By Jennifer Geiger on November 13, 2012
Ford may have gotten out of the minivan segment years ago, but it's still solidly in the people-mover market. Its Transit Connect van lineup is growing to include a new seven-passenger version.Ford expects the 2014 Transit Connect Wagon to be the first seven-seater with an EPA highway rating of 30 mpg. Powertrain options include a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an optional turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. The automaker's other people movers include the Flex (18/25 mpg) and the Explorer (17/24 mpg from the 3.5-liter V-6 and 20/28 mpg from the turbocharged 2.0-liter).
Along with the two engines, the Transit Connect Wagon will offer customers plenty of other choices. Trim levels include XL, XLT and Titanium and a short-wheelbase five-passenger version also will be available.
The Transit Connect Wagon features minivan-like sliding doors and a choice of a traditional-style rear liftgate or two side-hinged cargo doors. Inside, there's a choice of cloth, vinyl and leather seating and surfaces. It has fold-flat second- and third-row seats, and Ford says there's more than 100 cubic feet of available cargo space. Ford's Flex offers 83.2 cubic feet of maximum cargo space in comparison.
Other creature comforts include a full-glass panoramic roof, a backup camera, 6.5-inch touch-screen display with navigation and Ford's voice-activated multimedia system, Sync with MyFord Touch.
The van will go on sale at the end of 2013. We'll see more of the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.
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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer