For 2019, Ford has given its smallest van, the Transit Connect, a facelift. It consists of a revised front fascia and an updated dashboard. But the most interesting update is more than skin deep. Under the new hood you'll be able to get two new engines, one powered by gasoline, or, for the first time in the U.S., one powered by diesel.
The diesel is by far the most interesting aspect of the new Transit Connect. It uses a new 1.5-liter engine that has only just recently been introduced to Europe in the overseas version of the EcoSport crossover. The block and heads are all-aluminum, and it features a variable-geometry turbo and water-to-air intercooler. Output isn't enormous at about 120 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, but it should be quite usable, with peak torque arriving at just 1,700 rpm. Ford is also targeting 30 mpg on the highway with the diesel. It's also launching an engine line name called EcoBlue, similar to EcoBoost for the turbo gas engines. This also seems to indicate that we'll see additional diesel cars from Ford in the near future.
Ford had less to say about the gasoline engine. It's a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but that's all the company revealed. It will be coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, as will the diesel engine. Also worth noting is that the Transit Connect will be able to tow up to 2,000 pounds when equipped with the towing package.
Inside, there are a variety of small changes. The instrument cluster has been redesigned. USB plugs have been moved out of the center console for faster, easier access. The van now has available push-button start and entry. The infotainment screen has also been liberated from its former cave to become a tablet-style screen sitting atop the center stack. Other handy features Ford is including or making available on the new Transit Connect are standard automatic emergency braking, optional parallel parking assist and wireless charging. All of this becomes available this fall, but Ford hasn't yet announced pricing.