New Ford Transit Connect targets taxi business

Next-generation Transit Connect has been specifically designed for taxi service

Published: September 23, 2013, 1:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:53 PM

2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi

Nissan may have won the big contract to provide New York City taxi cabs, based on its NV200 van, but Ford is by no means ready to abandon the taxi business, which was largely dominated by the Ford Crown Victoria until it went out of production in 2011.

Ford has revealed a dedicated taxi version of its all-new 2014 Transit Connect van, which it says will provide best-in-class performance, low operating costs, and improved comfort and flexibility for the North American taxi market.

"(The first-generation) Transit Connect Taxi has been popular in major metropolitan cities since it debuted in 2010, and it has only gotten better," said Tim Stoehr, commercial truck marketing manager for Ford.

The 2014 Transit Connect Taxi comes with a new powertrain – a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission – that is expected to achieve best-in-class highway fuel economy rating.

It will be the only taxi offered with a compressed natural gas/liquefied petroleum gas engine prep package, for conversion through Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier program, the company says. Its cargo area accommodates a compressed gas tank, while leaving ample room for luggage, according to Ford.

The redesigned for 2014 Transit Connect Taxi is lower than its predecessor, giving taxicab companies more clearance to place advertising on the cabin roof.

It is also longer, offering seating for five and increased cargo capacity – up to about 1700 litres behind the second row. The roomy, flexible interior is perfectly suited for livery service, the company says.

The vehicle’s floor has been lowered for improved access to the cabin, and can be modified to be wheelchair-accessible, via Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier program.

Technology for the driver also has been upgraded, with options that include a rear-view camera, 6.5-inch touch-screen display with navigation and Ford's SYNC with MyFord Touch voice-activated mobile communications system.

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi will go into production and arrive in dealerships by early next year.