For Sale By:Private Seller
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Exterior Color: Orange
Options: Leather Seats
Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
The redesigned 2014 Ford Transit Connect isn't even on sale yet, but it's already making its presence felt around the world. At a commercial vehicle expo in Russia, the Transit Connect was named the International Van of the Year.
Ford's small work van edged out the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter by just seven points to allow Ford to grab this honor for the second consecutive year, which it won last year with the Transit Custom. Not only does this make Ford the first to ever win the award in back-to-back years, but it's also the fifth time the automaker has won this award since 2003 (two with the Transit Connect, two with the fullsize Transit and once with the Transit Custom). Ford congratulates itself for the accomplishment in a press release posted below.
Want to take a performance car for a ride? Hertz can make that happen. Spin by your local rental location (depending, of course, on availability) and you can take out a Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, even a Corvette as part of the Adrenaline Collection. Hertz's Dream Cars lineup even includes Porsches and AMGs. But the really interesting stuff is what you can't get anywhere else: cars built specifically for Hertz.
Back in 1966, Hertz had Ford cook up a special run of Mustang GT350H models in back with gold stripes. It became an icon in and of itself, and in 2008 Hertz had a new batch of Shelby GT-Hs made. Earlier this year, Hertz contracted Penske to deliver another fleet of specially-built Mustangs you can rent. But if your travel plans include a trip to the Netherlands, Hertz has a completely different type of specially-prepared Ford on offer for you.
Back in August, Ford delivered a couple of Focus STs made specifically for Hertz in Holland. Now it's expanded that fleet even further. The Ford Focus ST-H features the same 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four (and everything else) as the standard Focus ST, but gets that signature black exterior with gold stripes and a black leather interior with Recaro buckets. So in case a trip to Amsterdam doesn't hold enough thrills, now you can throw a hot hatch into the mix as well. Scope out the press release (in Dutch - isn't that weird?) below.
As a segment, fullsize vans are stealth-fighter invisible on most consumers' radar. Visit a dealership for any of the four brands that offer them and you'll be lucky to find even one on display. These are commercial vehicles primarily, even more so than pickup trucks. Vans are the shuttles for plumbers, caterers, carpenters, concrete layers, masons, electricians, florists and flooring, and a huge part of this country's productivity is accomplished using them. At the moment, Ford is the 800-pound gorilla in that room - fully 41 percent of commercial vehicles wear a Blue Oval. So when Ford announced three years ago it would be ditching its commercial bread-and-butter E-Series, it meant the Transit that would be replacing the Econoline had huge, 53-year-old shoes to fill.
We were still a bit nostalgic about Econoline vans going away until going directly from the Transit first drive in Kansas City to an E-350 airport shuttle. Climb up through the Econoline's tiny double doors and bang your head on the opening, crouch all the way to your seat then enjoy a loud, rattle-prone, creaky, harsh ride on beam-hard seats while struggling to see out the low windows. This is an experience nearly every traveler has had. By comparison, the Transits we'd just spent two days with were every bit of the four decades better they needed to be. It cannot be understated just how much better the Transit is in every single way. The load floor is barely more than knee high. There's a huge side door, and hitting your head on a door opening is nearly impossible. Stand up all the way if you're under six-foot, six-inches - no more half-hunching down the aisle. There are windows actually designed to be looked out of. The ride is buttery smooth, no booming vibration from un-restrained metal panels and no squeaks. Conversations can be held at normal levels rather than yelling over the roar of an ancient V8. The seats are comfortable. The AC is cold. There are cupholders.
Enough anecdote-laying, what's in a Transit? We're talking about a very fullsized unibody van that's enjoyed a 49-year history in Ye Olde Europe. This latest iteration is part of the "One Ford" initiative, so it was designed as a global offering from the get-go, eschewing the body-on-frame construction the E-Series has used since 1975. Instead, the Transit integrates a rigid ladder frame into an overall frame construction made of high-strength cold-rolled and boron steel. The suspension is a simple but well-tuned Macpherson strut array up front with a rear solid axle and leaf springs.