Ford Transit Connect Limited (2018) review

Date: Friday, February 15, 2019   |   Author: Tony Rock

On Sale: September 2018
Key Rival: Vauxhall Combo

Ford revised the Transit Connect last year with changes that included a new-look face, reduced aerodynamic drag, and a reworked cabin.

There’s also see a new 1.5-litre Ecoblue diesel engine at 75hp, 100hp or 120hp, plus a new version of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine offering 100hp. Spec options start at Base, move on through Trend and Limited and will eventually end with a Sport variant.

We’ve already tried the 100hp mid-spec Trend in an extensive What Van? Road Test (you can read it here) and now it’s the turn of the 120hp top-spec Limited model.

Load bay

Both were the long-wheelbase (L2) versions, offering a very useable 3.6m3 of load space, as opposed to the 2.9m3 cargo box in the SWB (L1). Access to the back is via twin rear doors, which can be swung through 90° or 180°, and a sliding nearside door. A full-height steel bulkhead is fitted.

Interior and equipment

Additional exterior kit over Trend spec includes 16-inch 5x2-spoke alloy wheels, body-colour side mouldings, door handles and mirrors, auto headlights and rain-sensing wipers, and rear parking sensors, while on the inside there’s manual aircon, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter, heated seats, and a multi-function leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Of course, there’s a penalty for the 20hp of extra power in terms of fuel efficiency (60.1mpg vs 56.5mpg) and CO2 (123g/km vs 130g/km), but the step up in spec also means you also lose a handful of kilogrammes of payload too (695kg vs 689kg).

Our test van came with some interesting optional extras, including a wireless charging pad (£114) located beneath the satnav screen but that only works with compatible smartphones, the Ford Sync 3 system that controls your phone, music and satnav (£936), and FordPass Connect (£276), which is both a modem that creates an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot and an app that, among other features, allows you to locate your misplaced parked vehicle.

The option that actually attracted the most external attention was the metallic paint job called Diffused Silver on our test car (and not pictured here), which cost £360 and received a very positive response.

There are ample in-cab storage sites to be found: above the screen, within the dash and in the doors, as well as in the console between the seats, which plays host to pairs of cup-holders, and USB sockets as well as a 12V power point.

Driving

Out on the road the Connect is a very smooth performer, both in terms of the ride and the gear change using the six-speed standard gearbox (an eight-speeder is also available). The handling is first-rate and the steering is responsive too.

Add in solid build quality and a cab that’s both comfortable and well laid-out for the driver, and the revised edition of the Transit Connect is set to keep this van top of the light van sales pile.

120hp 1.5 TDCi Ecoblue LWB 6-Speed manual

Price (ex VAT)     £18,576
Price range (ex VAT)      £15,415-£21,215
Insurance group    31 (est.)
Warranty    3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals     1yr/20,000mls
Load length     2,153mm
Load width (min/max)     1,226/1,538mm
Load bay height     1,269mm
Gross payload      689kg
Load volume    3.6m3
Engine size/power     1,498cc/120hp
Combined fuel economy      56.5mpg
CO2     130g/km


Verdict


Ford continues to demonstrate why it leads the way.
8/10

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