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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
light, readily steered and comparatively frugal
the little truck was impressive on a tight figure-eight
fuel economy blows the doors off a full-size van
tackles the urban jungle with great gusto
The 136 horsepower and 128 foot-pounds of torque generated by the 2010 Ford Transit Connect's 2.0-liter Duratec four is "more than sufficient," says Jalopnik, though Leftlane News considers the power "middling" and calls the engine "not exactly the height of technology." Motor Trend agrees, deeming the Transit Connect engine "underpowered" and noting it "strains against the 3,500-pound van's light load."
ConsumerGuide is harshest of all, saying that "passing and merging muscle is almost non-existent" at highway speeds, with "foot-to-the-floor acceleration" producing "a lot of sound and fury with nothing to show for it." Jalopnik notes the engine power is helped by "four well-chosen gear ratios" in the automatic transmission, but laments, "Sadly, a manual transmission won't be available" in the United States.
The EPA rates the 2010 Transit Connect, which uses regular fuel, at 22 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. But "you may not come close" to those numbers, warns Motor Trend, because "your driver will be using a lot of throttle" merging into traffic. On a 900-mile highway trip, ConsumerGuide achieves 24.2 mpg in the 2010 Ford Transit Connect.
Jalopnik says the front and rear sway bars "control body roll during brisk handling," and concludes the 2010 Transit Connect "drives as easy as a comparable front-wheel drive hatch." Leftlane News concurs, asserting the Transit Connect "rides firmly and compliantly" and gives "almost sporty handling." Road & Track points out the MacPherson strut front and solid rear axle/leaf-spring rear suspension doesn't "give the most comfortable street ride" but keeps lift-over height low at the rear for good cargo access.
The Transit Connect's short 39-foot turning circle, says Motor Trend, lets it "make a delivery entrance back-alley U-turn." Leftlane News deems the steering "direct, well-weighted," and Popular Mechanics agrees, declaring the steering feel and response is "exceptional for a commercial vehicle." Motor Trend calls the brakes "firm" and "positive."
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect offers good handling and maneuverability, as well as adequate power in town, where it will do most of its miles, but it strains on highways.