2012 Ford Transit Connect Expert Review

You'll Like The 2012 Ford Transit Connect If...

While the 2012 Ford Transit Connect might appeal to off-beat consumers looking for a unique ride, its first mission is to serve the business community. With its elevated roof, available 255-degree-opening rear doors and seemingly infinite equipment and graphics packages, the Transit Connect van is far superior to any small pickup or car-based crossover.

You May Not Like The 2012 Ford Transit Connect If...

Although it may seem the 2012 Ford Transit Connect knows no boundary, size and weight restrictions limit what it can carry. If you need to transport heavy items, tow a trailer or carry six or more people, a V8-powered full-size van is still a better choice.

What's New

For 2012, the Transit Connect is equipped with Ford's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control. Previously optional, AdvanceTrac is an electronic traction and stability control program that greatly increases safety. A passenger-friendly XLT Premium Wagon is added to the lineup, featuring a three-person second-row bench seat.

Interior Features

The 2012 Ford Transit Connect's interior is highly functional, but not terrible attractive. Hard gray plastics and dated gauges speak to a previous generation of Fords long since retired in this country. But, from a utility standpoint, the Transit Connect's interior is a thing of beauty, offering so many variations it's mind boggling. The cargo bay can be used to carry passengers, or emptied to create a large level loading area with over 135 cubic feet of space and nearly five feet of vertical room. Ford's army of aftermarket suppliers can custom-tailor the 2012 Transit Connect with multi-tiered shelving, lockable storage drawers and small work tables. A Taxi prep package outfits the Transit Connect with a heavy-duty vinyl seat and rear-seat heater.

Exterior Features

If there is one car you won't have a problem finding in a crowded parking lot, it's the 2012 Ford Transit Connect van. The tall roofline speaks to the Transit Connect's mission in life, but its sharply-raked windshield and hood tell a tale of attempted aerodynamics and a car-like driving experience. The driver's seat allows a good view forward, but the solid sheetmetal walls limit side and rearward vision, prompting use of the big side mirrors and available Rear Sensing system. With large sliding side doors and available split-hinged rear doors that swing around to rest flush against the van's sides, there isn't much that can't be placed inside the Transit Connect. Small-business owners will appreciate Ford's graphics program that allows them to design their own graphic logos online. Once the design is finalized it can be transferred to a vinyl "wrap" that can be adhered to the Transit Connect's sheet metal.

Driving Impressions

Driving the 2012 Ford Transit Connect is much like driving a small minivan or compact crossover utility vehicle, except it's a much taller experience. While you'll have to watch that you don't bump the tall roof going under garage openings, the Transit Connect van isn't much wider than a Ford Focus so, once in, getting around the parking structure or loading dock is a breeze. With a turning radius just under 39 feet, the 2012 Ford Transit Connect is far easier to turn around than a full-size van, and it easily fits into car-sized parking spaces, too. If there is one weak spot for the 2012 Transit Connect it can be found under the hood. The 2.0-liter gas engine is strong enough to get you where you're going but, when loaded down, the engine strains to reach higher speeds in a timely manner. The Europeans get a lovely little diesel engine in their version but, for now, Ford says there are no plans to bring the diesel engine stateside.

Pricing Notes

The 2012 Ford Transit Connect has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) that starts around $22,500 for the Cargo van version, while the Passenger van starts just over $24,000. Prices jump a little when opting for the higher XLT trim levels, and top out at about $27,000 when Crew Chief computer system, SYNC, rearview camera and rear park assist are added. To get the best price on your Transit Connect, be sure to check our Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Transit Connect. As for resale value, we expect the Transit Connect to hold only average values, slightly better than the Chevrolet HHR, but well below the Scion xB and Nissan Cube.

Notable Equipment

The 2012 Ford Transit Connect van comes standard with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, AdvanceTrac electronic stability control system with Roll Stability Control (which includes the functions of traction control and anti-lock brakes), 15-inch covered steel wheels, rear 180-degree swing-open doors and an AM/FM radio with two speakers. The higher XLT trims come with more features, including side and rear-door privacy glass, a single-disc CD player, audio input jack, cruise control, dual front map lights and the Power Equipment Group, which includes remote keyless entry and power windows, door locks and side mirrors.

Notable Options

Some notable options on the 2012 Ford Transit Connect include the Nokia Bluetooth system, 255-degree-opening rear doors, reverse-sensing system and Crew Chief (which allows fleet managers to track their fleet vehicles and staff).Some notable packages include the Mobility prep package, that includes pre-wiring for added mobility devices such as wheel chairs and lifts, and the CNG/LPG-capable engine prep package, that allows for conversion to natural gas or liquid propane. The package includes hardened intake and exhaust valves, as well as hardened valve seals.

Favorite Features

255-Degree Swing-Open Rear Doors

The 255-degree angle folds the doors completely out of the way, allowing for much easier access to the cargo area.

Mobility Motoring Package

Includes a heavy-duty battery and wiring harness for chair uplift device.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Ford Transit Connect van is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Duratec engine that gives it a fair balance of fuel economy and power. Although a 4-cylinder engine seems rather small for a vehicle that weighs over 3,000 pounds and is meant to haul large cargo, it's surprisingly spritely and supplies enough torque to get the Transit Connect everywhere it needs to go. And, it delivers decent fuel economy.

2.0-liter inline-4

136 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm

128 lb-ft of torque @ 4,750 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27 (passenger wagon) 21/27 (cargo van)

Editors' Notes

Ford's 2012 Transit Connect van is the little truck that wasn't supposed to be. But, despite all the critics and macho truck guys who swore they'd never be caught dead in one, the Transit Connect van has won over numerous converts and changed the costs of transportation for thousands of businesses. The compact Transit Connect van has succeeded where others failed, due to its incredible flexibility, good fuel economy and low maintenance costs. The Transit Connect's small size also makes it much easier to maneuver through confined city streets and narrow alleys, a plus for parcel and delivery services. To further help sales, Ford has partnered with a number of aftermarket providers capable of customizing the 2012 Transit Connect however its owner requires. Other manufacturers are now making gestures toward bringing their own European microvan to market but, to date, the 2012 Ford Transit Connect has the market all to itself.

Road Test Video Reviews

2012 Ford Transit Connect Owner Reviews

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Roomy and Great Mileage !!

2012 Ford Transit Connect XLT

I love my 2012 Ford Transit Connect. It gets great gas mileage and with its tool bins, it is big enough to hold all my tools and equipment. It's pretty stylish looking. Sound systems great ! Insurance was not expensive for it. It only carries 2 people but I usually work alone so that's OK.

- George S

I love the way it drives.

2012 Ford Transit Connect

Its spacious, comfortable and easy to drive. We can tow with it. The van handles great very smooth to drive. Not too big and bulky. It has heat features. It is wonderful in the snow. It is very good on gas. The van can be used for advertising you can have it wrapped with your logo.

- Stacey D

Vehicle review, both ups and downs.

2012 Ford Transit Connect

I love the Bluetooth connectivity and wireless features. The gas mileage is a bonus. The largest issues I have had were involving the brakes as the brake pads wore out very quickly and had to be replaced. I am satisfied with the overall performance of my vehicle.

- James W

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