2019 Ford Transit Connect XLT Passenger Wagon

Connect with the passion
By Durhl Caussey, Epoch Times Contributor

Whether it’s boating, biking, gardening, or running a small business, if you are looking for a vehicle for any of those uses, the Transit Connect should be a strong inclination.

Transit Connect is available in two body styles: Passenger Wagon and Cargo Van. The Passenger Wagon is focused on moving people with three rows of seating, while the Cargo Van emphasizes on hauling cargo with flexible space configuration. Both are available with either a rear liftgate or swing-out rear cargo doors.

Epoch Times Photo
The rear liftgate. (Courtesy of Ford)

There are also two all-new engines for the 2019 Transit Connect line. The standard engine is a 2.0L GDI gasoline engine, but if you choose the Cargo Van models a class-exclusive 1.5L EcoBlue TC DI Diesel engine is also available. The XLT Passenger Wagon I drove with the 2.0L gasoline engine has a fuel economy of 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, for a 26-mpg combined average. Power is regulated through an 8-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.

Epoch Times Photo
Swing-out rear doors. (Courtesy of Ford)

Standard on the XLT Passenger Wagon is the class-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system that also includes Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking. Whether for business or pleasure, Transit Connect is a safe and smart move.

Transit Connect offers such innovative conveniences like a wireless charging pad that helps you keep your compatible device powered without the hassle of a cord. It is fully integrated with the redesigned center console control panel that is located just below the SYNC 3 touchscreen.

SYNC 3 is a voice-activated infotainment software system that provides integration with compatible smartphones — both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported. FordPass allows you to perform some basic functions remotely through your phone, such as reading its location, starting the engine, or unlocking the doors.

Audio volume adjustment and radio station changes are controlled by large knobs. Just below the radio is an open storage pocket that is handy to reach. However, this pocket also appears bottomless, making it difficult to retrieve items such as phones, keys, and coins. I had problems trying to retrieve the keys out of this pit.

Epoch Times Photo
The front dashboard of the Transit Connect Passenger Wagon. (Courtesy of Ford)

The cabin appears large and enveloping, with great outside visibility provided by a tall front glass and side windows. A greater distance from the tilt/telescopic steering wheel to the front glass adds to a better peripheral view.

Loading and unloading is easy with the low step-in height dual sliding side doors and a rear liftgate. The storage in the seat backs and the overhead storage areas provide additional space to keep things out of the way, but handy to retrieve.

The center console provides armrests, storage spaces, and 2 cup holders. Inside temperature is governed through dual-zone auto temperature control. Together with 6-way power-adjustable driver seat and 4-way passenger seat, the occupants are kept quite comfortable.

Transit Connect has the most available seating configurations in its class. A short and a long wheelbase configurations allow you to choose whether you want five, six, or seven passenger seats.

You have the choice of 2nd-row bucket seats with a convenient pass-through to the 3rd row, or a 2nd-row bench seat. The third-row seating is two individual seats instead of the common bench seats. It is easy to fold all the rear seats you need for large cargo. With the rear seats folded, a long wheelbase Passenger Wagon provides a cargo space of 106 cubic-feet, which can accommodate items up to 43.3 inches tall.

Admittedly, the clock on the touchscreen was not easy to read, and the rear camera lacked clarity and sharp focus. Otherwise everything was near perfect inside.

Body side molding, bumpers, door handles, doors and dual sliding doors, and liftgate door were painted Diffused Silver. This was complemented by the five-bar grille with chrome surround, fog lamps, and head lamps.

Power-adjustable, heated, manual fold exterior mirrors and rain-sensing wipers are very useful. They help promote safety, comfort, and quality good looks.

MSRP for the Transit Connect XLT Passenger Wagon is $28,480. The $2,310 XLT Premium Package adds features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Info System, and Passive Entry Start.

The Transit Connect was easy to drive, cornered superbly, and had sufficient horsepower. It is also the best and easiest vehicle I have ever experienced when it comes to loading and unloading. You will sit tall in the seat enjoying the modern, mid vehicle overhead console and great front and side viewing.

3-year/36,000-mile Bumper to Bumper Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Roadside Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.