23rd March 2020
We all know a van is the fastest vehicle in the world, so one with the word ‘Sport’ in its title is almost a tautology. Still, the Ford Transit Connect Sport looks the part as it pitches up this morning in silver paint with a pair of racy black stripes edged in orange. There are also 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and jutting front splitter to tell the world this is a van in a hurry. All rather appealing to my eyes.
First job for the Connect Sport is not going to tax its carrying ability as it’s a simple drive into Edinburgh for a meeting this morning. The half leather seats in the cab are comfortable and supportive, and the driving position is ideal, so it bodes well for users who will spend all day in here. There are also loads of storage options spread around the driver for phones, notepads, pens and all the other guff that accumulates for work. This is aided by an overhead cubby.
It’s cut to the chase time today for the Connect Sport. This model is the longer L2 version so has 3.6 cubic metres of cargo area. It’s more than enough to swallow my mountain bike for heading off for a cycle this morning. Even better, the plastic-lined floor is a doddle to sweep out afterwards of all the mud and muck that comes with a spot of mountain biking. There are also sufficient securing points to tie the bike to so it doesn’t rattle around.
The 1.5-litre turbodiesel motor in the Sport has 120hp on tap, which doesn’t sound a lot but the six-speed manual gearbox makes the best use of it. Without anything in the load bay, the Transit feels very nippy and handles tidily too, making it a lot of fun. As someone who carries a lot of kit for hobbies, such as cycling and motorsport, this is an ideal support vehicle rather than an SUV or estate car.
The Transit Connect Sport’s credentials as a support machine are put to the test today on a photo shoot with a new Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4. With photographer and videographer bringing all their kit, it’s a cinch to stick it all in the Ford’s big load bay. Just as handily, the wide opening rear doors and twin sliding side doors of this van make accessing the right camera as required as easy as pressing the shutter button.
After a lot of driving this week, the Sport’s trip computer shows an average of 42.5mpg. That’s more than decent given most of yesterday’s driving was loaded with camera gear and photographer and it was on very steep rural roads. On the motorway this morning, it’s showing nearer a 55mpg constant economy, so running the Sport model doesn’t come at a premium on fuel.
Totting up the costs of the Connect Sport, there are cheaper ways in the range to enjoy the same amount of cargo space. However, it’s the little things in life that make this van appealing for anyone who spends a lot of time in the cab. Heated seats, rear parking sensors, climate control, cruise control, keyless ignition… Just because it’s a working vehicle doesn’t meant it has to be basic. As a result, the Connect Sport is a cracking compact van.