The Van’s Headlights: Ford Transit Connect

Andy Picton | 18 Nov 2020

About the author

Andy Picton

Chief Commercial Vehicle Editor

Having worked previously for Barclays Asset Finance and LeasePlan in the commercial vehicle sector, Andy joined Glass’s in 2002 as part of the Commercial Vehicle team working closely with manufacturers, leasing and insurance companies, traders, dealers and auction houses. He was promoted to Chief Commercial Vehicle Editor in 2016 and manages our industry-leading team of valuation experts. He loves football, music and commercial vehicles.

Ford Transit Connect

The Van’s Headlights

The current strength of the used LCV wholesale market is undeniable. The number of vehicles sold is up 26.7% on this time last year, whilst used LCV values are also up 22.8% over the same period. At the auctions, 88.5% of vehicles, sold at the first time of asking.

Vehicle production is still not back to pre-pandemic levels. With the lack of supply, there is a diminishing level of stock at dealerships. This has led to fewer de-fleets, with many fleets choosing to extend leases. This is resulting in a surge in demand for used light commercial vehicles (LCVs), especially with the UK population shifting consumer shopping activity from the high street to online retail.

In this month’s edition of The Van’s Headlights, the team consider the merits of the Ford Transit Connect Limited 240 1.5EcoBlue 120PS s/s Euro 6 L2 van (2018 – ).

2018 Ford transit connect limited L2 front side view

The Ford Transit Connect

Developed by Ford of Europe, the Ford Transit Connect van range launched in 2002. Replacing the Ford Escort Van and Ford Courier van ranges which ceased production the same year, the Connect has been in constant production ever since.

Initially built on the C170 Ford Focus platform and assembled in Gölcük, near Kocaeli, Turkey by Otosan, an automotive manufacturing company owned equally by Ford and Koç Holdings AS.

Originally available as a 4,278mm short-wheelbase (SWB) and 4,555mm long-wheelbase (LWB) van, the Transit Connect was offered with the following drivetrains

  • 1.8-litre petrol
  • LPG/Bi-fuel conversion,
  • 1.8TDdi diesel with a 75PS output.

From 2005, a more refined and powerful 1.8TDCi common rail diesel engine with 90PS was added to the range. L and LX trim levels were available at launch in the UK and were supported by a 3-year/60,000 mile warranty. In the second half of 2006, a more powerful 110PS diesel variant was added to the range.

To enhance the appeal, the Transit Connect was given a mid-cycle facelift in 2009, with a higher level of specification. Externally, a new deeper set front bumper and grille were added, whilst a new dashboard was incorporated in the cabin. At the same time, the Connect launched in North America immediately winning the ‘North American Truck of the Year 2010’. A Sport van was introduced in the UK in 2011, along with the short-lived Connect Electric van converted by Azure Dynamics.

The second generation of the Ford Transit Connect launched in 2013. Again built in Turkey, it was available with a Euro 6 compliant EcoBoost 1.0-litre petrol engine or Euro 5 compliant 1.6-litre diesel engine, with outputs of 75PS, 95PS or 115PS. To appeal to a greater audience, the Connect was made available in four different trim levels, Base, Trend, Limited and Sport. Two lengths were again available, with a ‘Double Cab-In-Van’ also part of the range.

A fully Euro 6 compliant 1.5TDCi diesel engine was introduced during the first quarter of 2016. As part of this launch, Ford added a new 8-speed PowerShift automatic transmission to the range with outputs of 100PS and 120PS.

A mid-cycle facelift was introduced in 2018, incorporating the latest Ford design DNA. A three-bar grille, slimmer headlamps, a more aerodynamic lower fascia and front spoiler gave a fresh new look. Additionally, an all-new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine was introduced with outputs of 75PS, 100PS and 120PS. A comprehensive range of driver assistance features including an Intelligent Speed Limiter with automatic vehicle speed adjustment to remain within maximum legal limits, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection emergency braking system, Side Wind Stabilisation, Active Park Assist and Ford’s Sync 3 voice and navigation system were also introduced.

In late 2019 a Euro 6d-Temp range launched, followed in October this year with the launch of fully compliant WLTP Transit Connect models. The range was enhanced further at this time with the launch of the all-new Active and MS-RT trim levels.

Something for everyone

Andy Picton, Glass’s Chief Commercial Vehicle Editor recommends the Ford Transit Connect as “the ‘go-to’ van for thousands of operators in the UK. This extremely capable light van is offered in two lengths as a panel van and a Double Cab-In-Van. Multiple trim specifications and engine outputs make it an ideal proposition for both fleets and sole traders alike.”

Andy added, “The Connect operates in a congested market sector, but benefits from a loyal following in both the new and used market, with buyers attracted to its strong brand and competitive pricing. Buyers of a Transit Connect also benefit from Ford’s strong Transit dealer network”.

Ford Transit Connect Limited 240 1.5EcoBlue 120PS s/s Euro 6 L2 van (2018 – )

The Ford Transit Connect range

  • Petrol and diesel engines
  • One body style
  • Two lengths
  • Panel van and Double Cab-In-Van
  • 6-speed manual transmission and 8-speed automatic gearbox
  • Four trim levels – Leader, Trend, Limited and Sport
  • Euro 6 engine line up

A high level of standard specification featured in the Transit Connect and included a reach and rake steering wheel, DAB radio with USB and Bluetooth, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist, drivers airbag, 16” steel wheels, slimline full steel bulkhead (van only), immobiliser, remote central/double locking, auto start/stop and EcoSelect function.

2018 Ford transit connect limited interior

Additionally, the recommended 2018 Transit Connect Limited 240 L2 model added a plethora of additional equipment as standard. This included; front fog lights, 16” alloy wheels, body-coloured front and rear bumpers, side mouldings, wing mirrors and handles, drivers 8-way adjustable seat, heated drivers and passenger seat, electric, heated and folding wing mirrors, DAB radio with USB, Bluetooth and 4.2” TFT screen,  Quickclear heated windscreen, electric front windows, manual air conditioning, leather steering wheel, rear parking sensors, cruise control, auto wipers and headlamps, adjustable speed limiter, keyless start, second remote key and perimeter alarm.

2018 Ford transit connect limited L2 van
Ford transit connect dimensions table
2018 Ford Transit connect pros and cons table

Glass’s recommendation

Ford Transit Connect Limited 240 1.5EcoBlue 120PS s/s Euro 6 L2 van

Registration Plate: 2018/18

Mileage: 31,000 miles

Glass’s Trade £12,600 Excl VAT

Glass’s Retail £13,750 Excl VAT

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