The Connect is available in three trim levels; Base, Trend and Limited, with prices for the panel van range starting at £13,921 and rising to £18,021, excluding VAT.

Ford claimed it is offering savings of up to 7% on the new light vans compared to the outgoing models.

The Transit Connect is the latest van to come to market in the manufacturer’s lcv product renewal cycle, following the launch of the medium-sized Transit Custom late last year. It precedes the compact Transit Courier and two-tonne Transit, which will arrive in 2014.

Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe’s vice-president product development, said: “Ford has taken the toughness and dependability of the current Transit Connect, made considerable improvements to the fuel efficiency, added smart new loadspace features, and delivered a dynamic new style.”

Available in single, double cab and Kombi bodystyles with short-wheelbase (L1) and long-wheelbase (L2) versions, the Connect offers load  volumes of 2.9m3 and 3.6m3 with a full bulkhead, or 3.7m3 and 4.4m3 including the front loadspace area. Payloads go up to 1,000kg, which Ford claimed  matches the best in class figures.

A load-through hatch in the bulkhead and fold-flat passenger seat enable long loads of up to 3.0m (L1) and 3.4m (L2) to be carried in the vehicle. In addition, a multi-fold dual passenger seat now allows van models to carry up to three people in the cab. With a width between the wheelarches of 1,226mm, both wheelbases can accommodate two Europallets in the load area.

Ford said the new Connect delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency, with the Econetic model capable of 70.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km when fitted with a fixed 62mph speed limiter – a 34% improvement over the current model.

The Connect is the first lcv from the blue oval up for grabs with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, which has official fuel  economy of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 129g/km.

Ford Econetic technologies such as Auto-Start-Stop and Active Grille Shutter, help to minimise fuel consumption on selected models. The full engine line-up comprises the Dagenham-built 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine with a choice of 75, 95 and 115hp power outputs and the 1.0-litre 100hp EcoBoost petrol unit.