good choice for families, and adds a little extra peace of mind for commercial drivers driving one as well.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Ford Transit Connect – The Cons
1. Low Payload Rating
Compared to some industry rivals, the Transit Connect can’t haul as much. It has a maximum payload of just 1,270 pounds, which is below average for commercial vans. Buyers looking to transport a lot of heavy things may find the Transit Connect limited in its abilities.
2. Cheap Materials
The Transit Connect does a lot to look nice and offer a comfortable interior, but its priorities as a commercial vehicle are clear from its materials selection. Cheap, hard plastics and metal are all around, and there are few soft touch areas. Drivers looking for nicer materials might be better off checking out traditional minivans instead.
3. No Active Safety Options
The Transit Connect does well in crash testing, but it is missing some of the more modern safety technologies. While it can be optioned with a rearview camera, there is no blind spot monitoring or collision detection, much less automatic braking or dynamic cruise control.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
The competitors for the 2018 Ford Transit Connect are the other small cargo and passenger vans, such as the Ram ProMaster City or the Nissan NV200. The Ram ProMaster City offers a little more standard feature and more engine power, but it is far less attractive than the Transit Connect and has less payload capacity. The Nissan NV200 is the cheapest option of the three vehicles, but it is a lot slower and clumsier to drive and does not offer a passenger version like the Ram and Ford models do.
The 2018 Ford Transit Connect is a very versatile vehicle that has a lot to offer to many different times of drivers. It’s flexibility makes it easy to tailor it specifically to the task you plan on using it for, whether it is your business, some light-duty hauling or as a people carrier for the whole family. If you see the need for a car that can do any of the above, be sure to take a look at the Transit Connect, as it might just offer exactly what you are after.
• Why buy a 2017 Ford Transit Connect? w/ pros vs cons