"We are absolutely delighted that the new Transit Connect is Van of the Year for 2003," said Steve Parker, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain. "We gave this vehicle the Transit name deliberately to reinforce the tough and dependable qualities we have engineered into it, and it is fitting that Transit Connect has received the same award just two years after the full-size Transit.
"Our aim was to set the benchmark in this highly competitive segment of the market. We took a major step in this segment by choosing to not build a car-derived vehicle, rather to combine Transit’s dependability and low cost of ownership qualities with outstanding durability, loadbox functionality, security and safety in a smaller commercial that is both rewarding to drive and cost effective to own. We are delighted that the Van of the Year jury has fully understood our approach and rewarded our effort," he added.
Built Ford Tough!
Conceived and designed from the beginning as a commercial vehicle, Transit Connect is built on a unique, dedicated commercial vehicle platform that makes industrial strength accessible to the small van market for the first time.
Transit Connect is available in either a long wheelbase high roof or short wheelbase low roof derivative. The first competes in the sub-one tonne sector of the European medium commercial vehicle market whereas the latter is designed for the light commercial vehicle market.
Customers can choose from two 1.8-litre diesel engines, either 75 or 90 PS, turbo charged and high pressure common rail diesel technology respectively, or opt for the 1.8- litre petrol engine, which provides 115 PS, for which LPG will be available during the first half of 2003. A wide choice of bulkhead and sliding side-load door configurations are on offer as well as the standard fold-flat passenger seat and flexible load restraint system allowing customers to install their own racking or shelving without drilling holes in the vehicle.
As far security and safety are concerned, Ford Transit Connect also shows the way, offering class leading security systems combined with extensive safety systems, including driver, passenger and side airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes. Additionally, the vehicle’s strong bodyshell confers a high degree of structural integrity and through its built-in durability contributes in low cost of repairs and maintenance and expected high residual values.
For dual-use customers, the Ford Tourneo Connect derivative offers a highly practical and cost-effective solution for customers who need a single vehicle to satisfy all their commercial and domestic requirements. It is designed and built to meet all the day-to-day demands of a busy work schedule, as well as weekend trips and holidays with the family. In addition, Tourneo Connect is a vehicle that can also satisfy the needs of the customer who wants to use it solely as a commercial vehicle or solely as a passenger car.
With maximum attention to detail lavished on every stage of its design and build, and now with the honour of Van of the Year 2003, Transit Connect is expected to become another best-seller in the Ford family of commercial vehicles.
This award comes on top of the trio of coveted awards from What Van? Magazine in October: best security for a light van, best light van and Van of the Year 2002.Published 7 December 2002