Vanity is one hell of a thing. In the automotive sector, it has spawned an entirely new breed of car: the crossover, a minivan alternative built around the premise of looking like an SUV but driving and acting more like a car. The crossover is an inherently-compromised machine, yet if you have a family, the thought of owning one might be tempting. (If only to avoid the minivan stigma….). But if you have a big family and just need a simple, honest way to get from point A to point B, look no further than Ford’s sweet new van for a better alternative.
I’m referring to the Transit Connect Wagon as a van rather than a minivan (despite its sliding doors) because it’s based on an actual cargo van. In that respect, it’s kind of like a modern version of the once-ubiquitous conversion vans of the ’80s and ’90s. The Connect Wagon is not some giant, truck-like behemoth, though — it’s a refined, front-wheel-drive car available in short- and long-wheelbase versions. If you opt for the latter, it seats seven people in comfort and can still fit up to nearly 20 cubic feet of cargo (about four more cubic feet than compared to a Honda Pilot). Oh, and if you opt for the 1.5-liter diesel option, Ford estimates you’ll get at least 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
In short, it’s a family car that just makes a hell of a lot of sense. It almost makes too much sense. And if you are still hung up on vanity, well, you’re far from the only one concerned about that factor. Just take solace in the fact that the Transit Connect Wagon’s boxy European cargo van looks are decidedly sharper than your average minivan. Thre’s just no contest.
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