UPDATE 7/9/19: Ford says it has canceled plans for the diesel version of the 2019 Transit Connect due to a “lack of market demand.” The short-wheelbase passenger version of the Transit Connect has also been dropped.
Nearly a decade after the Ford Transit Connect introduced the U.S. market to Euro-style compact cargo vans, the Blue Oval is giving its people/cargo hauler a series of updates as it faces continued competition from Chevrolet, Nissan, and Ram.
Noteworthy changes to the refreshed 2019 Ford Transit Connect passenger wagon include the availability of a new turbo-diesel 1.5-liter inline-four. Dubbed EcoBlue by Ford’s marketing team, the engine is expected to earn an EPA-rated highway fuel-economy estimate of 30 mpg or better on the highway, Ford says. Just don’t expect much get up and go from the diminutive diesel, as Ford spokespeople told us the company is targeting just 120 horsepower or so from the engine. An expected 200 lb-ft of torque, however, ought to give the Transit Connect a decent amount of low-end grunt.
In place of the current gasoline-fueled 2.5-liter inline-four, the 2019 Transit Connect subs in a smaller 2.0-liter unit. While Ford isn’t ready to talk final specs, a representative told us that horsepower and torque totals will be down slightly compared with the current engine, which musters 169 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. Both the standard 2.0-liter inline-four and the optional turbo-diesel engine mate to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and come with auto stop/start technology. (Ford assures us the new transmission will minimize a potential loss of performance from the new gas engine compared with the outgoing 2.5-liter.)
Ford didn’t just tinker with the van’s powertrains. The updated Transit Connect also gets a host of new safety and convenience equipment, including standard automated emergency braking and newly available features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and high-intensity-discharge headlamps. Additionally, a standard 4G LTE connection allows the Transit Connect to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices.
New front styling incorporates elements from Ford’s latest design language, while a revised interior includes additional padding for the first- and second-row seats, a new instrument cluster, and a redesigned center stack.
Available in XL, XLT, and Titanium trims, the Transit Connect will continue to be offered in both five-passenger short-wheelbase and six- or seven-passenger long-wheelbase variants.
Although Ford hasn’t yet publicly discussed the cargo-focused version of the Transit Connect, we suspect that the two-passenger model will adopt many of these new features. We should know more before the 2019 Transit Connect reaches Ford dealerships this fall.
This article was originally published in February 2018.