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Ford to re-enter minivan market for 2014

'Tween-sized European Transit Connect Wagon coming to North America late next year

Published: November 15, 2012, 1:00 AM

2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Ford plans to sell a version of its European-designed and built Tourneo Connecy passenger van in North America, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2013.

It will be sold here as the Transit Connect Wagon, but it's a different vehicle than the little Turkish-built Transit Connect delivery van that has become hugely successful in the commercial market.

In size, the Transit Connect Wagon, which will be offered in both five- and seven-passenger form, will fit between theMazda5 and more conventional minivans such as the Toyota Sienna.

Ford says it will be roomier than the former and significantly more fuel-efficient than the latter in seven-passenger trim – and it will carry a greater payload than the market-leading Dodge Grand Caravan.

According to Mark Fields, Ford’s President of The Americas. "It’s an all-new, smaller seven-seater that creates a segment of its own."

Customers will have a choice of two four-cylinder engines – a standard 2.5-litre and an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost – two wheelbase lengths and three trim levels: XL, XLT and Titanium. Both engines will connect to a six-speed automatic transmission

Functional features include sliding side doors, fold-flat second- and third-row seating, a 550-kg (1200-lb) payload, more than 2800 litres of cargo space and choice of a rear lift-gate or side-hinged cargo doors. Suitably equipped, it can tow up to 900 kg (2000 lb).

Available options will include a full-glass panoramic roof, rear view camera, 6.5-inch touch screen display with navigation, and SYNC with MyFord Touch voice-activated communications and entertainment system.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford vice president of Global Engineering, Global Product Development says, "It has an extensive selection of comfort, convenience and connectivity options, and a full complement of safety features – making it a modern, family-friendly alternative to oversized minivans."

The Transit Connect Wagon will be built in Valencia, Spain.