The What Van? Road Test: Ford Transit Connect (2018)

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2018   |   Author: Steve Banner

Connect Rear 3-4


We averaged around 55mpg over a mixture of steep, twisting rural roads, town centres and motorways – that’s less than the official figure, but not too bad.

Press the EcoSelect button and fuel economy should improve. In exchange your ability to accelerate briskly will be reduced and the speed of the heating and ventilation system’s blower motor will fall.

Switching to EcoSelect makes little difference to your performance when you are rolling along the motorway, but you may find that steep hills present more of a challenge than usual if you happen to have a bit of weight on board.

What you can always do is follow the advice proffered by EcoMode. It prompts the driver to adopt more economical behaviour at the wheel based on the continued analysis of driving style and fuel consumption. Feedback is provided through the instrument cluster display.
Service intervals are variable up to a maximum two years/25,000 miles while the warranty lasts for three years/100,000 miles.

Side rubbing strips protected our van’s optional metallic paint finish from minor damage. The front and rear bumpers were the same colour as the body.

Ford Transit Connect Trend 1.5TDCI EcoBlue 210 LWB 100hp 6sp

Price (ex VAT)     £17,965
Price range (ex VAT)      £15,415-£21,215
Gross payload     695kg
Load length    2,153mm
Load width (min/max)     1,226/1,538mm
Load bay height    1,269mm
Load volume     3.6m3
Loading height     599mm
Rear door aperture     1,248x1,136mm
Side door aperture     660x1,228mm
Gross vehicle weight      2,125kg
Braked trailer towing weight     1,300kg
Residual value      19.4%*
Cost per mile     37.1p*
Engine size/power     498cc, 100hp @ 3,600rpm
Torque    240Nm @ 2,000-2,500rpm
Gearbox      6-spd
Fuel economy     60.1mpg (combined, WLTP)
Fuel tank    60 litres
CO2     123g/km
Warranty     3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals    2yrs/25,000mls
Insurance group     31
Price as tested     £20,625

* After 4yrs/80,000mls; Source: KwikCarcost

Options Fitted

Satnav with Sync 3, rear-view camera and parking sensors      £980
Air-conditioning     £600
Active Park Assist    £550
Metallic paint    £300
FordPass Connect    £230


Fiat Professional Doblo Cargo
Price (ex VAT) £13,910-£19,510
Load volume    3.4-5.0cm3
Gross payload    750-1,005kg
Engines     95hp 1.4 petrol, 95hp 1.3 diesel, 105hp, 120hp 1.6 diesel
Verdict: A versatile package offering impressive ride and equally impressive engines. Check out the capacious 5.0m3 version – not pretty, but it’s practical – and the Work Up if you need a compact dropside pick-up. Sales should be a lot higher given this vehicle’s virtues.

Renault Kangoo/Kangoo Maxi
Price (ex VAT)  £15,530-£21,250
Load volume     3.0-4.0m3
Gross payload    650-800kg
Engines    75hp, 90hp, 110hp 1.5 diesel, 44kW electric

Verdict: Like the Doblo Cargo a somewhat underrated vehicle that deserves to be more popular. Frugal diesels are coupled with a gear change better than you might expect, but it’s the Z.E. 33 electric you really need to consider given renewed climate change worries. Its range is now longer than it was.

Volswagen Caddy/Caddy Maxi
Price (ex VAT)  £15,065-£24,395
Load volume 3.2-4.2m3
Gross payload  545-736kg
Engines 84hp 1.2 petrol, 102hp 1.0 petrol, 125hp 1.4 petrol, 75hp, 102hp, 150hp, 2.0 diesel

Verdict: Seemingly built to last forever, with unimpeachable on-the-road performance and handling, It boasts some of the most competent diesel engines we’ve come across. Styling flair is lacking, though, and in-cab noise levels are a bit too high. Electric version on its way.

The Final Verdict



 Well thought-out, with invaluable features as standard/optional.



Comfortable and well laid-out with plenty of storage space.



 Pock-marked highways failed to disturb  Connect's composure.



Low in-cab noise levels and an absence of squeaks and rattles.

Load area


Big tie-down rings and tough bulkhead are definite plus points.



 Both are exemplary.



Well-matched, with the gear change among the smoothest.

Standard equipment


Most bases covered but rear parking sensors should be there.

Operating costs


Mpg shouldn't break bank. Warranty/service intervals look okay.

What Van? subjective rating


Excellent package shows why Ford is the UK's market leader.

Overall Rating 82/100




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