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Transit Connect 2010+ Ford Transit Connect

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2009, 07:00 PM
jefflaur1 jefflaur1 is offline
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Transit Connect vs Grand Caravan?

So I have an '05 Dodge minivan with all the seats dropped into the floor and a big sheet of exercize mat covering the surface. The van is functional, but this Connect looks ideal for what we do. We have eleven rescued dogs, and transport others to shelters etc. I like the better miliage idea, AND the rubber flooring..MUCH easier to clean up than the carpeted Grand Caravan..but at 70K is it getting long in the tooth? For around the same payment I can get into a new 2010 vehicle..

Pros: The Connect has a large flat area, and no useless amenities for dogs like rear DVD players etc. It is NEW, and thus (may be) more reliable. The one dealer that has one wants it sold, and is willing to give me a good price..but that's kinda scary in itself.

Cons: It is a Turkish truck..with Turkish parts, and might be in the shop for weeks on end while Ford tracks down the parts and pieces. I can go to NAPA and virtually rebuild that Caravan. We are in the mountains on NC and the dealer doesn't want to let me try driving it up our mountain..something that the Dodge does well...and finally the 4 cyl engine is the same as in the Focus? Isn't that grossly underpowered for a vehicle of this size?

I am not married to the Caravan..and I'd LIKE to buy the Transit Connect..I really like it, but the unsure future is sort of bugging me.
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2009, 08:18 PM
Transit1 Transit1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefflaur1 View Post
So I have an '05 Dodge minivan with all the seats dropped into the floor and a big sheet of exercize mat covering the surface. The van is functional, but this Connect looks ideal for what we do. We have eleven rescued dogs, and transport others to shelters etc. I like the better miliage idea, AND the rubber flooring..MUCH easier to clean up than the carpeted Grand Caravan..but at 70K is it getting long in the tooth? For around the same payment I can get into a new 2010 vehicle..

Pros: The Connect has a large flat area, and no useless amenities for dogs like rear DVD players etc. It is NEW, and thus (may be) more reliable. The one dealer that has one wants it sold, and is willing to give me a good price..but that's kinda scary in itself.

Cons: It is a Turkish truck..with Turkish parts, and might be in the shop for weeks on end while Ford tracks down the parts and pieces. I can go to NAPA and virtually rebuild that Caravan. We are in the mountains on NC and the dealer doesn't want to let me try driving it up our mountain..something that the Dodge does well...and finally the 4 cyl engine is the same as in the Focus? Isn't that grossly underpowered for a vehicle of this size?

I am not married to the Caravan..and I'd LIKE to buy the Transit Connect..I really like it, but the unsure future is sort of bugging me.
Well, yes and no..
It is a European truck built in Turkey with an engine from Spain and a trans from Mexico - or at least that's what I was told.

I didn't want a Caravan, and this was a vehicle I looked at when it was first made public that it would be sold here. I waited, and now I am driving one. I like it.

The dealer that has one (only one?) might not be a good choice, as it seems they may not be interested in after sale follow ups. I find that odd, as I watched the inventories of most of the stores here for well over two months before the inevitable happened.

For the dogs. Absolutely! Lots of room, and the rubber mat is relatively easy to keep clean. Mine is an XLT Van with windows and has the 255* rear doors (not something I really wanted, but they were on it.) I have 3500 miles on it and find it to be more fun to drive than the previous car.. an '02 Crown Vic LX Sport. Doesn't have the getup and getgone the CV did, but it doesn't stop at the gas stations nearly as often, and doesn't cost $48 to $50 each trip either!

I bought mine for use with my hobby more than anything else, but it is also my daily driver. Loads of room for the old bicycles to be carted here and there.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Roland C.
(Your mileage may vary!)
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2009, 06:10 AM
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tseekins tseekins is offline
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Roland,

That's an excellent post! The moral of the story, buy what you need. The Duratech 2.0L is a fantastic engine and very reliable for years and miles to come. I think the TC is a little big for that small of an engine.

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  #4  
Old 10-27-2009, 08:31 PM
Transit1 Transit1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefflaur1 View Post
So I have an '05 Dodge minivan with all the seats dropped into the floor and a big sheet of exercize mat covering the surface. The van is functional, but this Connect looks ideal for what we do. We have eleven rescued dogs, and transport others to shelters etc. I like the better miliage idea, AND the rubber flooring..MUCH easier to clean up than the carpeted Grand Caravan..but at 70K is it getting long in the tooth? For around the same payment I can get into a new 2010 vehicle..

Pros: The Connect has a large flat area, and no useless amenities for dogs like rear DVD players etc. It is NEW, and thus (may be) more reliable. The one dealer that has one wants it sold, and is willing to give me a good price..but that's kinda scary in itself.

Cons: It is a Turkish truck..with Turkish parts, and might be in the shop for weeks on end while Ford tracks down the parts and pieces. I can go to NAPA and virtually rebuild that Caravan. We are in the mountains on NC and the dealer doesn't want to let me try driving it up our mountain..something that the Dodge does well...and finally the 4 cyl engine is the same as in the Focus? Isn't that grossly underpowered for a vehicle of this size?

I am not married to the Caravan..and I'd LIKE to buy the Transit Connect..I really like it, but the unsure future is sort of bugging me.
Oddly enough, I had someone who works with me ride today for an intiation into his new function. He has a Caravan SXT his wife drives. At the end of the day, he had some interesting comparisons. He felt the TC was more comfortable (seating wise), and thought the ride quality was considerably better than the Caravan. (I don't know that it's so different..)

He likes the sliding doors on both sides, the overhead room and the storage shelf/bin, and of course - the air coinditioning.

We talked about the gas mileage, his gets roughly the same around town, I have an edge on the road (when I behave!). Power wise, the engine is recalibrated for this application and put out more horsepower than in the Focus. While I'm not gonna win a drag race with it, I think it gets up and goes pretty well for a hall closet.

The issue with mechanical parts shouldn't be an issue. The body parts are pretty readily available based on what I've seen so far, and they have been sold and in use in Europe since '02 ('03 models). That would make some parts available in short order I'd think.

I won't go further and say this is what YOU should do, but it Is what I did, and I have many of the same concerns. Call me optomistic, but I bought it based on what I know of Ford over the last 60 years (no, I'm not 60, but I've had a bunch of Fords that were built in that tie period), and that is a pretty reliable vehicle in most every case. Beyond that, the fleet sales manager I got mine from has been checking in with me regularly, and had a good look over the changes I've made yesterday when I stopped by there for a (body) shop visit. I'd probably be a bit uneasy too if the dealer only had one unit, and seemed disinterested in it.

Naturally, it's your dime. I do have a question though... did you drive it at all? I'd wonder about mountains too... (We're a little short on those here..)
That was the final decision maker for me. I had read everything I could get my hands on about these for about a year before I ever saw one on a lot. I think that had me "swung" to begin with.

Roland C.
Happily Transiting
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2009, 10:36 PM
YoGeorge YoGeorge is offline
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You definitely have some good input here. I have owned more than a few orphan vehicles that were sold in limited numbers in the US, and they can be a problem getting parts for down the road. The advantage is that there are lots of TC's in Europe.

I thought about buying a Sprinter back in 2003 but bought an E150 instead because I was unsure of the Sprinter's future (this was when it was still badged Freightliner, not Dodge) in terms of parts and service. In retrospect, I'm assuming Sprinter parts are available.

But Ford's imports have not always gone well. Remember Merkur? Even though there were many German Fords in Germany, parts in the US were not always easy to get.

I would also wonder how much of a redesign the TC will get in 2011 or 2012, when production comes to the US (or Mexico, or wherever)....

Still I like the TC and if a tree fell on my E150, the TC would probably be on my short list of vehicles to look at.

George
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:48 AM
artfd artfd is offline
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I owned a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country minivan until 2002, putting about 110,000 miles on it, all kinds of travel. I loved the styling, design & mileage. However its quality of construction & reliability were the worst of any vehicle I've ever owned. The first thing that went wrong with it was its overheating on the first day in 1996 when the day was hotter than 80. That happened because the relay for the electric fan (behind the radiator) was nonfunctional. Chrysler did a recall on that issue. The next thing was that the plastic on the steering wheel actually started to crumble & fell off in my hand on my first cross country trip. Within a few days about 25% of the material had fallen off! Entire steering wheel replaced under warranty. The windshield wipers kept coming off & on at random intervals, sometimes scratching my glass when a little sand coated the windshield. The dealer tried to fix it twice under warranty, this made no difference. The A/C compressor died 500 miles after the warranty expired. I paid $1200 to replace it, the dealer only offered a 12-month warranty on the replacement. 12 months and 1 week later, the 2nd A/C compressor failed. The dealer wanted $1400 to replace it again. He did not inform me that for just $200 I could bypass Chrysler's flawed A/C system, put in an idler pulley, and simply do without A/C, which I did for the next 60,000 miles, Etc. That van spent more time in the shop than all the other vehicles I've owned, put together. So I will not consider a Chrysler minivan again, ever. I believe the Transit Connect will be much more reliable than one of those.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2010, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artfd View Post
I owned a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country minivan until 2002, putting about 110,000 miles on it, all kinds of travel. I loved the styling, design & mileage. However its quality of construction & reliability were the worst of any vehicle I've ever owned. The first thing that went wrong with it was its overheating on the first day in 1996 when the day was hotter than 80. That happened because the relay for the electric fan (behind the radiator) was nonfunctional. Chrysler did a recall on that issue. The next thing was that the plastic on the steering wheel actually started to crumble & fell off in my hand on my first cross country trip. Within a few days about 25% of the material had fallen off! Entire steering wheel replaced under warranty. The windshield wipers kept coming off & on at random intervals, sometimes scratching my glass when a little sand coated the windshield. The dealer tried to fix it twice under warranty, this made no difference. The A/C compressor died 500 miles after the warranty expired. I paid $1200 to replace it, the dealer only offered a 12-month warranty on the replacement. 12 months and 1 week later, the 2nd A/C compressor failed. The dealer wanted $1400 to replace it again. He did not inform me that for just $200 I could bypass Chrysler's flawed A/C system, put in an idler pulley, and simply do without A/C, which I did for the next 60,000 miles, Etc. That van spent more time in the shop than all the other vehicles I've owned, put together. So I will not consider a Chrysler minivan again, ever. I believe the Transit Connect will be much more reliable than one of those.
WOW! Is there a connection to this story and Chrysler's current woe's?!

Tim
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2010, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tseekins View Post
WOW! Is there a connection to this story and Chrysler's current woe's?!

Tim
I had a '96 GMC Savana that I bought new that had a very similar history (including SEVEN valve bodies, three transmissions, starter, alternator, two fuel pumps, and a ton more problems by the time I sold it at only 66k miles. GM and Chrysler sure ended up in a similar spot, didn't they?

George
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:59 PM
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WOW! Is there a connection to this story and Chrysler's current woe's?!
There has to be. I was all over the internet every time my Town & Country was on the fritz & usually found a lot of internet posts about whatever problem was plaguing me at the moment. That's how I learned how to bypass the 2nd bad A/C compressor without having to fix it. I must say I've never read any other stories about steering wheels falling to pieces except for my own.
Very often some Chrysler owner's sad internet story would end with them saying they would never buy another Chrysler & hoped the company would go out of business.
Chrysler has continued this way. Here is a story I just picked up with a minimum of Googling: We owned a 1996 Plymouth Voyager and experienced two(2) AC Compressor failures. Not deterred, we subsequently purchased a 1999 Grand Caravan. In April 2004 while out of town and just about to jump onto the PA Turnpike we experienced a sudden and total failure of the AC Compressor (clutch seizure), resulting in the "dropping" of the belt tensioner, and the sudden loosening of the serpentine belt... and well, it could have been bad. Fortunately we were right near a Dodge dealer (a 5 star) and they took us that day and repaired the vehicle. It had 68,050 miles on it at the time. I recall specifically asking the "advisor" about any recalls on the compressor, as we had been through this twice before. He stated there was nothing on this subject. Aside from having to plop down $800 out of pocket, we had a happy ending and a potential tragedy avoided.

Fast forward to January 2005... we're looking to buy a new van and fall in love with the 2005 Grand Caravan SXT. We express our concern to the salesman about the AC compressors, but he assures us that they have been redesigned and are no longer a problem. In fact, he offers, Chrysler issued an EXTENDED WARRANTY ON ALL 1997-2000 CARAVANS/GRAND CARAVANS for all AC compressor repairs. He believes this was put out by Chrysler in October 2003. We then explained what happened to us in April 2004, and he AND the Service Manager advise us to contact Chrysler/Dodge to get our money back for the repair, as our 1999 van was included in the extended warranty. They volunteered that they had done that many times for their customers who had similar work done in their shop. Sounds great, right? I then contacted Dodge customer assistance, who denied that there was an extended warranty issued for that particular model, those years, or that particular problem. They also denied the existence of such things as hidden warranties or silent recalls.

Curious, I then contacted "another" 5 -star Dodge dealer in Maryland and explained that I had a 1999 GC, heard about the extended warranty, told him we had a defective compressor, etc.,... and he said, "Oh yes, we see alot of that. Just bring it in and we'll take care of it." I then tried to verify that it would be repaired for free as it was covered in the extended warranty, and he said, "YES." Well, now armed with that information I contacted Chrysler/Dodge again... they took a little more time this time and informed me that yes, there was an extended warranty issued for that model, those years, and that particular problem... just not "my" SPECIFIC van, based on the serial number (last 6 digits of the VIN)*. What? I then called BACK the dealer in Maryland to ONCE AGAIN verify that it would be free, and told him that a "friend" had told me to be careful, that only some models were covered. The Service Manager then informed me that was ridiculous, as they were all assembled in the same plant, from parts of the same design manufactured in the same place. The serial number (last six digits) meant nothing in this instance. I then contacted Chrysler AGAIN, and was told that there was nothing they "could" do for me... even though they would not go on record as disputing what the Service Manager told me.

That story is not only sad, but typical. I suppose you could find posts somewhere from someone complaining about Ford, but you won't find them nearly as frequently as you can find them about Chrysler products. The even sadder thing was the excellent overall design of the Town & Country should have won repeat business, except for its constant breakdowns and bonehead problems, which (I think) just chased customers away.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:03 PM
jefflaur1 jefflaur1 is offline
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Bought one!

Today I traded our 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan in on a 2010 Transit Connect XL. It has very little in the way of amenities, but I wanted it that way. We transport rescued pets to various places, and the GC was showing me that it was time to part ways via a weakened A/C system..

I got a terrific deal, and got a decent amount for the trade as well as an extra 764.00 from an extended warrenty I had bought for the GC. Plus I qualified dor a 500.00 rebate! This brought the cost to just under 19,000, so with the small amount from the trade value I was able to drive home today in the Transit. You guys seem to like yours..Our Basset Hounds and deaf Dalmation love it so far!
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefflaur1 View Post
Today I traded our 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan in on a 2010 Transit Connect XL. It has very little in the way of amenities, but I wanted it that way. We transport rescued pets to various places, and the GC was showing me that it was time to part ways via a weakened A/C system..

I got a terrific deal, and got a decent amount for the trade as well as an extra 764.00 from an extended warrenty I had bought for the GC. Plus I qualified dor a 500.00 rebate! This brought the cost to just under 19,000, so with the small amount from the trade value I was able to drive home today in the Transit. You guys seem to like yours..Our Basset Hounds and deaf Dalmation love it so far!
Congrats on the new purchase. Did you get the version with the back seat or without?

If you have a chance, stop by and give a report on gas mileage, likes/dislikes, etc.

Our E150 should last a few more years, but if a tree fell on it next week, I'd look hard at the Transit Connect.

George
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:38 AM
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I work in Boston and have noticed a number of TCs in commercial service. Most of the drivers like the way they handle and the versatile features for storage.They have much better things to say than the HHR drivers. Time will tell but I think Ford has a hit.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:38 AM
 
 
 
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