2019 Transit Connect Cargo - Carry Big Things in a Small Package

2019 Transit Connect Cargo - Carry Big Things in a Small Package


So this review is a little out of the ordinary for SVTP, but weird is fun so here we are. A few weeks ago, one of our contacts at Ford called us up and said he had something different for us to try. He happens to know that I've been itching to get my hands on a 2020 Ford Transit Connect with the new 1.5L Diesel engine. While those are quite available to the public just yet, he thought I might enjoy the 2019 Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van you see here. He was correct.


Open WIDE. You can stack about 1,500 pounds of cargo in this little van.

I have to admit, this little truck was the first panel/cargo van that I ever had the opportunity to spend much time with. I've always been more of a 'truck' guy. The first thing I noticed is that the lack of rear side windows made me change the way I drive. I was accustomed to giving a quick glance over my shoulder to check the blind spots. Well you're not going to be doing that in a panel van. Fortunately, Ford installs really good side view mirrors on the transit connect. Our test van had the standard mirrors and they provided excellent coverage. Optional larger tow mirrors are available as well, so I would expect them to be even better.


I love integrated spotter mirrors. Every new Ford should have them.

The biggest standout feature is certainly the cargo area, that's why you're buying a van like this in the first place. It has a vinyl floor that someone sprayed some insanely slick cleaner on, and some super handy tie-down loops. Other than that, it's basically a big empty box. It's up to you to outfit it as you see fit for your purposes. I will say that I was surprised by how little road noise makes its way into the cabin. You would think this thing would reverberate like a tin can, but it doesn't. Ford's NVH engineers did a really good job isolating the driver from annoying sounds. We didn't get the chance to haul very much in the cargo area, but what little we did load in was made simpler by the barn-style rear doors and low floor height. I can see this little van being very popular with a variety of businesses.

Check out our full video review.

Another area that I'm happy to see Ford giving more attention to is styling and equipment/features. Yes, I know it's a van. However, the latest frontend refresh makes the little red van look much more sporty (no one will ever say that about the E-Series). Our test van was an XLT model, and I was really surprised to see that Ford is now installing the 'good' projector beam headlights on more midrange models. That is definitely a welcome change. You also get a nice Nav screen with Sync 3, an info screen in the dash, and an inductive charging slot for your mobile devices built into the dash. I also liked some of the cleaver productivity features that were added like the overhead storage bin, and the passenger seat back tray/desk. It all adds up to a comfortable little van that make you some cash while still looking decent.


With the inductive charging port your wireless devices can be truly wireless.

It's also a pleasure to drive, which is not something you would say about vans of the past. The Transit Connect has driving dynamics very similar to that of a Ford Focus. From a performance standpoint you're not going to set the world on fire, but you're also not going to suffer with a harsh ride or sloppy steering. It rides and drives very much like a modern small car. One exception there through would have to be the brakes. This thing had some seriously impressive braking performance. I suppose Ford over built the binders in anticipation of owners loading the cargo area with a 1/2 ton of stuff, but empty this thing will launch loose object through the windshield. And speaking of windshield, for you guys in colder climates the windshield was fitted with an optional quick-defrosting heater grid. Being Spring in SC I didn't get to test that feature, but I can certainly see that being appreciated.


These fine wires built into the windshield heat up and defrost the glass on frosty mornings.

One of the biggest reasons Ford has been pivoting away some the old E-Series vans and toward the Transit Connect and larger Full-Size Transit over the past several years is fuel economy. The E-Series delivers the kind of mileage that wasn't really even acceptable in the early 2000s. Those things are still being built 2V 6.8L V10s if that tells you anything (Godzilla can't get here quick enough). Juxtapose that with the Transit Connect's 2.0L DI I-4 (162HP and 144TQ) and 8-Speed SelectShift Auto. We were seeing around 30MPG in slower speed steady driving and mid-20s in city traffic. While it probably won't win many drag races, the powertrain was decently peppy around town. I really wish this van was available with a Focus ST drivetrain, that would make work a little more fun.


The tray on the passenger seat back would be a great place for a laptop.

And that brings me to my final thoughts on this little red van. I am not the target purchaser for this kind of vehicle, but despite that I ended up really liking it. If I had a need for one I'd definitely shop the Transit Connect Cargo. However, what I'm really interested in trying it the Transit Connect Wagon (passenger version) with the soon to be released 1.5L I-4 Diesel engine. I expect that thing to knock down some serious mileage and be fairly responsive to mods. That would be the perfect platform to do a little stealth urban camping in. Needless to say, I've already put in my request to test one; so plan on seeing that review some time later this year. All I can say is that Ford's 'Little Van that Could' is very popular, and I now understand why.


It's great to see the Ford is offering contour molded tray-style rubber floormats. There are a must have option near the beach (sand everywhere).


Another handy storage solution is this built in tray in the seat base. I can see this getting filled with ink sticks and loose change.


For a cargo van, this is not a bad looking vehicle.


See that little blank port? That is where the DEF fill will be located on the diesel models.

We had a 2010 Connect for a parts delivery van and it was absolutely perfect for what it was meant for. We have a full size Transit now but they both have their purpose.
Nice review. I retire in 3 years, and am looking to probably order a 2020 Transit 250 LWB High Roof maybe -EL to convert to a Stealth camper. It's my opinion that the transit is way better overall, than either the Sprinter or ProMaster. And yes, my DD is an RS...
Nice review. I retire in 3 years, and am looking to probably order a 2020 Transit 250 LWB High Roof maybe -EL to convert to a Stealth camper. It's my opinion that the transit is way better overall, than either the Sprinter or ProMaster. And yes, my DD is an RS...

The Transit is getting AWD too.

There any interest in us doing a sorta stealth camper build here on SVTP?

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