2011 Ford Transit Connect Performance

$7,665 - $8,471

2011 Ford Transit Connect Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Ford Transit Connect was new.


Performance: 7.6

The Transit Connect receives mixed reviews on performance. Reviewers appreciate its easy maneuverability and almost-nimble handling in the city, but complain that it's underpowered. Still, most agree that for around-town hauling, the Transit Connect is easy to live with. Its gas mileage, compared to that of a large cargo van, is another plus.

  • "The underpowered gas four, four-speed automatic with overdrive, and firm, positive brakes work together well, being plenty adequate for stop-and-go deliveries around town." -- Motor Trend
  • "On the topic of driving, anyone who's spent time behind the wheel of a full-size van understands the joys of body roll, pitch, a bouncy ride and lifeless steering. Thankfully, the Transit Connect is mercilessly devoid of these unsavory characteristics." -- Autoblog
  • "In and around Manhattan's crowded streets, the Transit Connect drives as easy as a comparable front-wheel drive hatch." -- Jalopnik
  • "And it's reasonably fun to drive, much like today's taller, fatter Ford Focus. No surprise then, the Transit Connect handles like a hot hatchback that's taken an Octomom-like fancy for in-vitro fertilization." -- The Truth About Cars

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Ford Transit Connect has a single engine available: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 136 horsepower. A four-speed automatic is the only available transmission. While some reviewers complain about the lack of power, others appreciate the Transit Connect's fuel economy. Although EPA estimates for the 2011 Transit Connect have not been released, the similar 2010 Transit Connect is rated 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway -- much better than a full-size cargo van.

  • "The 2-liter engine provides 136 horsepower and 128-pound-feet torque. It's not quick and no race car attributes come to mind behind the wheel of the Transit Connect, but it always gets the job done. " -- Detroit News
  • "[A]gility is present, but alas, rapidity is not. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder that feels taxed in the 2,642-pound Ford Focus is completely zonked in the 3,470-pound Transit Connect. Naturally, adding cargo will further reduce its pep." -- Edmunds
  • "But realistically, the Transit Connect is best adapted for getting around in cities and suburbs. For urban errands and deliveries, the power seemed adequate." -- New York Times
  • "Quick? Hardly. The 2-liter, 136-horsepower, 4-cylinder is designed to deliver mileage, not muscle, and boasts 22 mpg city and 25 highway to go more than 370 miles before the pause that refreshes." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "The engine is smooth, but moving 3,470 pounds with that much power takes some time. The Transit Connect's acceleration is leisurely (at best), but acceptable given the intended purpose." -- Autoblog
  • "Power output from the 2.0-liter Duratec is more than sufficient at 136 HP and 128 ft-lb of torque, helped by four well-chosen gear ratios and smart autobox programming. Ford doesn't quote a 0-60 MPH time, but we'd hazard a guess at something in the 10-second range." -- Jalopnik
  • "An unladen Transit Connect moves at a decent clip, but the intimidation level rises considerably when reaching the van's cargo limit: a small-bore motor takes time to build steam when a wide ratio gearbox keeps the revs down and out for the count. Europeans will find it immediately familiar, Americans will find it slightly annoying" -- The Truth About Cars

Handling and Braking

While it's not a sports car, most reviewers are impressed with the Transit Connect's handling. Its small size makes it easy to handle, and a low center of gravity keeps it from being too tippy.

  • "It doesn't have the dynamics of the faster, better-handling Chevy HHR, though of course this is a much taller truck; the space created by the higher center of gravity affording more than twice the HHR panel van's cargo space." -- Motor Trend
  • "Over uneven patches of pavement, occupants will definitely feel the ruts and divots, but it's still remarkably more pleasant than driving your run-of-the-mill full-size pickup." -- Autoblog
  • "A low center of gravity and good steering feedback contribute to handling that can almost be described as nimble" -- Consumer Guide
  • "Front and rear sway bars control bodyroll during brisk handling - even through the wonkiest NYC traffic roundabouts. The turning circle is a minuscule 39 feet, so U-turns are a cinch." -- Jalopnik
  • "Unlike any other van, the Transit Connect corners flat in most situations, with stunning lateral grip and less push than expected from a nose heavy beast: I clipped a freeway underpass at twice the speed of our Ford Econoline tester, realizing the Transit Connect had plenty more." -- The Truth About Cars
  • "Where the E-Series is ponderous and ungainly - not surprising given its rather vintage underpinnings - the Transit Connect rides firmly and compliantly and offers almost sporty handling. . . . Its light weight and compact packaging makes it immensely more maneuverable, which should instill confidence in inexperienced fleet drivers." -- Left Lane News


The Transit Connect can haul up to 1,600 pounds, which is impressive given its small size. However, large cargo vans like the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express can haul over 4,000 pounds depending on trim, and can also tow up to 10,000 pounds. If you need heavy-duty hauling and towing, the Transit Connect isn't the van for you.

  • "Totes up to 1,600 pounds, as much as a full-size pickup. Holds up to 135 cubic feet of goods, more than a full-size SUV. " -- USA TODAY
  • "The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 136 horsepower and 128 pounds-feet of torque - small numbers, but enough to haul a 1,600-pound payload, according to Ford. That's a figure comparable to many light-duty pickup trucks." --Cars.com
  • "Its stout MacPherson strut front/solid rear axle suspension does help it deliver impressive 1,600 lbs. payload capacity that should be ample for most users. " -- Left Lane News

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