2012 Ford Transit Connect & Transit Connect Electric Review - Pictures, features, specs

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The Ford Transit Connect compact van – named the 2010 North American Truck of the Year at launch – is enhanced for 2012, making a key safety feature standard. In addition, the personal-use XLT Premium Wagon model adds some attractive new exterior colors.

2012 Ford Transit Connect -2012 Ford Transit Connect -See more new 2012 Ford Transit Connect & Transit Connect Electric pictures in our 2012 Ford Transit Connect & Transit Connect Electric photo gallery

“Transit Connect has been a game changer for small business proprietors, a ‘rookie of the year’ in commercial fleets both large and small, and the ideal basis for the fuel-efficient urban taxi of the future,” said Ford Transit Connect Marketing Manager Damoni Hurt. “Building on the platform of Transit Connect commercial and fleet success, we’re putting some additional emphasis on the XLT Premium Wagon personal-use model.”

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

New for 2012
Transit Connect enters its third model year in North America with a significant expansion of Ford’s acclaimed electronic stability control system. AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) – Ford’s most advanced system – is now standard across the Transit Connect nameplate. This driver assistance technology is designed to help a driver keep the vehicle under control in a wide variety of dynamic driving conditions.

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

This feature has been optional on some previous Transit Connect models. For 2012, it is now offered as standard equipment on every Transit Connect sold in North America.

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

In response to strong consumer demand, Ford has added a personal-use Transit Connect variant, the XLT Premium Wagon. It is ideal for the buyer needing a vehicle to bring along four passengers while still requiring the versatility and dependability that is designed into every Transit Connect compact van.

The Transit Connect XLT Premium Wagon features first-row bucket seats and a second-row three-passenger bench seat, all trimmed in durable, comfortable cloth. In addition, this versatile wagon adds side- and rear-door privacy glass, flip-open third-row quarter windows, beltline trim and interior wheelhouse covers. Across the Transit Connect lineup, audio speakers have been improved.

Fashionable new colors for the 2012 Ford Transit Connect XLT Premium Wagon include Winter Blue Metallic, Noisette Metallic and Dark Micastone Metallic.

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

Quality
Transit Connect quality is underscored by design, durability and driving dynamics.

Within its compact overall length of 180.6 inches, Transit Connect is cleverly configured to provide up to 129.6 cubic feet of cargo space and a maximum payload capacity of 1,600 pounds. The generous interior space can be equipped with a second-row seat or upfitted from a broad range of specialized cargo-management systems.

Ford Transit Connect offers more than double the cargo space of the Chevrolet HHR Panel and a higher payload capacity than the Ram 1500 short-box pickup.

Cargo space is conveniently accessible through sliding side doors and rear doors swinging open at a standard 180 degrees. Rear doors that open to a full 255 degrees can be specified on an optional basis.

Durability is assured as the Transit Connect is tested to tough global Ford light utility vehicle standards and features a high-strength steel front crossmember, a high-strength steel reinforced body shell, twin side crossmembers and side-impact protection.

Several areas of the body are double-skinned for additional strength, increasing resistance to minor scrapes inherent in urban delivery situations.

Transit Connect driving dynamics raise the bar for commercial vehicles, offering precise rack-and-pinion power-assisted steering, MacPherson strut front suspension with a stabilizer bar and rear multi-leaf springs and stabilizer bar.

Riding on 15-inch road wheels fitted with fuel economy-optimized P205/65R-15 radial tires, Transit Connect dynamics reflect a thoughtful balance between generous cargo capacity, a smooth ride with easy handling and low operating costs.

Transit Connect vehicle size and responsive dynamics allow exceptional maneuverability, underscored by the 39-foot curb-to-curb turning circle.

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

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Transit Connect is powered by a proven 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering 136 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a four-speed automatic transaxle with overdrive. This combination yields a projected 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for the Transit Connect Van, with Wagon models delivering 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Transit Connect fuel economy has incrementally improved since North American introduction in 2010 thanks to a final drive ratio reduction from 4.20 to 1 to 3.96 to 1, aerodynamic revisions to the rear cargo door upper seal, and the inclusion of low-rolling-resistance tires.

This class-leading fuel economy combines with 7,500-mile service intervals and a 97,500-mile tuneup interval to keep operating costs low. Responsible fuel consumption and low operating costs have made Transit Connect a favorite of fleet managers, taxi operators and small business proprietors alike.
The Transit Connect Taxi variant can also be specified with an alternative-fuel preparation package, enabling the vehicle to be operated on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid propane gas (LPG) after upfit.

Safe
Transit Connect features standard first-row front and side airbags, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), four-wheel anti-lock brakes and Ford’s acclaimed AdvanceTrac with RSC to help drivers keep the vehicle in control under a wide variety of dynamic driving conditions.

For security, Transit Connect features an electronic passive anti-theft system and a locking exterior hood release.

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

Smart
The 2012 Transit Connect is offered with Crew Chief™, a fleet management tool designed to reduce downtime, conserve fuel and increase fleet administrator control with geo-fencing tools and reporting of excessive vehicle idle time or speed.

A Motoring Mobility package is available to prepare the vehicle for upfitted modifications to help assist physically challenged drivers and/or passengers.

A Reverse Sensing System and a rear view camera are also available. Transit Connect is equipped with a standard AM/FM stereo audio system with two speakers, while the XLT series adds a single CD player and the Wagon XLT model adds two more speakers.

Production location
Transit Connect is manufactured in a dedicated Ford commercial vehicle production facility in Kocaeli, Turkey, and is available from North American Ford dealerships.

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

2012 Ford Transit Connect Electric overview

As Ford moves forward with its plan to bring five electrified vehicles to North America by 2012, it’s also ensuring fleet owners have the same option with the zero-emissions small Transit Connect Electric van.

Transit Connect Electric will use a Force Drive electric powertrain manufactured and integrated by specialty upfitter Azure Dynamics.

“Transit Connect Electric is just one piece of our electrification strategy, but a very important one. It gives eco-friendly options to more than just passenger-vehicle customers,” said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford’s Electrification Programs and Engineering. “It’s an excellent solution for fleet owners who need the extra space but want the benefits of the electric battery.”

Transit Connect Electric is well-suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban environments and that have a central location for daily recharging.

Owners will have the option of recharging the Transit Connect Electric with either a standard 120-volt outlet with an optional transportable cord or preferably an available 240-volt charge station installed at the user’s base of operations for optimal recharging in six to eight hours.

The vehicle’s charge port is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well. The onboard liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is charged by connecting the charge port to a power outlet. Inside the vehicle, an onboard charger converts the AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the battery pack.

Ford and Azure Dynamics marked early production and first deliveries of Transit Connect Electric vans to customers in December 2010, with production ramping up this month to begin to fill customer orders in North America and Europe.
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When the vehicle is operating, battery power is provided to the drive motor through the electric powertrain’s motor controller. The motor controller uses throttle input from the driver to convert DC power supplied by the battery into three precisely timed signals used to drive the motor.

The onboard DC/DC converter allows the vehicle’s main battery pack to charge the onboard 12-volt battery, which powers various accessories such as headlights, power steering and coolant pumps.

In the Transit Connect Electric, the battery pack has been efficiently integrated without compromising interior passenger room and cargo space. The battery pack is designed to last the life of the vehicle.

Collaborations
Transit Connect Electric builds on the existing business relationship between Ford and Azure Dynamics, as well as their shared experience with battery supplier Johnson Controls-Saft.

Oak Park, Mich.-based Azure Dynamics develops hybrid electric and electric drive technology for shuttle buses and commercial trucks, such as the Balance™ Hybrid Electric, which is built on the Ford E-450 cutaway and strip chassis for the medium-duty commercial vehicle segment.

Azure Dynamics’ proprietary Force Drive battery electric powertrain will be the driving force in Transit Connect Electric. Force Drive components have previously been deployed in more than 40 vehicle integrations and have more than 25 million miles of on-the-road experience.

Johnson Controls-Saft was selected by Azure Dynamics as the supplier for lithium-ion battery cells and battery packs for Transit Connect Electric. Azure Dynamics and Ford both use Johnson Controls-Saft battery technology for other products.

Quality
With a unique combination of cargo capacity, accessibility and low purchase costs, the Transit Connect is an ideal choice for electrification.

The Transit Connect Electric may potentially offer lower maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. Consider the following:

Electric vehicles require no oil changes or tuneups
There are no belts to wear out or break and no spark plugs or injectors to clean or adjust
The use of regenerative braking reduces wear and tear on brake pads
Electric powertrains operate with solid state electronics, which have demonstrated low or no maintenance over the life of the product
The number of components typical in an internal combustion engine and transmission are dramatically reduced in an electric vehicle to just a few moving parts in the electric motor and transaxle, which results in much fewer parts to wear out or maintain
Electric vehicles have completely sealed cooling systems that do not require refilling, replacement or flushing

Common strengths

2012 Ford Transit Connect2012 Ford Transit Connect

Although there are significant differences between the Transit Connect Electric and its gas-powered twin, there are many things in common. Both models offer:

135 cubic feet of cargo volume with 59.1 inches of floor-to-ceiling load height and 47.8 inches of load width between the wheel arches
Load length a generous 72.6 inches, or more than six feet of cargo floor space
Split rear cargo doors that open at a standard 180 degrees, or an optionally available 255 degrees
Lift-over height less than two feet when the vehicle is unloaded
Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering allows a 39-foot curb-to-curb turning circle for maneuverability in tight urban spaces
Bulkheads, racks, bins and other upfits can be mixed, matched and configured to suit many specific commercial applications and needs

See more new 2012 Ford Transit Connect & Transit Connect Electric pictures in our 2012 Ford Transit Connect & Transit Connect Electric photo gallery:

New 2012 Ford Transit Connect & Transit Connect Electric specifications, review, photos and images courtesy of Ford.

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