From Russia with love for Transit Connect

The all-new Ford Transit Connect has been named “International Van of the Year 2014” at the COMTRANS commercial vehicle exhibition in Moscow as Ford becomes the first single manufacturer to win the award for two consecutive years.

 Ford registered a record-equalling fifth “International Van of the Year” victory after the jury of 24 European specialist journalists awarded the Transit Connect 130 points from a maximum possible 163 to put it ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (123) and Renault Kangoo (25).

The award for the all-new Transit Connect follows previous successes for the Transit (2001), Transit Connect (2003), Transit (2007) and Transit Custom (2013).

 The Transit Connect offers van operators class-leading fuel economy, load carrying ability and durability, with the ECOnetic model delivering 70.6 mpg and possible CO2 emissions as low as 105g/km – a 34 per cent improvement versus the current model. The highly fuel-efficient 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine also offers class-leading petrol economy.

Available in Van, Double-Cab-in-Van and Kombi bodystyles, the Transit Connect also offers a spacious and practical load area with total volumes of 2.9m3 and 3.6m3 with a full bulkhead while maximum payloads of up to 1,000kg match the best in class figure.

“The all-new Transit Connect impressed the jury on a number of fronts, and above all by the fact Ford has succeeded in building a light van with a strong accent on economics – the vehicle is a good answer to the needs of small operators as well as big fleets to reduce the cost of transport of goods,” said Pieter Wieman, chairman of the “International Van of the Year” jury.

“The loading space offers several innovative aspects such as load-through hatch in the bulkhead, fold-up front passenger seat and a sliding side door in the long-wheelbase model which enables a Europallet to be loaded,” Wieman said. “Ford has also paid a lot of attention to durability and safety, subjecting the van to commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, and being first in its class to offer features like Active City Stop.”