For a light van our Connect can accommodate an impressive amount of gear as well as five people but make sure the doors are shut firmly, James Dallas reports
The storage capacities of our long term Connect are impressive – both in the load box and inside the cabin itself – but on a recent family weekend trip to the countryside the van revealed qualities that were positively Tardis-like.
With the rear seats being frequently required in our Connect’s primary role as a passenger carrying vehicle the load area is restricted to 1.2m3 and with three needing to fit into the back, two up front and a pile of luggage waiting to be loaded I feared something would have to give. And that was without factoring in the dog.
But by making use of the generous overhead shelf, the footwells by passengers’ feet, the door bins and by loading up the cargo bay while also managing to reserve enough space for the dog to travel in relative comfort, which he did, apart from when a bag of provisions toppled onto him and had to be re-stacked, nothing had to be left behind.
The view through the rear view mirror was slightly obscured but due to the central pillars in the twin rear doors it is partially obstructed at the best of times so one gets used to relying on the excellent side mirrors, incorporating wide angle sections, anyway.
Talking about these side mirrors, the offside one did well a few weeks ago to survive a hefty knock it took from, presumably, the equivalent component on a Mercedes Sprinter van that was careering at speed and on the wrong side of the road during rush hour. The blow shattered the plastic casing but the mirror itself remained in full working order, a testament, perhaps, to the Connect’s robust build quality. The only consequences while we await a replacement cover are aesthetic; the mirror’s unsightly innards are now on display, and sonic; a high pitched whistling sound now accompanies high speed journeys, which most likely also has a detrimental impact on the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance.
Generally the Connect gives the impression of being solidly bolted together, the doors shut with a reassuring clunk and no bits have dropped off yet. However, the offside rear door has developed a habit of not shutting properly unless slammed with a good deal of force. Otherwise an alert on the dash immediately tells the driver the door is not properly closed and is accompanied, if reverse gear is engaged, by a warning that the reversing camera is incorrectly positioned.