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SBehring

A few questions after a test drive

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Hi everyone! My husband and I are considering purchasing a Transit Connect for my next vehicle. I current drive an F150 extended cab, and have for the last 18 years. We are looking for a family vehicle, but one that also has the flexibility for hauling anything. Not being a minivan and being able to be packed out for camping trips are pluses in my eyes. My husband really likes the idea of the Connect, and I'm starting to get on board. Last weekend we test drove a 2015 TC Titanium and I'm still unsure. Here's why:

 

1. It's so low to the ground! This may be something I could get used to, but I was really surprised that it drove like a car and not like a truck. With the monstrous amount of headroom I was expecting to feel higher up off the ground. Would I need to baby it like a car? Or is that all in my head because I'm a truck driver? 

 

2. It's only a V4, and from what I've read that's the only option. My truck is a V6 and I could tell a difference on the test drive. How has the engine performed for everyone?

 

3. The rear view mirror is probably the worst designed I've ever seen - so much so that if we bought that car I would replace it right away. If you turn around and look out the vehicle it has amazing visibility from all the windows. However, the rear view mirror is very small and there is a shelf above it with a dip in the middle that actually blocks part of the mirror. Is this shelf standard? Has anyone else had issues with the mirror?

 

image.png.67f9f7aa56878c7ae5e9d8cf6cd417d5.png

 

4. The windshield and the front go on for days. I would consider taping a yard stick to the front until I got a feel for it, since I can't see the end of the vehicle. I'm probably being weird and it's something I could get used to.

 

5. Has anyone else used it as a family vehicle with multiple kids in carseats? We only have one kid now, but plan to add more this next year (through both *hopefully* pregnancy but also through foster care). I like the 2nd row being a bench so it's a 7 seater, but what about access to the back?


This is the one that we test drove: https://bit.ly/2F9ITI8

 

 

Thanks for your input!

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Yes,  not a ton of ground clearance but it hasn't caused me any issues and i live off a dirt road so no issues .  I have no issues with the mirror's and i love the fact that you cannot see the hood when driving .

 

Compared to my car the TC does feel like i'm much higher up when driving and i like that but if you're used to an F 150 that explains why you feel you're not as high up . I find the engine peppy enough but with a car full of kids you might have a very different opinion ,  a tortoise blew me away in straight line acceleration once so it's not a speedster by any means especially with extra people .

 

Imo for a growing family i would opt for something a little larger and a little more powerful .

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11 hours ago, SBehring said:

 

 

1.but I was really surprised that it drove like a car and not like a truck

 

2. It's only a V4, and from what I've read that's the only option. My truck is a V6 and I could tell a difference on the test drive. How has the engine performed for everyone?

 

3. The rear view mirror is probably the worst designed I've ever seen - so much so that if we bought that car I would replace it right away.

 

5. Has anyone else used it as a family vehicle with multiple kids in carseats? We only have one kid now, but plan to add more this next year (through both *hopefully* pregnancy but also through foster care). I like the 2nd row being a bench so it's a 7 seater, but what about access to the back?

 

 

 

 

Transit Connect is a van body built onto a car chassis.  Good for more room than a small car.  Good because it does drive and handle like a car.  You will appreciate the turn radius and how well it parallel parks.

 

I notice the power difference every day as I switch between my F-150 & Transit Connect.  You just can't compare the 2 vehicles that way.  The Inline 4 Cylinder engine is lackluster in comparison to a truck.  Most private citizen owners are satisfied with the performance since they are not racing or trying to tow large boats or trailers.  Transit Connect will be fine for light duty towing within specified limits.  Do not compare towing 3,000 pounds (2 motorcycles on a trailer) to towing 10,000 pounds.  When I load the family into the Transit Connect, with small children and seniors, I am not driving very fast, or craving for more power.  I just need to get everyone from point A to point B.  

 

Commercial van versions without windows don't even have a mirror.  You can clip on a convex mirror.  That makes a huge difference.  Try looking at BroadWay Mirrors.  Quite popular with the little import car crowd.  I used one in the F-150 & Transit Connect.  If you drive over here to The Left Coast, I can sell you mine.  Now I'm using the rearview mirror with a built in monitor for reverse cameras.  I installed aftermarket backup cameras.  Your new van will come with a backup camera installed.

 

 

The middle row seats (all 3) have anchors for car seats.  You can mount car seats in the rear also, if you know what you're doing.  I've installed car seats in the 2nd & 3rd rows.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Forward facing car seat on passenger side 2nd row.  Rear facing car seat on driver side 3rd row.

 

IMG_20190104_171001048.jpg

Edited by Fifty150

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Mount 2 seats in the 3rd row.  Mount 2 seats on the driver side in the 2nd row.  The passenger side seat in the 2nd row could still flip and allow access to 3rd row, plus accomodate a booster seat for a larger child.  There you go.  5 kids in the van.  

 

2nd row seat anchor slots.

 

 

IMG_20190104_171014760.jpg

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12 hours ago, SBehring said:

3. The rear view mirror is probably the worst designed I've ever seen -

 

 

 

That little mirror is designed to work with the oversized visors, to work with the oversized windshield.  Any larger mirror you install, will interfere with the visors.  

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1 hour ago, Fifty150 said:

 

 

That little mirror is designed to work with the oversized visors, to work with the oversized windshield.  Any larger mirror you install, will interfere with the visors.  

 

 

Great point , those visors are the biggest visors on the planet , never seen anything like it lol.

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1. I had the same worry since it looks so low. But in practice I've never hit anything due to being too low. Trim under front bumper clears concrete parking stops. I don't creep over speed bumps, just slow enough I don't bounce off the ceiling. And I've used it for work on occasion over rutted dirt and gravel roads. Bottomed the hitch out once driving off a curb that looked like an exit, but never bottomed out the TC itself. Did run over one of those paper towel multipacks that fell out of a pickup on the highway and had no issues. The shields on the underside seem to have the important bits well protected if you do encounter something.

 

2. It's not a racer but plenty of power for merging onto the highway and climbing hills. At least for me running most of the time with just driver and lightly loaded. Lots of passengers or cargo might be different. But I only do that rarely so not enough experience to say for sure even though I've never had it be bad enough to be noticable.

 

3. Not an issue on my 2015 XLT, but comparing that photo of the Titanium to a similar photo of my XLT, I have a small gap between mirror and trim above. Sunroof may require extra space and cause trim to be a bit lower. My mirror and the huge rear window make it like looking out with no rear hatch. But my rear seats have been removed so I'm not looking over their backs.

 

4. I worried too. I even stuck a piece of PVC in the dirt and drove until I hit it both front and rear. I kept getting another foot or two past where I thought I would hit before I actually did. In reality there's not much sticking very far out, that slope looks worse than it is. Half the engine is essentially under that big expanse of glass and dash so there's just not much past the end of the glass. And the rounded off corners let you get surprising close to adjacent cars when turning into parking spots.

 

5. No kids but my neice's family visited and I put the seats back in and our group of 6 did all our sightseeing in the TC. 4 adults and 2 kids and I'm over 300# so the TC was full, but only 1 carseat. I specifically asked my neice's husband how the third row was for him after a longish trip and he had said it was fine, close but not cramped and able to move his legs around enough for comfort. My second row is the 60/40 and folding the 40 back gave easy access to the third row. We never did try 3 across on row two. But my neice said it seemed doable with her and 2 kids if the carseat was out.

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Note that once the 3rd row seats are in use, with passengers sitting in them and the headrest up, you won't see anything out the back.  Look in the mirror, and all that you'll see are heads.

Spoiler

 

 

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I switched from a 4wd Toyota Tundra to a 2018 TC LWB XLT cargo version.  In my case, I wanted 1) the ability to haul stuff without it being exposed to weather and thief's 2) Better gas milage. 3) Better maneuverability (especially parking).

 

It does take some time to get used to the lower ride height.  Especially switching from a truck.  It took a couple of weeks for me to adjust, but now I am fine with it.  In fact, I like not having to climb up in the cab.  

 

These are pretty tough vehicles, so you won't have to baby it.  It's not for off-roading, but it will handle dirt roads etc just fine.  The cargo versions are often used as commercial delivery/work vehicles so they get a lot of abuse and hold up quite well.

 

Initially, I thought it was underpowered, but I have found it has enough power to get the job done.  And I REALLY like the improved gas mileage!

 

That "bump" in the overhead console is probably the sun glass holder.  You can remove it and replace it with a the filler panel from the XL version.  Although a lot of folks would like to have that option, especially with the convex mirror in it to look at your kids.  For what its worth the lift gate has much better rear visibility than the barn doors.  However, once I got used to the backup camera and the side mirrors, I found I only use the rear view to see if someone is tailgating me.

 

Yep, the invisible front end is a challenge.   I've had my TC for 4 months and I'm still not used to it.  I think the front parking sensors would help.  I have the rear sensors and love them, even with the backup camera.  But, its more of a nuisance that a problem.  Usually I just end up being a little further away from the car in front of me.  But that's ok, because the van is so much shorter that my truck that I'm still fully in the parking space.

 

Good luck with your search!  Finding a good used TC can be frustrating!  :)  

 

 

 

 

 

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I've driven pickup trucks for almost 30 years.  The 2018 Transit Connect cargo van I purchased this summer is the first van I've ever owned.  So far loving it.  Lower ground clearance has not been an issue for me.  And as it's the cargo version with no rear windows can't comment on the rear view mirror!  But I was also disappointed with how low I sat in the vehicle.  I prefer a more "commanding" view... so I added 2" risers to the bottom of the drivers seat and that made all the difference in the world.  I suggest that's something you consider doing.

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30 minutes ago, PWFX said:

... so I added 2" risers to the bottom of the drivers seat 

 

 

Post pics.  You might get the mod of the week award.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, PWFX said:

I've driven pickup trucks for almost 30 years.  The 2018 Transit Connect cargo van I purchased this summer is the first van I've ever owned.  So far loving it.  Lower ground clearance has not been an issue for me.  And as it's the cargo version with no rear windows can't comment on the rear view mirror!  But I was also disappointed with how low I sat in the vehicle.  I prefer a more "commanding" view... so I added 2" risers to the bottom of the drivers seat and that made all the difference in the world.  I suggest that's something you consider doing.

 

Two inch risers for the drivers seat?  Wow,  i sit on a cloth cushion and even that little cushion elevates my viewpoint to make it virtually impossible to see the instrument controls , thats one thing that Ford messed up on that instrument panel is impossible to see clearly unless you're a midget .

Edited by herb

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This was a "down & dirty" seat riser mod I quickly banged out in my shop.  2" square stock with 1/4" wall.  Replaced the stock seat bolt with something 2" longer.  Each of the 4 seat corners got one of these.  More commanding view out the window is exactly what I wanted and didn't really want to use a seat cushion to get it.

Seat riser.jpg.pdf

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I have 4 kids but the youngest is 28 and she complains whenever she rides with me so I mostly leave her behind :-)  I have twin 5 YO grandkids and haul them a lot.  The seats go in the middle and third row without too much trouble.  Mine is a 2016 Titanium with the 6 passenger configuration.  The seats are not the most comfortable but work OK,  today I made a 300 mile trip without issues.  For most people the seat height is such that they can sit without going up or down.  Putting the kids in the seats is easy and they can climb in w/o any trouble.  The twins like riding in the 3rd row and it not difficult buckling them in if the middle seats are folded.  My inlays are 90 and recently father-in-law couldn't walk.  We took him to the doctor.  It was relatively easy to get him into the front seat with my mother-in-law behind him along with their helper.  My wife got a 3rd row seat as she is 5' tall and quite limber.  It doesn't ride as nicely as my daughter's Honda Oddessy but handles much better.  It can go around turns very quickly without much body roll.  Much more car like in that respect.  Sometimes I fold the rear seats down and carry stuff and still can haul 4 people.  Other times I will remove the rear seats, fold the middle seats and put one of my scooters in the back.  What I love is the versatility and with the high roofline it is much easier to get around inside than my daughter's Honda.  As for power it isn't powerful but it will go if you keep you foot on the floor.  No you wont win a lot of drag races but its OK.  For those who think it is slow I offer my Honda Metropolitan scooter.  A couple of days with it and the TC looks like a rocket!  I haven't had any issues with it being low but I'm careful what I drive over.  

IMG_5902.JPG

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 11:36 AM, PWFX said:

This was a "down & dirty" seat riser mod I quickly banged out in my shop.  2" square stock with 1/4" wall.  Replaced the stock seat bolt with something 2" longer.  Each of the 4 seat corners got one of these.  More commanding view out the window is exactly what I wanted and didn't really want to use a seat cushion to get it.

Seat riser.jpg.pdf

Couldn't view the .pdf, but the idea is so simple! 5150 is right, you deserve a prize! I don't suppose you know if the seat bolts are English or metric?

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You can buy steel stock with holes at just about every building supply store.

 

Product Image 1

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Bottom of each seat corner actually needs 2 holes.  One hole is for hold down bolt.  Other hole is for the registration/alignment pin on the bottom of each seat corner.  Pretty sure steel stock with pre-punched holes won't line up properly.  

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You are correct.  The pre-drilled steel stock would not be an option.  Life is never that easy.  Remember in Rocky II, how Mickey had to tie down Rocky's right arm, in order to teach him to use his left jab?

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