The Ford Transit Connect is a medium sized, commercial van that is perfect for business van leasing. With Leasing Options, you can select various features to be added to your Ford Transit Connect van lease such as, a full steel bulkhead, glazed tailgate and a choice of colours for you to choose from for your van. The Transit Connect comes equipped with a full set of features including, electric front windows and a hill start assist.
It’ll take passengers as well as packages, deal with long loads in its stride and look after your life with its clever SYNC telemetry. In short, if you were shopping in this segment, you’d have to consider it.
The second generation design is now part of a four-model Transit line-up that includes the smaller Courier model and the larger Custom and fully-fledged Transit designs. In both the areas that matter - running costs and loadbay practicality - it is, on paper, best-in-class, with plenty of cargo bay permutations and technical hi-tech cleverness.
You don’t buy any van prioritising ride and handling but with Ford’s strong reputation in this department when it comes to passenger vehicles, then it’s fair to expect the Transit Connect to dynamically, be one of the class leaders. Which broadly, it is. Like any LCV, it handles better fully loaded, but even in the unladen state, cornering is predictable and bodyroll well controlled.
You don’t really realise just how much of an aesthetic step forward the second generation Transit Connect van represents until you see the model against its rather plain predecessor. What’s common between the two vehicles is a prioritisation of function over form and a boxy, practical look, but with the MK2 model, the front end is sleeker and smarter, it’s now a compact van of its time.
Inside, it’s of course very car-like, though in a practical, utilitarian sort of way. You view a clearly presented set of familiar Ford instruments through a four-spoke wheel that moves for both reach and rake. And you immediately appreciate a supportive driver’s seat that’s eight-way-adjustable on most models, making it easier to get comfortable than it would be in some competitors. The mobile phone-inspired centre console switchgear layout comes straight from the Fiesta and is relatively simply to use once you get used to the rather bewildering array of buttons and the fact that the infotainment screen at the top of the dash is a little small. On the positive side, the buttons are all quite large so you can operate them wearing work gloves. Build quality seems very strong and the wipe-clean plastics used appear tough and durable.
There’s decent cubby storage for the paraphernalia of everyday working life, including reasonably-sized door bins, plus two cupholders and a coin holder by the gearstick as well as a usefully deep bin further back where there are optional aux-in and iPod sockets. There’s also an overhead storage area I’d urge you not to use for heavier items – unless you want to open up the possibility of being clonked on the head the next time you do an emergency stop.
Probably the most important news though when it comes to the cab is the option the second generation model now offers to transport three people up-front, the kind of extended-width front passenger seat that you get in, for example, a rival Citroen Berlingo, there to offer an extra seating place right in front of the gearstick. It’d simply be for offering a colleague an emergency lift – or maybe dropping your kids off at school on the way to work. And very useful at that.
You’ll also want the centre middle seat option fitted to the Transit Connect if you’ve a mid or high-spec version fitted with the load-through hatch that enables longer items to be poked through from the loadbay, once you’ve pushed forward the main part of the ‘Fold & Drive’ front passenger seat into the footwell. You can, after all, fold down the backrest of the middle segment onto the seat base to function as a work table, complete with a couple of cupholders. And if you push forward the ‘Fold and Dive’ passenger seat into the footwell, there’ll be room on top for a decently-sized box.
Having properly established the compact van segment, this Connect model is at last in a proper position to further develop it, and from a properly established customer base. The Blue Oval brand has shifted over a million Connects worldwide since 2002, a design without which the company would have been unable to sustain around half a century of UK LCV market leadership.
With the second generation version, that commercial segment dominance looks set to continue. True, other rivals can rival its loadbay spaciousness but few can match the sheer versatility of this model’s design. Get the right variant and there’s space for three people up-front, room for astonishingly long items to be pushed through from the back and even the option of fork-lifting in a Euro pallet from the side.
When the original version of the Connect was first launched just after the turn of the century, we never could have imagined that one day, a compact van would be able to do all of these things. The thought of it would have been as ridiculous as imagining an LCV that could automatically alert the emergency services and deliver them to your exact location in the event of an accident.
Yet this Ford model line can now do all these things. Still an odd job van perhaps, but these days, a very clever one indeed.