by Cobus F. Potgieter
If you don't want to drive a minivan like countless generations of Americans have over the years, but you're not into a full-size passenger van like a Ford Transit, you now have an alternative in the shape of the 2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon. Seating 7 as standard with the option of a 6-passenger setup with captain's chairs in the middle and a bench in the third row, this compact passenger van shares a segment with rivals like the Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger and Ram ProMaster City Passenger Wagon. Power comes from a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-4 gas engine with 150 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque as standard, but a stronger, 169-hp 2.5-liter engine is available for the fleet model. With car-like driving dynamics, impressive gas mileage, and relatively compact dimensions aiding its city maneuverability, the Transit Connect is one of the better compact passenger vans around.
The 2020 model year brings a few updates to help keep the second-generation Ford Transit Connect modern and competitive. Automatic headlights are now standard across the range and come connected to rain-sensing wipers. Configurable daytime running lights are also standard. Ford Co-Pilot360 is present on every trim level, although in varying degrees of complexity. The Titanium Premium Package is no longer available, and Guard Metallic paint has been deleted from the palette.
See trim levels and configurations:
The 2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 150 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque; a more powerful 2.5-liter inline-4 with 169 hp and 171 lb-ft is only available on the fleet vehicle. All Transit Connects are front-wheel drive and use the same 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is not available. Towing capacity, meanwhile, is on par for the segment with 2,000 lbs of rated capacity.
The 2020 Transit Connect Passenger Wagon has plenty of reasons for us to recommend it to US buyers. First of all, it is surprisingly pleasant to drive and it feels more like a car than a people mover. However, its choice of seating and interior configurations is a boon and it offers plenty of space for people and things. Infotainment is of a high standard, using the well-regarded SYNC 3 system on upper trim derivatives. It's just a shame some dash plastics are hard and cheap. In terms of equipment and appearance, it is a class act, but it is hamstrung by its weak base engine. A fair level of safety equipment indicates that it should attain a decent safety rating when fully tested by local authorities, and reliability has proven to be solid thus far.
A lack of power notwithstanding, it does enough to raise the bar above that of the competition and allow us to recommend it quite highly in this review of the 2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon.
There are currently three trim levels for sale for buyers in the USA: XL, XLT, and Titanium. The cheapest model misses out on too many features, so we'd avoid that and go straight for the mid-tier XLT. For only a little additional outlay, the XLT adds front fog lights, better upholstery, a powered driver's seat, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen with smartphone integration, wireless phone charging, and SiriusXM. The interior mirror dims automatically too, and there are more driver-assistance features, such as driver alert, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring. The XLT easily represents the best value in the range. The price of the 2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon in this spec is $29,135.
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Check out some informative Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon video reviews below.