Ford introduced the 2014 Transit Connect Wagon Tuesday, saying in a press release that it expects “to break the 30 mpg-plus highway barrier with the all-new Transit Connect Wagon, which drives like a car, has the flexibility of a utility and can haul the payload of a full-size pickup.” The automaker says that the Transit Connect Wagon will be smaller than the current stable of seven-seat vans, and that it should beat the Toyota Sienna’s fuel economy by at least five mpg on the highway. Additionally, Ford says that the Transit Connect Wagon will be able to haul a heavier load than a Toyota Tacoma Double Cab or a Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Transit Connect Wagon will be sold in two lengths and two drivetrain configurations. The Detroit News writes, “Aimed at consumers of all ages, the Transit Connect Wagon will come as a five- or seven-seater and offer two engine options: a conventional four-cylinder engine or Ford's patented 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.” A six-speed automatic transmission will come with both engines.

XL, XLT and Titanium trim levels will be offered, with options that include a panoramic moonroof, a backup camera and a touch-screen navigation system with Sync and MyFord Touch. In terms of utility, the Transit Connect Wagon will offer fold-flat second- and third-row seats, as well as the choice of a rear liftgate or side-hinged cargo doors.

Pricing and full specifications have yet to be announced, but The New York Times reports that the Transit Connect Wagon has more than 100 cubic feet of cargo space with the second and third row folded. In comparison, the Honda Odyssey has 148.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, while the Nissan Quest offers 108.4 cubic feet. Although it offers less cargo space, The New York Times says that the Transit Connect Wagon has ample legroom in all three rows. “The third-row seat has 5 inches of adjustment built in, and when slid all the way forward, 19.8 cubic feet of cargo space is available behind the seat.”

With available three-row seating, sliding rear doors and fold-flat seats, the Transit Connect Wagon certainly looks more like a minivan than a wagon. So why does Ford avoid using the M-word to describe its new people mover? The Associated Press writes, “For the same reason you don't wear mom jeans or listen to Barry Manilow: It's not cool.”

Ford says that the Transit Connect Wagon will hit showroom floors in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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