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windguy

2014 TC VAN - observations

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I checked out the 2014 TC vans last weekend for the first time and thought I'd share some of my observations. I probably spent 100+ hours online reviewing everything I could find on the van over the past year so it was fun to finally see one in person.

I currently drive a 95 Volvo 850 wagon and I'm looking for a cargo area that is a bit larger. The wagon has decent cargo space with the rear seats removed and the back seat backs folded flat and the front passenger seat folded forward, but the low roof limits how much I can stack height wise. I've been patiently waiting for a van to come to the US market that only has two seats and lots of cargo room behind them that I can park in the garage (under 68" in height) plus gets decent gas mileage. My plans are to use the van for personal use as an everyday car and as a beach cruiser for surf and windsurf boards and all the gear that goes with it and for light camping. Being able to easily parallel park on the coastal highway is a must. The LWB van is slightly longer than my wagon so that's a big plus. Along with optional front/rear sensors and a backup camera I should be able to slide that van into parking spaces with ease.

The dealer I visited had four TC Vans on their lot. three SWB and one LWB, which is my preference. All four were white and one was an XLT. Very few options were added, which I'm guessing is common for stock van model since it will be used for commercial purposes mostly. Considering this isn't a soccer mom van like a Sienna or Odyssey, the van is pretty nice looking and feels solid. Below are some nitpicky observations:

Tires - Continental Contiprocontact Extra Load M&S Radials - 215/55R16 97H

I checked and these tires got some poor ratings. That's disappointing. Users said they didn't get wear close to the 80,000 mile rating and the traction was terrible. Seems like a poor choice for an OEM tire. One reviewer recommended the Hankook H727. My research on this was limited.

Doors - They feel beefy and solid and the track for the sliders is pretty nice and requires minimal effort to open and close. nice levers both inside and out. The catch for the latch for the rear barn doors is below the floor level so it's not in the way.

Cargo area flooring - not sure if this is standard, but the padded covering dents really easily. Knee or heel dent impressions don't go away so not sure how that will hold up. It's nice to have the padding when crawling around but it has to be durable. Pics of the cargo area on the Ford site doesn't show this padding so not sure.

AC Controls - these are partially blocked by the gear shift when it's in park. Didn't move it to drive but it still seems like a poor placement.

XLT - has some nice upgrades. The center console arm rest is very nice. The XL only had a driver right arm rest that swings out of place or ratchets to the desired position. The passenger doesn't have anything. Not sure if this is part of the XL/XLT or the 4 or 6 position seat.

Seats - the 4 position seat was pretty uncomfortable for me - I'm 6-2. My wife at 5-4 had no problems. The 6 position seat on the XLT was much better but there's room for improvement. Hard to decide between cloth or vinyl. Seems the cloth was more comfortable but for keeping things clean my preference would be vinyl. The front passenger folding seat back is a nice option and a must for me but the control lever is on the left side of the head rest and a bit hard to access. I would normally move this from the passenger side so I have to reach across the seat and head rest to get to it and you have to move the lever to move the seat back in either direction.

Interior color - only saw the charcoal grey black. Seemed okay.

Exterior color - I stopped by another dealer that had a silver metallic wagon on their lot. It's between silver or white for me. Hard to decide. The silver looks less commercial so I'm leaning towards that.

Rear Cargo Light - only on the passenger side of the headliner area. Would be nice to have it on both sides. Seems like there is a cutout for it in the driver side body.

Dashboard - Ford tried to spice it up by having these cowlings over the speedometer and tach. The problem when you're 6-2 is that you're looking down on these and it easily gets shielded. If you slide down in the seat it's easier to see, so it's optimized for someone shorter and a hindrance for someone taller but it's still functional.

Visibility - pretty decent for a van. The sloping front windshield give you a nice viewing area. would be nice for touring.

Step up Height - the van's low level makes it pretty easy to get in/out of the cabin area and the cargo area low step up is perfect for tailgating, which is ideal for me. It's easy to stand in the openings and access the roof area if you have items on a roof rack.

Overall I liked the van and think it will work out well for my needs. I didn't bother to drive it since I've read reviews from others on that and it was adequate. I'm not a speed freak so performance means nothing to me. I do have lots of questions regarding options when ordering so I plan to make a separate post regarding that.

Edited by windguy

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Nice review. Ask if you can get the same Ford LED cargo lighting we get here for free. It is so bright it is certified for workspace lighting if you decide to convert your cargo boot for that. If not then get a roll of matching voltage LED strip from e-bay or electronics store and hook it up to the original light socket. One standard roll should be enough to make a circle around the roof and some in the middle. If you're not familiar with a soldering iron then have it professionally installed, you'll love it.

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Nice review. Ask if you can get the same Ford LED cargo lighting we get here for free. It is so bright it is certified for workspace lighting if you decide to convert your cargo boot for that. If not then get a roll of matching voltage LED strip from e-bay or electronics store and hook it up to the original light socket. One standard roll should be enough to make a circle around the roof and some in the middle. If you're not familiar with a soldering iron then have it professionally installed, you'll love it.

thanks mrtn. that's a good idea on the lighting. I plan to fix up the cargo area of the van, adding insulation to reduce road noise and improve the appearance, etc and better lighting. If I'm loading or unloading something in the dark it would be good to have light that extends out the back that I can turn on/off. Same for the rest of the cargo area. Jealous that you have a diesel option in the EU.

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I have yet to drive the new Transit Connect, so this review will be interesting as I check it out. The pre-2014s seem to be more spartan in nature, which is why I think some people like it - as expressed by one of your comments -

Thanks for taking the time to write up and post your thoughts. Looking forward to reading more once you get your T.C.

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I have yet to drive the new Transit Connect, so this review will be interesting as I check it out. The pre-2014s seem to be more spartan in nature, which is why I think some people like it - as expressed by one of your comments -

Thanks for taking the time to write up and post your thoughts. Looking forward to reading more once you get your T.C.

thanks Robert.

regarding your spartan comment, I got that feeling but forgot to mention it. The cabin area felt a bit plasticky (is that a word?) to me. my orientation for the last 15 years has been driving the Volvo wagon, which I'd say is middle of the road in terms of being upscale, so I need to readjust my orientation with this vehicle. My previous vehicle was a GMC S15 pickup so I'm kind of heading back to that class of vehicle, which I was very happy with. I should add that I've ridden in a friend's Chevy Silverado pickup and that thing is very luxurious with all the bells and whistles. way beyond what I would need. keeping it simple is a good thing. less costly to maintain, I hope.

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Hey nice review!

I ordered the 6 way adjustable cloth seats for three reasons it is a bucket seat cloth is breaths in the summer, the vinil tends to cracks over time and as soon as I get the van I will put a seat cover on the seats to keep it clean.

For the cargo aria covering I'm going to use the van for my flooring business so I will load tools in and out they sell this rubber mat in flooring supply stores it is a sound proofing material made of used rubber black color comes in different thickness 1/8-3/8 and 4foot wide in a roll they sell it by foot I'm planing to install this on top of the original padding there it is very durable and easy to clean stuff and not slippery this is just one way to do it,

I drive a Honda Odyssey and it is a foot longer than the LWB tc so I don't think it will be a problem to park for me .

I ordered the electric quick defroster windshield option not because New York has a hars winter

But it also would be usefull when it rains and the windshield gets all fogy and I tend to use the a/c to get read of that so I would use this feature instead,save some gas as well.

I think the silver its a nice color yes its very common but its very easy to keep clean that's why I ordered that.

A diesel option would be a killer imagine like a 2.0liter one with 250 foot/lb torque

40mpg it is a shame they don't bring it here really is.

They want you to buy gas.such a BS

The dashboard is plastic to keep the price down I guess, I think its much better looking than the old one ofcourse

There is a good review on you tube "2theredline" check it out,not too many out there.

I love to read on this forum so the time passes faster until the van gets here.

Let's keep the conversation going!

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Johny,

It sounds like you made some wise choices on your option. Can't wait to see a picture of your new van.

This cargo van will be a much better option for you for business use compared to an Odyssey.

getting that upgraded seat is money well spent. I will probably do as you did and get a 6-position seat with cloth.

cold vinyl seats in the winter brings back some distant memories. I used to live in NJ. I can't do cold anymore.

You will make good use of the quick defrost. I want to get one too. Better to have it when you need it.

Good idea adding some protective layer for the cargo area. rubber like material will keep things from sliding around.

For parking, it's not so much the length, being shorter is helpful, but the visiblity. Hard to see your bumpers. Even though the front looks like it slopes down it's hard to see looking forward. I've heard from others that backup cameras are really nice to have as a parking aid. I've never used one before.

regarding the lack of a diesel engine option, yeah, I don't get it. EU has had that option for a long time, it's proven, but Ford won't offer it in the US, yet. Not sure if it's a clean burning diesel, but a few autos manufacturers are coming out with diesel options this year for cars so why wait. same for AWD. That would be a great option for me. I'\d be willing to pay the premium to have it to give the van more utility.

Forgot to mention one thing in my initial review. Add this one to my nit picky list - Sun Visors - man those things are big. I guess because of the large windshield. or cause they are mounted higher up with the taller roof. Since I'm tall, when those puppies hang down I can't see squat in front of me. I had to push the visor away or outward so it angle back up to gain back my visibility. funny. a two part visor would be preferred but probably more expensive. I think I used to have a car with ones like that but don't remember which. Ergonomics are designed around average size people and everyone else just has to deal with it. Speaking of visors, hidden underneath the visor you can see that the top storage shelf has an area of grate pattern or cutouts on both side (driver and passenger). Anyone know why it's this way?

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I have the 1st generation TC and I think it has even bigger windscreen so to help with the problem of low-hanging sun visors (being 6'4") I made a black sticker visor for it to the factory width so it passes the inspection. After that I've hardly ever used the visors again. It's a bit hard to see in this picture but you get the idea.

20130905_transit_kleebitud.jpg

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Johny,

It sounds like you made some wise choices on your option. Can't wait to see a picture of your new van.

This cargo van will be a much better option for you for business use compared to an Odyssey.

getting that upgraded seat is money well spent. I will probably do as you did and get a 6-position seat with cloth.

cold vinyl seats in the winter brings back some distant memories. I used to live in NJ. I can't do cold anymore.

You will make good use of the quick defrost. I want to get one too. Better to have it when you need it.

Good idea adding some protective layer for the cargo area. rubber like material will keep things from sliding around.

For parking, it's not so much the length, being shorter is helpful, but the visiblity. Hard to see your bumpers. Even though the front looks like it slopes down it's hard to see looking forward. I've heard from others that backup cameras are really nice to have as a parking aid. I've never used one before.

regarding the lack of a diesel engine option, yeah, I don't get it. EU has had that option for a long time, it's proven, but Ford won't offer it in the US, yet. Not sure if it's a clean burning diesel, but a few autos manufacturers are coming out with diesel options this year for cars so why wait. same for AWD. That would be a great option for me. I'\d be willing to pay the premium to have it to give the van more utility.

Forgot to mention one thing in my initial review. Add this one to my nit picky list - Sun Visors - man those things are big. I guess because of the large windshield. or cause they are mounted higher up with the taller roof. Since I'm tall, when those puppies hang down I can't see squat in front of me. I had to push the visor away or outward so it angle back up to gain back my visibility. funny. a two part visor would be preferred but probably more expensive. I think I used to have a car with ones like that but don't remember which. Ergonomics are designed around average size people and everyone else just has to deal with it. Speaking of visors, hidden underneath the visor you can see that the top storage shelf has an area of grate pattern or cutouts on both side (driver and passenger). Anyone know why it's this way?

hey thanks i will have pictures as soon as i have the van, im only 5'10" so should be ok the sitting position,

yes vw has this new diesel to bring this year 2.0 liter with 150hp but thats an other topic.

cheers!

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I have the 1st generation TC and I think it has even bigger windscreen so to help with the problem of low-hanging sun visors (being 6'4") I made a black sticker visor for it to the factory width so it passes the inspection. After that I've hardly ever used the visors again. It's a bit hard to see in this picture but you get the idea.

MRTN - great looking graphics on your van.

I like your solution for the visor. thanks for sharing.

I never use a visor in a car, I sit so high there's no need. Wearing polarized sunglasses takes care of most of the glare except when it's dead on.

It's going to be nice to have lots of head room in this van.

How is the quality of your van holding up after roughly 8 years of use?

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MRTN - great looking graphics on your van. How is the quality of your van holding up after roughly 8 years of use?

Thanks!

It's been great, just normal wear and tear, no real issues with anything. 250 000 km/155 300 mi) on the odo, doesn't seem to consume any oil between changes (15 000 km/9300 miles).

Some major stuff: overhauled the diesel pump at 210 000 km (normal range for Bosch and Delphi pumps, up to 250K), replaced the steering rack at 230 000 km (tie rod inner end clunk), new exhaust pipe and muffler about the same time. I've just ordered a new rear brake pressure regulator, it didn't pass the inspection, too weak rear brakes.

Rear ended a Mercedes Benz with my left headlight a year ago, due to my "excellent" positioning the insurance had to replace the left headlight, front bumper, hood and the left front wing. Luckily it was just cosmetic damage.

Some rust starting to appear under the left door sill. Going to take care of it when it gets a bit warmer. You see the right side repainted in the picture (vinyl removed), had it done when the car was in the shop with the insurance case.

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Thanks!

It's been great, just normal wear and tear, no real issues with anything. 250 000 km/155 300 mi) on the odo, doesn't seem to consume any oil between changes (15 000 km/9300 miles).

Some major stuff: overhauled the diesel pump at 210 000 km (normal range for Bosch and Delphi pumps, up to 250K), replaced the steering rack at 230 000 km (tie rod inner end clunk), new exhaust pipe and muffler about the same time. I've just ordered a new rear brake pressure regulator, it didn't pass the inspection, too weak rear brakes.

Rear ended a Mercedes Benz with my left headlight a year ago, due to my "excellent" positioning the insurance had to replace the left headlight, front bumper, hood and the left front wing. Luckily it was just cosmetic damage.

Some rust starting to appear under the left door sill. Going to take care of it when it gets a bit warmer. You see the right side repainted in the picture (vinyl removed), had it done when the car was in the shop with the insurance case.

Those diesel engines runs forever,

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@Mrtn - good report. thanks. sounds like you're doing very well on repairs so far.

may the next 155,000 miles go the same.

sorry to hear about your fender bender. glad no one got hurt.

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Is it true that the 2014 US version is shorter than the previous years?

If so, this is a deal breaker. My dirt bike just barely clears the inner roof of the 2010-2013. I'm guessing it wouldn't fit inside a 2014.....

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Is it true that the 2014 US version is shorter than the previous years?

If so, this is a deal breaker. My dirt bike just barely clears the inner roof of the 2010-2013. I'm guessing it wouldn't fit inside a 2014.....

IT is 4" lower than the old one.

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IT is 4" lower than the old one.

It seems like the height was one of the biggest selling points of these guys. Why would Ford make this decision! *Sigh*

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It seems like the height was one of the biggest selling points of these guys. Why would Ford make this decision! *Sigh*

IM a contractor and a full size plywood I mean 4' width fits there which I like I don't need a full size van, but perhaps they should have make a taller version like they have a short wheel base and long one.

They targeting small businesses , as well as family's

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IM a contractor and a full size plywood I mean 4' width fits there which I like I don't need a full size van, but perhaps they should have make a taller version like they have a short wheel base and long one.

They targeting small businesses , as well as family's

what do you do about the 8ft length for a full sheet, let it stick out the back and tie the doors together shut?

The distance to the back of the seats on the LWB is a little bit over 7ft. the width no problem and nice having dual sliding doors to help tug it in from the sides

what you said about the target market seems spot on. for me it works out perfect cause I can park it in my garage now, couldn't with the previous version.

but now Ford has the full size Connect van if you want a taller profile - there are 3 height options and 3 length versions. so now you have lots of choices based on what works best for your needs. seems hard to complain about that.

Edited by windguy

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what do you do about the 8ft length for a full sheet, let it stick out the back and tie the doors together shut?

The distance to the back of the seats on the LWB is a little bit over 7ft. the width no problem and nice having dual sliding doors to help tug it in from the sides

what you said about the target marget seems spot on. for me it works out perfect cause I can park it in my garage now, couldn't with the previous version.

but now Ford has the full size Connect van if you want a taller profile - there are 3 height options and 3 length versions. so now you have lots of choices based on what works best for your needs. seems hard to complain about that.

im ok with the heights i dont really carry plywood around but maybe occasionally than i can get deliver it to the job site , or if you stand them up if not alot of them you leave one door open and let them stick out .

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im ok with the heights i dont really carry plywood around but maybe occasionally than i can get deliver it to the job site , or if you stand them up if not alot of them you leave one door open and let them stick out .

good idea. didn't think about going vertical, only lying flat. thanks

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what do you do about the 8ft length for a full sheet, let it stick out the back and tie the doors together shut?

The distance to the back of the seats on the LWB is a little bit over 7ft. the width no problem and nice having dual sliding doors to help tug it in from the sides

what you said about the target market seems spot on. for me it works out perfect cause I can park it in my garage now, couldn't with the previous version.

but now Ford has the full size Connect van if you want a taller profile - there are 3 height options and 3 length versions. so now you have lots of choices based on what works best for your needs. seems hard to complain about that.

I think you're dead on about why the Transit Connect got shorter - the Ford Transit is coming is a short wheel base.

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More to the point Robert, the Ford Transit Connect is becoming a minivan. They had a small niche but wanted to expand it. I predict they will be gone from the market within three years. Chrysler and Honda have the minivan market locked up..

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More to the point Robert, the Ford Transit Connect is becoming a minivan. They had a small niche but wanted to expand it. I predict they will be gone from the market within three years. Chrysler and Honda have the minivan market locked up..

Willie,

I think Ford is going to be successful with their van offerings, which include the TC and Transit in both van and passenger versions.

I would agree that the minvan market is lead by the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey and Dodge Caravan, but the TC Wagon may make some inroads.

I see the TC being primarily a van offering, not a minivan and that's exactly what I'm looking for. In fact I've been waiting a while for this type of vehicle to replace my wagon. Two seats in the front and cargo in the back and you can park it in a garage, as well as getting reasonable gas mileage. I haven't compared the TC wagon version to other minivans since I'm not interested in that configuration, but there are consumers that have a preference for only Ford products or a US based company. By offering a wagon version they will buy it. From a production standpoint, it's probably really easy for Ford to offer both the van and wagon version since it's primarily the same vehicle with different finishing. I'm guessing that fleet/commerial sales of the TC Van are going to be really strong. Time will tell.

ADD-ON - If you look at a side-view of Honday Odyssey http://www.socalhondadealers.com/model/2014/odyssey?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=SCHDA_Model_Odyssey_Odyssey&utm_term=honda%20odyssey%20com&gclid=CPDC25O6qb4CFRSOfgodvBcACg&gclsrc=ds

the design has evolved to make the van sleeker and more refined, less boxey. That may look better but it dimishes the utility of the van for hauling things. The niche that the TC Wagon may have is as a dual purpose van. People mover and cargo hauler. As I said I haven't compared the specs but there may be more cargo room in the TC than the other minmvans out there. That may be appealing to a certain market.

Edited by windguy

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Well Windguy, you do make a good point. If Ford can keep the TC utilitarian and not allow it to become as fussy and fancified as the others it could fill a need not currently being met. That's a big "if" though. Remember that Ford has flopped in this segment a couple of times already. As you say, time will tell.

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Well Windguy, you do make a good point. If Ford can keep the TC utilitarian and not allow it to become as fussy and fancified as the others it could fill a need not currently being met. That's a big "if" though. Remember that Ford has flopped in this segment a couple of times already. As you say, time will tell.

I think they are already failing. Does anyone have info about sales figures for the new Transit Connects? I think that lowering the roof and making it less utilitarian and more minivan is probably already affecting sales.

Man if they changed the design back to the old version with the taller roof, made the thing run on diesel, and added a manual transmission, there wouldn't be anything that could touch it!

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