Ford Transit Connect van review (2002-2013)

First generation of Ford's game-changing small van

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0


  • All-round ability
  • Versatility
  • Range of capacities


  • Limited engine offering
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The original Ford Transit Connect revolutionised the small van market at its launch in 2002, offering a bigger alternative to the likes of the Citroen Berlingo and even threatening to steal sales from the lower end of the large panel van market.

Ford Transit Connect (2002-2013) side view

The Transit Connect remains one of the most capable small vans of its generation, and should be close to the top of your shopping list whether you're a fleet operator or owner-driver.

Ford Transit Connect (02-13) driving experience

4 out of 5 4.0

With a good driving position and willing engines, the Transit Connect is a fine companion whether used on long-haul runs or short hops.

The 75hp old-technology diesel is not as refined as the more powerful 90hp common rail diesel alternative, but neither are exceptionally brisk when compared with rivals available with diesels producing up to 110hp.

Ford Transit Connect (2002-2013) driving experience

There is one petrol engine - a 115bhp 1.8-litre, which is also available as an LPG bi-fuel conversion.

The Transit Connect rides quite smoothly and can be driven with a lot of confidence on twistier roads, with good steering feel and feedback.

Ford Transit Connect (02-13) cabin & interior

4 out of 5 4.0

A great deal of attention has been paid to ensure the Transit Connect provides owners with a comfortable driving environment.

The seating position is high, affording a good view of the road ahead and making getting in and out of the van easy - essential if the Transit Connect will be used for multi-drop work.

Ford Transit Connect (2002-2013) cab interior

The driver's seat has a six-way adjustment and the dashboard has a 12-volt power point as well as a cigarette lighter.

Heating and ventilation controls are designed clearly and are simple to operate.

There are various storage compartments in the cabin as well as a holder for A4 documents.

Ford Transit Connect (2002-2013) folding passenger seat

The Transit Connect is also offered with a folding passenger seat option (something that is standard on many other small vans), where the seatback folds forward.

Ford Transit Connect (02-13) running costs & value

4 out of 5 4.0

With prices starting at just under £10,000 (excluding VAT), the entry-level transit connect was just about competitive with the Citroen Berlingo when new, and undercut the equivalent Volkswagen Caddy by a sizeable sum

The diesels will offer close to 40mpg in everyday driving.

Ford Transit Connect (2002-2013) mpg, costs, value

Owners of the Transit Connect will find it depreciates more slowly than a Citroen Berlingo, Renault Kangoo, Fiat Doblo or Peugeot Partner, meaning it should be worth more when you come to sell it again.

Ford Transit Connect (02-13) reliability, common problems & faults

4 out of 5 4.0

Ford produced a purpose-built van with the Transit Connect and it should prove durable even when worked hard.

Ford Transit Connect (02-13) safety & security

3.5 out of 5 3.5

Remote central locking is standard, as is a driver's airbag. You have to pay extra for ABS, although this is the norm for vans in this class.

Which Ford Transit Connect (02-13) is best for me?