Ford Transit Connect Van - Product Review

Little Hauler.

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All we want to do is ride, but sometimes it is necessary to get loaded. Pickups and large vans are the obvious choices when we need to transport a motorcycle using four wheels. When Ford introduced the compact Transit Connect in 2010, however, we gave the little van a try.

Measuring just over 15 feet from front to rear, the Transit is not much longer than a Focus. The cargo space of the “work” version we used is flat, and the entry deck is low. I loaded my ’54 Velocette in the back without much trouble, but it was necessary to place the front wheel between the driver and passenger seats to close the rear doors. Full-size modern streetbikes aren’t a practical fit (I mean, forget it!), and some dirtbikes may fit diagonally, but it’s best to check the dimensions of your specific machine before you take the Transit plunge. A 450cc motocrosser goes in the door opening but needs its front end tied down. It will take creativity to get one in and secured; you’ll have to figure out chocking and supply your own tie-down points.

The benefits of going compact if you can? Fuel mileage ran in the mid-20s, and with the 15.4-gallon fuel tank, range easily surpassed 300 miles. The Transit was easy to park, and it’s uncommon enough and quirky enough to get a thumbs-up from all kinds of people. The 2.0-liter, 136-hp four-cylinder engine had good power and torque, though we never got close to its maximum carrying capacity of 1600 pounds. Towing is not recommended, but hitches are available, and tow they do in Europe.

The 2011 models start at $21,895, and Ford says it has a “boron steel” front crossmember, which is hard to argue with. The Transit has somewhat limited use as a motorcycle hauler but, in the right circumstances and with some custom fitting, it’s a viable option.