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Ford Transit and Tourneo Connect are vans for every plan

20.03.2015

OVER the last decade or two, minivans have become larger, more luxurious and more expensive. Ford, on the other hand, is looking to change all that. Its new minivan is smaller with all the luxury amenities that you would expect and, most importantly, it’s more affordable.

What are you on about?

I’m talking about the all-new Ford Transit and Tourneo Connect. Ford is trying to mix it up a bit in the minivan segment; this is a minivan in the old-school style of minivan. It’s compact, able to carry lots of people and luggage or both. It has no pretentions of being a crossover or having any off-road abilities. Ford’s spacious and versatile new Tourneo Connect provides a smart, attractive and affordable people mover for families and motorists with an active lifestyle.

But I transport goods not people

Don’t worry… Ford has you covered. The new Connect comes in two different body styles. The Transit Connect, which is a panel van that offers businesses exceptional fuel economy, load carrying ability and durability, making it the perfect choice for large fleet operators and entrepreneurs. The Transit Connect was awarded the International Van of the Year for 2014, so it is a true trend-setter in this highly competitive market. The Transit Connect is available in two configurations, long-wheelbase panel van and Ambiente trim.

The Transit Connect offers a voluminous and practical load area with a total volume of 3 222 litres. It is capable of carrying a 1 000kg payload and has a maximum towing capacity of 1 200kg. A single powertrain is offered in the form of a 1.6 TDCi engine. This turbo diesel engine boasts 85kW of power and 285Nm of torque, giving it more than enough power for its working roles. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. What’s also interesting to note is that Ford put the new Transit Connect through very stringent development testing. It covered the equivalent of five million kilometres in gruelling testing, including at least 400 000km in tough real-world fleet conditions with Transit Connect users.

Okay, I’ve changed my mind, I transport many children

Well, Ford has you covered, once again. The Ford Tourneo Connect is aimed at the public and especially those looking for a comfortable, compact minivan. I find the Ford Tourneo to be rather stylish and eye-catching on the outside. Inside, however, it’s just as appealing by offering impressive flexibility from its versatile seating to a wide range of stowage options, so much in fact that you could probably misplace all the children. It is available with a choice of three specification levels and two wheelbase configurations. The Ambiente and Trend use the short-wheelbase five-seater, while the Titanium derivatives are based on the long-wheelbase Grand Tourneo Connect layout in either standard five-seat configuration or optional seven-seat form. The Grand Tourneo Connect offers fold-flat rear seating and dual sliding side doors. It offers a sliding third row of seats and it can easily carry items up to three metres long.

What about the engines?

A total of four well equipped models are offered in the range, starting with the 1.0 EcoBoost, which has been awarded the International Engine of the Year title for the last three years. The 1.0 EcoBoost Trend takes the equipment list up a notch, and is followed by the range-topping Titanium models, both in LWB Grand Tourneo Connect configuration. You have an option of a 1.6 TDCi (85kW/285Nm) and a 1.6 EcoBoost (110kW/240Nm), which is available with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Verdict

These new Fords offer customers the best of both worlds. The panel van derivatives offer those in the commercial sector an award-winning minivan and the Tourneo derivatives are jam-packed with luxury features and offer customers a practical advantage. Ford reckons the need for minivans is arriving. Based on the success internationally the minivan is expected to become a much bigger player in the future as buyers demand car-like levels of comfort, safety and luxury, complimented by practicality and manoeuvrability.

Services

Both the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect come standard with a 60 000km service plans (four-year for the diesel and three-year for the petrol), a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, five-year/unlimited kilometre corrosion warranty and three-year/unlimited kilometre roadside assistance.

Service intervals are 20 000km on the EcoBoost petrol models and 15 000km on the TDCi diesel derivatives.

 

Pricing:

Transit Connect panel Van: TDCi R272 900
Tourneo Connect SWB:  Ambiente R269 900
  Trend R279 000
Grand Tourneo Connect LWB:  Titanium TDCi R367 900
  Petrol auto R359 900

 

Article written by Justin Jacobs
20.03.2015
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