New Ford even better connected with efficiency

Ford’s latest addition to its van range is all set to help businesses get better connected with efficiency.

The Transit Connect, already voted International Van of the Year for 2014, is arriving in showrooms - and driving straight to work for both large and small businesses.

The ability to tailor it to meet the precise requirements of many and varied commercial uses ensures the Connect will continue to have an important role to play in Ford’s expanding van range. Transit Custom and Transit Connect have now arrived to accompany Fiesta van but there’s still the Courier and big Transit to come by June.

For users, the essential, along with being a practical working tool, is that a van is easy to drive. Switching from a car to the workhorse van has to be straightforward and it would be difficult to find a van that’s more suited to car drivers than the Connect.

Not that this makes it a soft option when it comes to hard work. The L1 standard van will take two Euro pallets while the L2 will accommodate three and has a bulkhead designed to facilitate carrying 8x4 sheets.

The option of crew vans within the panel van body is accompanied by a clever bulkhead that can be placed at the back of the occupied seats - fold the rear seats into the floor and the bulkhead protects the cab. Put the seats in place and the bulkhead will sit behind the second row, sealing the load area for safety.

With three trim levels, Base, Trend, and Limited, it’s possible to specify as much equipment and style as users wish. Fleet owners may also appreciate the programmable speed limiters which increase not only driver safety but also fuel economy.

Engine choices embrace both petrol and diesel. Many drivers will be familiar with the TDCi range of Ford diesels - the technology appears in 1.6 litre format here with two power outputs - but the interesting and award-winning EcoBoost one litre petrol engine has great possibilities for cost control where the van will cover a smaller mileage and a diesel’s long-legged mile munching is not so important.

Certainly, urban users with an eye on their green credentials will favour the lack of particulates with the petrol option although there is a trade-off through a slightly raised CO2 figure.

Whichever Transit Connect appeals, it will feel great on the road. Even the base model gets electric front windows and an adjustable steering column - move up to the Trend and an eight way adjustable driver’s seat comes into the package while the Limited has a heated driver’s chair, too.

Get behind the wheel and you’ll see a fascia familiar to many Ford car drivers. The Transit Connect lets you forget you are in a van because the responsive engines, easy controls, and great visibility make life easy. Spending hours at the wheel is not a problem - in fact driving for work is a pleasure once more.