If you’re looking for information on a newer Ford Transit Connect, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Ford Transit Connect Review
The 2017 Ford Transit Connect Wagon is not the most conventional choice for a family runaround, but it does have an undeniable logic. It’s perfect for people 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 second-row or third-row seating, big side windows and generous cargo space all work in its favor. And it does all this at prices that can work within the limited budgets of most families.
What’s New for 2017?
The short-wheelbase version is now available in the top Titanium trim. The SYNC 3 infotainment system takes over from MyFord Touch. Cruise control and rear parking sensors become standard throughout the range. Roof rails are now standard on the XLT and Titanium versions. The previously optional turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is no longer offered. See the 2017 Ford Transit Connect for sale near you
What We Like
Small and nimble package; reasonably priced; two wheelbase lengths
What We Don’t
Lower trim levels are sparsely equipped; so-so fuel economy; no slide or recline function for the second-row seats
Propulsion comes from a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 169 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. This is linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission that sends drive to the front wheels only.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption at 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 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 liftgate. It’s offered with a short wheelbase (104.8 in) or a long wheelbase (120.6 in).
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.
XL ($26,690) comes only with the long wheelbase, along with three seating rows, power second-row windows, rear climate controls and rear parking sensors. Other equipment includes 16-in steel wheels, remote keyless entry, cruise control, power windows, air conditioning, vinyl upholstery and floor covering, tilt/telescope steering wheel, folding front passenger seat and an AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary input plus a couple of rear speakers.
XLT comes with either the short wheelbase ($26,695) or long wheelbase ($28,695). It has a self-dimming rearview mirror, fog lights, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, roof rails, 4.2-in driver information display with steering wheel controls, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth upholstery, cruise control, CD player, four speakers at the front, Ford MyKey with programmable usage restrictions, voice control, rearview camera and an upgraded driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment. But there are no rear climate controls with the short-wheelbase XLT.
Titanium, available as a short-wheelbase ($29,230) or long-wheelbase model ($31,320), brings 16-inch alloy wheels, adaptive fog lights, power-folding side mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, separate manual rear climate controls, SYNC voice command functionality, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a 6.5-in touchscreen.
Some of the higher-end standard features are available as options on lesser models. Other options — depending on trim and configuration — include navigation, 17-in alloy wheels, fixed panoramic sunroof, satellite/HD radio and front parking sensors.
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.
Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, hill start assist, 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, where it 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 (IIHS).
Behind the Wheel
The Transit Connect Wagon’s dashboard consists of no-nonsense materials and its tidy control layout is similar to the Focus. Equipment levels range from sparse in the XL to almost lavish in the Titanium, which provides many convenience 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 feels agile and composed. Some bigger road bumps will be felt and heard in the cabin, though.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger Van — Bigger and more expensive, but still a useful, well-judged size and perfectly capable. Provides seating for eight.
2017 Ram ProMaster City — Also based on a European van, with decent power. No option for a third row, though.
Used Toyota Sienna — Spacious, comfortable and more family-friendly. It’s also the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive.
If someone is thinking of splashing out for the Titanium version, then take a step back and look at something like the Honda Odyssey. The XL, on the other hand, seems a bit too rough and ready. So that leaves the XLT as the smartest choice.