Ford, Manufacturers, Road Test Reviews, Vehicles

2020 Ford Transit Connect Titanium Passenger Wagon – Road Test

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

Love or hate minivans, you have to admit they are the most underrated vehicle on the road today. They are far more adaptable and useful than every CUV/SUV, and looking at the interior numbers of the 2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon – it’s got more cargo and passenger room than the much larger Ford Explorer!

It hasn’t been that long since we last tested a Transit Connect, so why are we doing another road test? Practicality…I had to take the mother-in-law for a trip to visit relatives and I didn’t want to use her old car, and my Ranger has a hard time fitting 2 people in the front – never mind 3 adults! (The rear jump-seats are useless except for small children). To be honest, the Transit Connect is the perfect vehicle for this weeks’ journey.

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

What Is It?   

  • Small Minivan
  • Based on the now-defunct Focus, the Connect is an interesting replacement option for those with an open mind
  • Three available models: XL, XLT and Titanium – Test vehicle is the Titanium version
  • Across the board $3,000 price drop from last year!!
  • 0L GDI I-4 engine
  • 8-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with Auto Start-Stop Technology
  • Front-wheel Drive (FWD)
  • Choice of 5, 6 or 7-passenger seating (or cargo van) – we’re testing the 6-passenger version with Long Wheel Base (LWB) at 120.6″ (Standard Wheel Base (SWB) is 104.8″ )
  • Dual sliding side doors
  • Optional Trailer Tow Package: Class I trailer hitch receiver, trailer wiring module, 4-pin connector, and Sway Control and 2,000-LB. max. towing capacity
  • Comes with Ford Co-Pilot360 as standard

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

How Does It Look?

  • I really like the look of the Connect, and we saw plenty of heads turn from people passing by, so it’s getting attention from people of all age groups – not surprising because there just aren’t that many of them on the road, sadly.
  • It looks like a very big car, but not quite the size of the minivans as we’re accustomed to in North America
  • Looks quite different in the Arrest-Me-Red paint job

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

What’s It Like Inside?       

  • Climbing behind the wheel it’s always a surprise how HUGE that front window is! It’s like driving a small RV and we love it!
  • With the low dashboard and the giant window, there’s room for a large aircraft-style overhead storage console – you don’t realize it’s there until you climb into the rear seats and see it
  • Getting in and out is very easy, especially for the older crowd, as the seats are at a perfect height
  • The seats are almost comfortable – flat with no thigh bolsters – probably the worst part of the vehicle
  • The manual lumbar adjustment is either none or full. The lever is all you get and it doesn’t make a huge difference. I know Ford can do better here – it’s a sad attempt, especially in the Titanium version
  • The two-tone interior colour combination in the Titanium was very nice
  • The fixed panoramic Vista Roof makes it feel bright and airy, but unfortunately it doesn’t open
  • The 6.5” touchscreen sits high, but it’s TINY compared to newer vehicles with 9 and 11inch screens!!
  • Voice-activated Navigation System comes standard on Titanium
  • The Premium Audio System with 9 speakers is very good – far better than one would expect
  • Wireless Charging Pad for compatible mobile phones is conveniently located just under the audio controls
  • 2nd and 3rd row fold-flat bucket seats with armrest and theater-style seating
  • Two-Passenger 3rd Row Sliding Seats with Fold-Flat Feature are easy to fold
  • 3rd row seats slide fore and aft for increased storage or legroom – oddly enough, the 2nd row DON’T slide but do offer a recline feature
  • Long Wheel Base (LWB) models feature a flat load and can hold up to 106.0 cu. ft. of cargo that’s up to 85.6″ long [46.5” x 86”x 39.5 high]
  • Low load floor height (under 2”) makes it easy to pack up to 24.9 cu. ft. of cargo behind the 3rd row inside LWB models

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?

  • It’s surprisingly nimble and quick, but would never be considered sporty
  • Stomping on the accelerator, it’s fairly brisk getting up to highway speeds
  • The interior volume on the highway was very good and made driving the Connect a pleasant place to be
  • It’s a van, but it doesn’t act or drive like one. When my wife was selling at Ford she had the opportunity to do a “learn and drive” event where they took the long-tall version of the Connect through a test course – they were told to drive it like you would an Escape – pedal down, go! It turned out to be the highlight of her day (way better than a Sprinter van) … she just loves the Connect in all shapes and sizes!

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

Horsepower: 162 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 144 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
Top Speed: N/A
0 -100 km/h (sec): N/A

What Does It Cost? For up-to-date pricing in your region visit:  www.Ford.ca    or www.Ford.com

To Buy…

Base (XL) pricing starts at $30,705
Titanium base price: $36,078
As Tested: $41,550 (Employee Pricing knocks $3,250 off)
Panoramic fixed-glass Vista Roof – 1,750
QuickClear Electric Windshield Defroster – $260 (with a windshield this size the heated option is a must, but I’d hate to have to replace one)
Forward and Reverse Sensing Systems – $500
Trailer Tow Package – $425 – Class I trailer hitch receiver, trailer wiring module, 4-pin connector, and trailer sway control
Remote Start – $350 – use Ford Pass and you can start it using your phone and save the money, PLUS you won’t have an additional FOB to carry around

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

To Operate…

  • Rated at (L/100 km): City – 9.9 / Highway – 8.2
  • I averaged 8.4 L/100 km on mixed highway/country/town driving
  • Over the entire week, we averaged a consistent 9.1 L/100 kms

Warranty:

  • Basic: 3 years/60,000 km
  • Powertrain: 5 years/100,000 km
  • Roadside Assistance: 5 years/100,000 km

2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

The Competition

Mercedes-Benz Metris, Ram ProMaster City
 
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  • The Good: Looks good, drives surprisingly well and it can even tow 2,000 lbs (The Focus can’t tow at all)
  • The Bad: Folding / unfolding rear seats – even though you get a flat area, the seats still sit quite high off the floor and they’re not one solid surface so you can “lose” things down those spaces
  • The Ugly: When the rear seats are folded flat they create a perfect spot for stuff to wedge between the seat and rear door (see picture) and, in turn everything falls out when you open the door2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org

What’s The Verdict? 
The 2020 Ford Transit Connect Titanium Passenger Wagon is a great-looking van that’s just the perfect size – no need for one of those monster-size vans or even a CUV/SUV that is nowhere close to being as practical. The lower loading height and sliding rear doors are what sets it apart from the SUVs/CUVs that everyone seems obsessed with. How many times have you seen rugrats kick open the rear door and bash the neighbouring car? Sliding doors eliminate that – and they are far more practical. It’s definitely a minivan – it’s not pretending to be something it isn’t, unlike virtually every CUV. Do you know what would make it perfect? An EV and/or PHEV version – it probably wouldn’t even compromise anything in lost cargo volume either. C’mon Ford… set the bar even higher for others to follow!2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org 2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, Iain Shankland, Road-Test.org


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Text & Images: Iain Shankland