Fancy new Ford Transit Connect gets plug-in hybrid power with a 68-mile EV range

The latest new member of the Transit family also features a dual-screen cabin and clever rear seats for the five-seater Kombi

Meet the new third-generation Ford Transit Connect: the slightly bigger brother to the recently launched Ford Transit Courier, and Ford’s latest entry in the small van market to rival the Renault Kangoo, Nissan Townstar, Citroen Berlingo and Volkswagen Caddy Cargo.

As you’d hope, the new Transit Connect offers more load space than its predecessor. Standard wheelbase models offer up to 3.1 cubic metres, while long wheelbase ups this to 3.7 cubic metres, though Ford claims both can accommodate two euro pallets. 

Meanwhile, the five-seat Transit Connect Kombi gets a unique flexible seating mechanism, allowing the second row of seats to fold flat and upwards to create a full-height bulkhead, and offer between 2.5 and 3.1 cubic metres of cargo space, depending on the chosen wheelbase.  

Ford has also increased the tech onboard for the latest Transit Connect. The 10-inch digital instrument cluster is paired with a 10-inch central touchscreen, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Two USB-C charging ports capable of 45 watts for charging laptops or tools on the go feature as well. Boosting the safety provision are advanced driver assistance systems such as evasive steering assist, exit warning and blind spot information .

Ford Transit Connect PHEV

While the rest of the Transit line-up – including mid-size Transit Custom and full-size Transit – are all available as EVs, the range-topping Transit Connect opts for a plug-in hybrid powertrain instead. 

It uses a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, working with a single electric motor and an as-yet-unspecified battery for a combined 148bhp and 350Nm of torque. The e-motor on its own can deliver 330Nm of torque, handy when hauling heavy loads in the city, but the more important figure is the 68-mile pure-electric range Ford is targeting for the Transit Connect PHEV.

The plug-in Transit Connect is also capable of rapid charging at up to 50kW – a rarity in any plug-in hybrid, let alone a van. Meanwhile the maximum payload is 770kg, and maximum trailer weight is 1,400kg.

Plug-in power is not the only option, however. The regular Transit Connect uses a 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbo diesel that Ford says will return up to 58.8mpg, and produces either 101bhp or 120bhp. The base unit is equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox and is front-wheel drive only, while the more potent version can be had with all-wheel drive and an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission

Maximum payload for the diesel-powered Transit Connect is 820kg, while towing capacity is slightly higher too at 1,500kg.

Production of the new Ford Transit Connect will begin this spring, with first examples of diesel-powered versions to arrive shortly after. The Transit Connect PHEV will join the range before the end of the year, then all-wheel drive and Kombi models will follow in early 2025.

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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