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mkaresh

Anyone using a 2014+ Transit Connect as a family hauler?

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When Ford redesigned the Transit Connect for 2014, they tried to make it more suitable for families, with sleeker styling and a nicer interior.

Have they had much success with this? Anyone here using one as a family hauler? If so, likes/dislikes?

If you previously had a conventional minivan, how does the TC compare?

I ask because I have a LWB Titanium for a week to review it (pic attached). I really like the handling. Less crazy about how the seats fold.

Any reliability issues? I also conduct a reliability survey, but need more TC's signed up before we can include them.

Details here:

www.truedelta.com/join

post-4770-0-50525500-1426869081_thumb.jp

Edited by mkaresh

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did you test out the rear heater?

wagon owners have been posting lots of complaints about lack of heat for the rear passengers and location of vents blowing cold air.

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If only I'd had the Transit Connect a few weeks ago. This week it's in the 40s and 50s, not ideal for testing the heater.

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I just brought my 2014 as a family hauler. I haven't tried to drive yet because the dealer need to fix the middle seat its jammed.

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I use mine as a family hauler...kind of.

Between my girlfriend and I, we have three kids aged 8, 10, and 12. Hauling them around on the occasions that we have all three of them at the same time works well, but I don't believe that we could comfortably add two more kids (using all 5 rear seats) to the equation. In the last year and a half of ownership, I've put 7 people in it once and it was a rather uncomfortable experience.

The rear heater is terrible. It doesn't seem to really make any difference in the temperature in the back. I have found though that the front heater is more than capable of keeping the whole vehicle warm, it's just not as efficient as being able to use both heaters.

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The Rear heater Gets most of its heat from the Heat Duct under the drivers seat that is near the intake for the rear heater Make sure the front heater is set to maximize the flow to the feet . That will allow the heat to the back to be maximized. The rear Booster heater only works with the Temp control Rotated into the Red zone which closes the rear most vents and directs the flow to the B pillar vents. This set up will make the most heat available to the rear seat.

As for being a Family Hauler, my Cats like the second seat

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I'm in the market for a SWB Connect. It will serve as the family van for me, my fiance and our 2 small children. I love vans, but do not like American minivans. The Transit is the closest thing we get to a Euro type van.

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I'm in the market for a SWB Connect. It will serve as the family van for me, my fiance and our 2 small children. I love vans, but do not like American minivans. The Transit is the closest thing we get to a Euro type van.

curious why you prefer the SWB over the LWB.

I have a LWB and would actually like it if the van was a few inches longer in the cargo area for my gear.

It's very easy to park the LWB, just like a station wagon in length.

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I agree, I only see point in SWB if you use it for delivering small packages or live in an European city.

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When I was comparing models prior to my purchase, the one advantage I saw on the SWB was the flip up second row seating. For me the extra length and flat floor with both 2nd and 3rd rows down was more attractive. But for somebody else I could see where the SWB easier flip up mechanism and additional vertical space gained would be an advantage over the extra horizontal length on the LWB.

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The other thing about the SWB is the second row of seats folds and tumbles. with the seat in the folded position the access through the sliding door is very poor. The LWB has a longer Slider, and the seat folds and moves forward giving great access with not much height reduction. The rear access made the SWB unacceptable for me. Something to consider when choosing a Family Hauler.

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There's basically 3 reasons I want the SWB. The Ecoboost engine, the flip forward seats, and I like the looks of shorty van better. I have another, 7 seater van, so I will use the SWB Transit 90% of the time.

And yes I know the numbers show the 2.5 and 1.6 similar, but I've driven both and the 1.6 is much MUCH better. Peak torque at 2500 vs 4000. I also own a Fiesta ST with the same engine and that little car hauls ass.

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I am trying to convince myself NOT to buy the 1.6 Ecoboost and go for the diesel and now you say all those things.

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I am trying to convince myself NOT to buy the 1.6 Ecoboost and go for the diesel and now you say all those things.

what's the cost difference between diesel and petrol the EU?

If you get the lowest octane petrol, will you get the similar performance? the specs are based on the highest octane.

My preference is economy over any bump in performance. Also low maintenance and what's most reliable.

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The fuel cost is pretty much identical. Now around €1/L (€3.78/gal) for 95RON (91AKI), was €1.8 (€6.8/gal) during the high oil price. The diesel engines are being changed this year. I think they did "VW" with their Gen2 "Euro6" diesels and are now forced to replace them with actual Euro6 emission class units, possibly forced to use AdBlue to meet the required emission levels. Don't think we see anything before autumn. There's supposed to be a new PowerShift robot box introduced with the new engines but no-one really knows. I need to do some calculations. Maybe get a hobby car for fun driving.

95RON is the lowest octane we get from pumps, 98RON Premium is for high compression engines. There are some rare stations selling 92 for old Russian trucks.

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I found myself piloting a Transit Connect recently due to the fact that seniors with limited mobility have a hard time climbing up into full size vans & SUV's because they are too high off the ground, and have a hard time climbing out of conventional sedans and compacts because they are too low to the ground,  With the seat height of the Transit Connect, there is a lot less of a drop into the seat when stepping in from curbside, and easier to simply step out of the passenger cabin.  Seniors and the disabled can, and do, have a hard time with folding and flipping the seats; which is why I am the pilot.  

 

Without offspring of my own, I find myself surrounded by a very large extended family.  And, oh yeah, I have lots of friends.  So as a people mover, this vehicle provides the utility of a minibus.  Think about those vans that you rode in summer camp, airport shuttle, church vans, Scooby Doo, and bands on tour.  In my case, seating arrangements are adequate, and nobody has really complained of headroom or legroom, since they are typically accustomed to riding in less roomier SUV and crossover configurations.  If you're one of three 200 pound plus adults who have shared the 3rd row of an Acura MDX, then you will appreciate 3 bucket seats over sitting over an armrest with a seat belt.  What good are leather seats, when it's in the third row of a Honda Pilot?  In my opinion, the Transit Connect has enough power ports and cupholders.  Everyone can carry one backpack or carry-on size bag in their lap, and we will try to carry extra stuff behind the third row seat.  

 

I bought a stripped down XL.  No frills.  AM/FM radio.  Cloth seats.  Plastic floors.  No navigation system, backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, or any of the fancy things found on the upgraded sound system screen.  Okay, so if it's a simple trip out to dinner, or to the movies, this gets the job done.  Seating for seven.  Nobody complains about the music, since they all have their own Ipods and/or phones with ear buds.  If a kid spills anything, it's easy to wipe up, wet mop, or even hose off.   Nobody in my van is looking for Cadillac comfort with \Corinthian leather.  They are just lucky enough to be able to get there without being squeezed in like a sardine can.  Road trips to The State Fair, Little League away games, medical appointments, grocery shopping, overnight glamping, or simple errands.  This van bridges my chasm between my F-150, 5.0, and Harley.  

A cell phone signal booster keeps everyone happy.

weboost-drive-4g-m-470108-free-gear__945

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I bought a used titanium, I found the passenger bucket seat at a comfortable height for my 83yo father. I also haul my 13yo and his goofy friends, they enjoy how roomy it feels. I also use it to uber on game days and occasional weekends...the van gets lots of compliments for the drunken college kids falling in and out with ease....I purchased the TC as a result of seeing how many TCs I see used as service vehicles. I figured it's due to reliability or cheap operating costs...I'll probably give it a run as a camper this summer.

IMG_0017.JPG

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18 minutes ago, Plyman said:

...the van gets lots of compliments for the drunken college kids falling in and out with ease...

A girl stopped me in the parking lot of a grocery store and asked what kind of car I had.  It was raining.  My liftgate was up.  She was kind of amazed at how much room I had to work with.  All the seating, with child seats, plus a folded up wheel chair, and a cooler for groceries.  Yeah, I bring a cooler.  I like to keep the cold stuff cold for the ride home.  

 

So as we're kind of huddled in under the liftgate to stay dry, she made it a point to tell me that she was single, and hated that cramped little crossover that her ex picked out.......we're going out this weekend.  Although, I don't know if I can respect a girl who was married to a guy, who thought that Hyundai was how you spent $30K.  We know what's wrong with him.  But what is wrong with her, that she married him in the first place?

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I use a cooler and totes for grocery day too....

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We bought a 2014 SWB wagon and we had to really hunt to find exactly what we wanted  -  Most wagon versions are LWB 7 passenger models it seems.  In the end, we had to drive 350 miles, across 2 states to find a dealer who had what we wanted *but* this really worked to our advantage in the end  -  The dealer had the van on his lot for more than a year and couldn't sell it, so in June of 2015 he licensed and titled it and used it for a dealer courtesy vehicle for a year.  In June of 2016, he put it on his used car lot and again, nobody wanted to buy it, so we were able to negotiate a really good deal on it, even from 350 miles away  -  We bought it with 13,000 miles on if for $12K off the sticker price

Why a SWB model?  Several reasons.  We both prefer small cars and this is by far the largest vehicle we've ever owned.  I didn't want a HUGE vehicle to try to back, park and maneuver in tight spaces.  We frequently haul 3 grandkids, so we need enough room for that, but we almost never need a 6th seat and the third row seating in the LWB models isn't the best design anyway  -  If we had bought a LWB model, we would probably have tossed the third row seats just to gain some cargo room behind the second row seats.  With the SWB model, even with the seats up, we have plenty of room behind them . . . . actually a good bit more than in a LWB model with the 3rd row seating.  When it's just the two of us taking a long trip (and this is what we REALLY bought it for) we can either fold and tumble the rear seats *or* we can flip the levers and completely remove the rear seats and leave them at home  -  Can you do that with a LWB model??  I much prefer the smaller side doors and I really LOVE the liftgate, which came as a total a surprise because we began with both of us thinking we would prefer the twin doors.  The liftgate is HUGE and up high enough for even a 6 footer to comfortably stand under it . . . . and it's really nice to stand under when it's raining and you're loading/unloading.   The twin rear doors fold nicely out of the way, but they also have a big blindspot right in the middle which really limits visibility from the rear view mirror and driving a big vehicle with limited rear visibility isn't something either of us was comfortable doing  -  Our test drive in a van version with the twin doors quickly revealed that we did NOT want the twin doors

It turned out to be quite hard to find a white SWB 2014 (didn't want a 2013 or any earlier model because we really wanted the Select Shift 6 speed trans) wagon with the liftgate  -  Either they didn't make very many of them, or those who bought them liked them well enough that they aren't showing up on the used market.  In the end, we got one which had it's 36 month, 36,000 mile warranty started in June of 2015, so our warranty will run through May of 2018 and we should be right near the 36,000 miles by that time.  Coupled with the low miles, the really great price, this vehicle has really been a win-win for us.  Our first 'big car' and we'll probably own it until we drive the wheels off of it

Don

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The LWB is NOT a large vehicle. It's a foot shorter and an inch narrower than my Nissan Frontier pickups with a 6' bed. Maneuverability is incredible and, because of axle placement, you can park it in spots that many drivers have to pass up. A small 2-step utility ladder is required to reach the middle of the roof for washing (if you do that yourself). If I put a rack on top I don't think I could get under my garage door. But then, I can stand up, bent over, in the back of mine and change clothes.

I have ridden in the wagon version a couple times. The ride is just as firm as my unloaded van. Certainly not cushy!

Edited by tcconvert

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1 hour ago, tcconvert said:

 

I have ridden in the wagon version a couple times. The ride is just as firm as my unloaded van. Certainly not cushy!

I suspect the ride would be great, if Ford decided to engineer a Lincoln version.

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16 hours ago, tcconvert said:

The LWB is NOT a large vehicle.

You are right, it is not. However, as Beta Don points out, it is a matter of perception, mostly if you are used to driving smaller cars. My previous ride was a Focus wagon, and although the TC is only marginally wider, and a foot longer, it feels HUGE. So much so that so far, my wife has resisted driving "the bus". The wider turning radius has a lot to do with it: an extra 6 feet added to the curb to curb is substantial enough. That feeling would be exacerbated for someone going from a car to a van, losing the visibility through the rear windows, having to get used to relying on mirrors and camera and maybe sensors to maneuver, rather than look over their shoulder. Another factor is the feel of the vehicle when starting or accelerating. The TC feels more like a truck than a car, but again, it has to do with what you are used to driving. The adaptation is likely easier if you drove another van or pickup before. That being said, I love my TC so far, and I know I will only get more confident with it.

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Mine is my wife's daily driver. She loves it.  2014 SWB XLT with the twin rear doors. Has pretty much all I wanted but I wanted it in the LWB version. Drives and rides like a sports car. Wanted the longer version for cargo capacity, hauling sound gear. Went looking for a LWB to trade for but we decided part of our attraction to this vehicle was the rear cargo doors. Couldn't find any new TCs in LWB without a hatch except a couple that had many options I didn't want to pay for nor desired, or didn't have the ones I did desire. I think I did a 200 mile radius dealer search through Ford. I tolerate the loss of vision in the rear center for their convenience. I do wish they would make the rear camera selectable while in drive.

my only real complaint is that with the engine compartment being so tight and the vehicle so low, I can't change my own oil. I can't even drive it up on mechanic's ramps!

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There are several sets of ramps at amazon that are long enough to allow the TC to get up on them for Maintenance.

Here is a Link to a set that would work if you are interested

https://www.amazon.com/Race-Ramps/b/ref=bl_dp_s_web_2599295011?ie=UTF8&node=2599295011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Race+Ramps

I am in full agreement about the Rear camera in drive , it would be excelent

Edited by G B L

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