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The base XL van comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 136 horsepower and a four-speed automatic, the standard engine for all Transit Connects. Fifteen-inch wheels, cloth upholstery for the two seats, air conditioning a two-speaker audio system and a tilt-and-telescoping wheel are also standard.
You need to step up to the XLT van to get amenities such as a heated rear window and side mirrors, body-colored bumpers, power windows, locks and mirrors and cruise control. The XLT wagon package includes a split-folding rear bench that brings passenger capacity up to 5, as well as foglights, four-speaker audio with AUX input and carpeted floor mats. The XLT Premium adds better exterior and interior trim as well as rear privacy glass and vent windows for rear passengers. A compressed natural gas (CNG) option is available on all trim levels.
It's hard to compare the Transit Connect to similar vehicles on the market. But the Ram Cargo Van is similarly priced, offers lots of room but is less agile around town. The Chevrolet Express van is also vast but cumbersome and guzzles fuel. A Nissan NV offers more power and slightly more efficiency than the Express, but can be very expensive. A Jeep Patriot is priced low for someone considering a Transit Connect Wagon and is offered with all-wheel drive, but isn't offered in a van trim.
The Transit Connect, therefore, occupies a unique place in the marketplace for both personal and business use. Passenger wagons offer lots of space for not much money, while commercial users in cities or who have small businesses can appreciate the nimbleness of the Transit Connect and the lower running costs than a full-size van or truck.
The XL majors on space and a low price, without many luxury features. Still, it comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and standard four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at up to 27 MPG highway, 21 in the city. The most basic Transit Connect includes air conditioning, two bucket seats with cloth upholstery, a vinyl load floor, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, two-speaker AM/FM radio, height adjustment for the driver's seat and electronic stability control with a roll-mitigating system. Options include a CD player, Ford's SYNC voice recognition system, a backup camera, daytime running lights and carpeted floor mats.
The XLT adds a few more features to make the Transit Connect more livable for those who might want to use it for more than just hauling big boxes. This more upscale van trim level adds things like cruise control, dual front map lights, power front windows, mirrors and locks with remote keyless entry, a rear 12-volt outlet, CD player, body colored bumpers and a heated rear window and mirrors. Going for the XLT wagon adds a split rear bench seat with three seatbelts, as well as carpeting for the rear passenger area. A four-speaker audio system with AUX input is also included as are side windows and rear glass. Options consist of the SYNC system, backup camera, rear cargo doors that open up to 255 degrees, rear parking sensors and privacy glass on wagon models.
The XLT Premium aims to be the most comfortable way of putting people in a Transit Connect. That means it comes standard with niceties in addition to the XLT Wagon such as flip-open rear windows, storage in the rear doors, special exterior trim and standard privacy glass. Options also include rear parking sensors, a backup camera, SYNC and carpeted floor mats.
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Much larger and offers V6 power, but bulkier outside and less fuel-efficient
Rugged and vast interior, but cumbersome to drive and heavy on fuel
Powerful engines with improved economy for a full-size van, but can be expensive
Offers low-priced all-wheel drive option and compact, but no van option