Ford Transit Connect upgraded to 1.0-tonne payload

  • Increased gross vehicle mass means more payload for small Ford van
  • Change brings Transit Connect closer in capability to best rivals
  • Retains excellent fuel economy ratings, now compatible with HVO fuel

Ford has upgraded its Transit Connect small van to carry more payload. This is a direct response to customer demand and helps close the gap to the PSA Group’s cluster of small vans, the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo Cargo, which have held a distinct advantage in this area since their introduction in 2019.

At the same time, Ford says it has ‘optimised’ the Transit Connect’s fuel efficiency to underline its status as the most economical small van on the market. The 1.5-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel engine is now also approved to run on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil fuel (HVO).

So what’s changed for the Transit Connect?

Ford has increased the available gross vehicle mass – GVM, also known as gross vehicle weight (GVW) – to 2,501kg on some 100hp and 120hp versions of the L2 long-wheelbase (LWB) model. Which means that the maximum available payload in the Transit Connect is 982kg.

Not quite the full ‘1.0-tonne’ rating that Ford is touting – that would be 1,000kg, guys – but a 79kg improvement over the previous best, and a really useful upgrade for an excellent small van.

Ford Transit Connect payload upgrade to 1.0 tonne, 2020, rear view, silver

What’s more, Ford says the changes have no impact on the official fuel economy figures.

For reference, however, the Vauxhall Combo Cargo, the Peugeot Partner, the Citroen Berlingo and the related Toyota Proace City, plus the Fiat Doblo Cargo, can all carry the full 1.0-tonne – and  slightly beyond.

And the fuel economy?

Ford claims this is class-leading, and officially rated at 55.3mpg WLTP for the bestselling, short-wheelbase L1 Trend diesel model with the standard six-speed manual gearbox – but that’s converted from the 68.8mpg rating under the older NEDC standard, and will vary slightly with fitted equipment and power output.

Don’t get us wrong, the Transit Connect is a very fuel-efficient small van – just don’t expect to see 55mpg out of it routinely, especially if you’re making the most of that new payload capacity. A new type of low rolling resistance tyres help to make the mpg as good as it can be.

What’s HVO fuel?

HVO fuel is a second-generation ‘synthetic diesel’. It is promoted as being much cleaner than regular diesel, as it comes from renewable sources and isn’t a fossil fuel like petrol or regular diesel, and is claimed to produce lower emissions.

Ford Transit Connect payload upgrade to 1.0 tonne, 2020, rear view, blue

In theory it works like any other diesel, but Ford has taken the trouble to verify this for the Transit Connect’s 1.5-litre engines, so you can use it without worry. You’re not likely to find HVO ion a regular filling station forecourt, but fleets with their own fuelling depots may be looking into switching to HVO from conventional diesel in order to reduce their environmental impact.

When is the upgraded Ford Transit Connect on sale?

The new, higher-payload Transit Connect variants are in the pricelist, and should be available to order from any Ford van centre now.

Prices start from £19,491 (on-the-road but excluding VAT), which gets you an entry-level Leader model in 100hp LWB L2 guise with the 2,501kg gross vehicle mass rating.

If you just want the cheapest possible Transit Connect, the range is priced from £17,391 – which is good values versus both the smaller Transit Courier and the Fiesta Van.

Also read:

>> Our main Ford Transit Connect review

>> Best small vans

>> Best small vans for mpg