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2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader May 2016

The 2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon is perfect for families who want something more practical than a crossover SUV and more maneuverable than a minivan. Whether it's the school run or the holiday-weekend road trip, the Transit Connect Wagon's 2-row or 3-row seating, big side windows and generous cargo space make it an ideal traveling companion. And it does all this at prices that can work within the limited budgets of most families.

What's New for 2016?

In the range-topping Titanium trim, fold-flat bucket seats in the second row are standard. Panther Black exterior paint is replaced by Shadow Black. Options now include 17-inch alloy wheels, a blind spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert and a 6-way power adjustable driver's seat in the midlevel XLT trim. A perimeter alarm system also comes with the optional remote-starting feature.

What We Like

Small and nimble package; reasonably priced; two wheelbase lengths

What We Don't

Lower trim levels are sparsely equipped; bigger engine not available with the longer wheelbase; base engine's so-so fuel economy; no slide or recline function for the second-row seats

How Much?

$26,295-$30,295

Fuel Economy

All models employ a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

The standard engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 169 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined.

A turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is also available in the short-wheelbase version. This engine generates 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon is a passenger vehicle based on the Transit Connect cargo van with full windows all around, dual sliding side doors and a choice of rear cargo doors or a lift gate. It's offered with a short wheelbase (104.8 inches) or a long wheelbase (120.6 inches).

The short-wheelbase Wagon has five seats, while the long-wheelbase Wagon adds a third seating row for 7-passenger capacity. Both the second-row and third-row seats fold flat and can be removed.

The XL ($26,295) comes only with the long wheelbase, along with three seating rows, power second-row windows and rear climate controls. Other features include 16-in steel wheels, remote keyless entry, power windows, air conditioning, vinyl upholstery and floor covering, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel and a folding front passenger seat, as well as an AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary input, plus a couple of rear speakers.

The XLT comes with either the short wheelbase ($25,820) or long wheelbase ($27,820). It has power heated mirrors, fog lights, a 4.2-in driver information display with steering-wheel controls, cloth upholstery, cruise control, a CD player and an upgraded driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment. But there are no rear climate controls with the short-wheelbase XLT.

The Titanium ($30,295) is only available as a long-wheelbase version. It brings 16-in alloy wheels, adaptive fog lights, automatic wipers, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 6-way power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic front climate control, separate manual rear climate controls, SYNC voice command functionality and a rearview camera.

Some of the higher-end standard features are available as options on lesser models. Other options, depending on trim and configuration, include MyFord Touch (which adds a 6.5-in touchscreen with navigation), 17-in alloy wheels, a fixed panoramic sunroof, satellite radio/HD Radio, front and rear parking sensors and Ford MyKey with programmable usage restrictions.

When the second-row seats in the short-wheelbase version are folded down, cargo space measures 77.1 cu ft. If the seats are in place, there's still a considerable 46.9 cu ft.

Long-wheelbase versions can accommodate 104.2 cu ft. of cargo space behind the front seats. Behind the second row, it's 58.9 cu ft. With the third row set as far forward as it will go, there's 19.8 cu ft.; when it's moved back as far as possible for legroom, there's 15.7 cu ft.

Safety

Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags for each seating row. Ford's Curve Control is also standard -- this feature is essentially a more sophisticated form of stability control that can cut engine power and apply the brakes automatically if necessary.

In government crash tests, the Transit Connect Wagon received an impressive five stars out of five overall, including four stars for front impacts and five stars for side impacts. It hasn't been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Behind the Wheel

The Transit Connect Wagon's dashboard consists of no-nonsense materials, and its tidy control layout is similar to the Focus and Escape. Equipment levels range from sparse in the XL to almost lavish in the Titanium, which provides many convenient features for family-minded buyers. The second and third rows of seats have sensible contours, and the tall roof means plenty of headroom.

Ride and handling feel agile and composed. The 1.6-liter turbo is both punchier and more efficient than the base 2.5, yet the difference isn't significant. The turbo has more low-end thrust, but if the requirement of the longer-wheelbase version means sticking with the 2.5, it's really not an issue.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger Van -- The Metris is bigger and more expensive, but it's still of a useful, well-judged size and perfectly capable. It provides seating for eight.

2016 RAM ProMaster City -- The ProMaster City is also based on a European van and provides decent power. There's no option for a third row, though.

Used Toyota Sienna -- The Sienna is spacious, comfortable and more family-friendly. It's also the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive.

Autotrader's Advice

It all depends on your budget and needs, but there are plenty of variables to please buyers, so you should definitely make this a vehicle to consider.

Find a Ford Transit Connect Wagon for sale

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Used 2016 Ford Transit Connect XL Long Wheel Base
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon: New Car Review - Autotrader