2012 Ford Transit Connect Performance

$7,970 - $8,482

2012 Ford Transit Connect Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Ford Transit Connect was new.


Performance: 7.2

The Transit Connect receives mixed performance reviews. Reviewers appreciate its relatively good 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 with that of a large cargo van, is another plus.

  • "The Transit Connect's small size also makes it much easier to maneuver through confined city streets and narrow alleys, a plus for parcel and delivery services.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "But while agility is good, quick it is not. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that used to be stressed by the task of motivating the old, 2,642-pound Ford Focus is completely zonked in the 3,470-pound Transit Connect. And imagine how slow it would be loaded up with its maximum payload of 1,600 pounds.” -- Edmunds
  •  “Passengers will feel most bumps, but the ride is far from harsh.” -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 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. Though the small engine means that the Transit Connect gets good fuel economy, nearly every reviewer complains that the van is significantly underpowered. Plus, some test drivers wish that the Transit Connect’s transmission had at least one more gear, which would improve its performance and gas mileage. According to the EPA, the Transit Connect Van gets 21/27 mpg city/highway, while the Wagon model gets 22/27 mpg city/highway.

  • "Its four-cylinder engine may be substantially more fuel-efficient than those V8-powered dinosaurs, but the Transit Connect is woefully underpowered for a vehicle of this size.” -- Edmunds
  • "If there is one weak spot for the 2012 Transit Connect it can be found under the hood. The 2.0-liter gas engine is strong enough to get you where you're going but, when loaded down, the engine strains to reach higher speeds in a timely manner.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acceleration is barely adequate from a stop. Passing and merging muscle are virtually non-existent, even with just one person and a small amount of cargo aboard. Loading Transit Connect even remotely close to its rated 1,600-pound payload will further tax it. The transmission does its best to keep up with driver demands for power, but it's sometimes reluctant to downshift, particularly when going up hills.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Lows: Won't get anywhere quickly, gas model's four-speed automatic needs at least one more forward ratio.” -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Reviewers are impressed with the Transit Connect’s handling, saying it’s easy to drive and surprisingly maneuverable in tight spots. The Transit Connect’s ride is reasonably smooth and its low center of gravity helps reduce body roll.

  • "While you'll have to watch that you don't bump the tall roof going under garage openings, the Transit Connect van isn't much wider than a Ford Focus so, once in, getting around the parking structure or loading dock is a breeze. With a turning radius just under 39 feet, the 2012 Ford Transit Connect is far easier to turn around than a full-size van, and it easily fits into car-sized parking spaces, too.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2012 Ford Transit Connect's tall and narrow dimensions make it easy to maneuver through narrow, urban streets that would leave an Econoline driver double-checking that his company's insurance is paid up.” -- Edmunds
  • "A low center of gravity and good steering feedback contribute to handling that can almost be described as nimble. Transit Connect admirably tackles the urban jungle. It's generally stable on the highway, though its tall build makes it susceptible to gusty crosswind wander.” -- Consumer Guide

Towing and Hauling

The Transit Connect can haul up to 1,600 pounds of cargo. That rating isn’t bad given this van’s small size and car-based platform. Ford doesn’t list a maximum towing capacity. However, large cargo vans like the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express can haul more than 4,000 pounds depending on the 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.

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