After being out of the minivan market for seven years, Ford is getting back in the game with the "don't dare call it a minivan" Transit Connect Wagon. Since the Nissan NV200 is not offered in a passenger version in the U.S. (except for taxi models), the Transit Connect Wagon really is a unique product, larger than the mini-minivan Mazda5, but smaller than "traditional" minivans such as the Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Honda Odyssey. In addition to its unique market position and packaging, the 2014 Transit Connect Wagon can now also claim a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest overall score given by the government agency.
This is a significant improvement over its predecessor, which received a dismal two-star rating in the test. The previous-generation Transit Connect was only briefly offered in the "Wagon" configuration in the U.S., primarily marketed as a two-seat compact commercial cargo van. The 2014 Transit Connect will also be offered in both short- and long-wheelbase configurations, and the Wagon is available as a short-wheelbase five-seater, or long-wheelbase seven-seater.
While we have not yet had a chance to drive the Wagon version, we tested a Transit Connect cargo van as part of our 2014 Truck of the Year testing and noted its nimble, car-like handling, and punchy EcoBoost powertrain.