Ford Unveils the Freshened 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van

March 06, 2018 by Ron Sessions

Ford Motor Co.’s 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van will offer commercial users improved mobile connectivity, enhanced safety and the segment’s first diesel engine.

Ford unveiled the newest version of the compact, front-drive cargo van at the 2018 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. A passenger-wagon version of the 2019 Transit Connect made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show last month.

Both Wagon and Cargo Van models receive new engines. A direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with a fuel-saving stop-start system is standard for 2019. Newly optional is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. Ford did not disclose the horsepower or torque ratings for either engine or EPA fuel-economy estimates.

But the company expects the EPA highway fuel economy rating of the new turbodiesel to exceed 30 mpg, said Tim Stoehr, Ford’s commercial fleet marketing manager. Currently, Ford offers a diesel only in Transit Connect models sold outside the U.S.

A third engine, a carryover 2.5-liter four-cylinder, will also continue to be available in 2019 for fleet and propane/natural-gas conversion use.

All engines will be teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission. New is an Eco mode feature with an Eco Coach function that enables drivers to monitor their van’s fuel economy over time.

  • 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van. (All photos: Ford)
Transit Connect models with either gas engine will have a 1,610-pound payload, slightly less than the 1,883-pound rating of the 2018 Ram ProMaster City.

The 2019 Ford Transit Connect will continue to be available in short- or long-wheelbase form and with a choice of standard dual rear cargo doors or an optional liftgate. The van’s front end has been refreshed with design cues from the automaker’s Fusion and Focus sedans.

Inside, the 2019 model receives an updated dashboard with an attractive free-standing infotainment screen. The new touchscreen is meant to serve as the hub of an office on wheels with Bluetooth, standard voice-activated SYNC phone dialing and standard in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi that enables commercial users to access voicemail, email, texts, GPS maps and browse the web from remote jobsites. A wireless phone charger is also available.

One of the most significant additions to the 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van is standard automatic emergency braking, which Stoehr says is targeted at businesses looking to reduce their liability exposure. The auto braking works at all speeds and is part of a pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection system that can help avoid or mitigate collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians who might cut across the van’s path.

Ford will be looking for the freshened and updated Transit Connect to stanch a 20 percent drop in sales in 2017. The changes Ford has made to the new Transit Connect should be enough to keep its sales at the top of the segment, said IHS Markit analyst Stephanie Brinley.

The 2019 Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van goes on sale later this year.

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