The Ford Tourneo Connect, a leisure activity vehicle, is a Transit Connect with side windows and rear seats. To circumvent the 25% "Chicken Tax" on imported light trucks, all Transit Connects bound for the United States are imported in this configuration.
First generation (2002–2013) Edit[[File:220px-Alexander_Dennis_support_van.jpg|thumb|left|The Transit Connect was introduced in Europe for the 2002 model year as the replacement for sedan delivery vans based on the Escort and the Fiesta. Production of the Escort in Europe ceased in 2000 (although the vans carried on for another two years), whilst the Fiesta Courier was also planned to be discontinued when the fifth-generation Fiesta entered production in 2002. Ford elected not to develop a direct sedan delivery version of the Focus, instead pursuing a purpose built design. Sharing few components with the much larger Transit, the Transit Connect was based on the front-wheel drive C170 platform shared with the international Ford Focus, then common with the first-generation North American Ford Focus. Rather than adapting an existing bodystyle into a van, the Transit Connect was designed with sliding side doors.
The Escort van and the Fiesta Courier had been assembled at the Halewood and Dagenham plants in England, respectively, but both plants were to cease Ford car production (Halewood was to be handed over to Jaguar, whilst Dagenham was to become an engine plant only), so a new production facility was needed. The Transit Connect was therefore assembled by Otosan in an all-new production facility at Gölcük, near Kocaeli, Turkey. After September 2009, additional production began in Craiova, Romania.
The Ford Transit Connect was awarded "Van of the Year 2004" by Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine. In its first year on the North American market, the Transit Connect was awarded "North American Truck of the Year 2010" at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
2010 update EditSince mid-2009, the Transit Connect has been imported to the United States and Canada. It was first shown in the United States at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show and the 2010 production model was introduced at the following year's show on February 11, 2009. The introduction of the North American variant coincided with a mid-cycle facelift which includes a restyled front grille, a deeper front bumper and a new dashboard featuring the switchgear and instrument pod from the C307 Focus.
Initially, only the long-wheelbase version of the van, outfitted with a 2.0L four-cylinder petrol engine and 4 speed 4F27E, was offered in North America; elsewhere, the 1.8L diesel engine and 5 speed manual transmission was the only available powertrain. An electric version followed in 2011, converted by Azure Dynamics Corporation at a U.S. facility.
To build up interest and awareness in North America, Transit Connects specifically equipped as "mobile showrooms" were taken to industrial parks and other appropriate venues in 13 U.S. urban areas in May 2009, with the goal of offering 3,000 test drives to small business owners.
Trim Levels Edit
In the U.S., the Transit Connect was available in two different trim levels:
XL: Manual windows, manual door locks, cloth seating surfaces, A/M-F/M stereo with auxiliary audio input jack, two speakers, black-painted steel wheels w/ plastic wheel covers, 2.0L I4 engine, automatic transmission, front-wheel-drive, and air conditioning.
XLT: Power windows, power door locks, four speakers, and exterior-colored accents and bumpers.
For Passenger models, an XLT Premium model was offered, adding these features to the XLT: A/M-F/M stereo with single-disc CD/MP3 player and USB and auxiliary audio input jacks, leather seating surfaces, rear cargo door trim, and enhanced interior sound deadening material. This model appealed very much to families.
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