Ford has just announced an update to its 7-passenger people mover, the Transit Connect Wagon. Generally, such large vehicles aren't know for their stellar fuel efficiency, but the automaker is looking to break that trend with this 30 mpg (7.8 l/100km) vehicle.
While fuel efficient, the Transit Connect should also prove effective at getting things done. It comes with seats that fold completely flat, opening up around 100 cubic feet (2.83 cubic meters) of cargo space. It also has a 1,200-pound (544.3 kg) payload, and can tow up to 2,000 pounds (907 kg), which actually rivals the capacity of some small pickup trucks.
With the seats in their upright position, it can comfortably fit five or seven people, depending on the wheelbase configuration. After all, Ford is dubbing this new van as a people mover, so it needs room for, well ... people.
The Transit Connect has plenty of options available, such as a panoramic moon roof, rear view camera, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen equipped with a navigation system and Ford's SYNC voice-activated communication and entertainment system. The interior is available in the buyer's choice of cloth, leather, and more durable vinyl, depending on what the vehicle's intended use.
As far as the engine goes, Ford is offering the new Transit Connect with two different four-cylinder options, both of which are outfitted with a six-speed automatic transmission. The first option is a 2.5-liter engine, while the second has a displacement of 1.6 liters. The smaller engine is the one that is claimed to deliver 30 mpg.
The original Transit Connect has seen some success in terms of commercial use, selling at a rate of 35,000 units per year. Ford is aiming the new version at the general car buyer, although it isn't forgetting about the commercial use that made the vehicle a success in the first place.
The automaker expects its new Transit Connect to be available in North American dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2013. Ford has yet to release final pricing information, but the current model has a base MSRP of US$22,265, and we presume the new one, with its larger suite of options, will cost slightly more.