When Ford introduced the 2019 redesign of its Transit Connect in 2018, it also announced the release of a turbodiesel powertrain, which the company claims is a response to requests from customers since 2010.
But only a few months later, the brand has announced that its is pulling the plug on the model that was supposed to be part of its EcoBlue lineup because of the “lack of market demand”. The passenger and cargo versions of the van sold a combined total of only 32,000 units in 2018.
One of the main reasons behind its discontinuation is believed to be Ford’s failure to secure official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings for the model. The EPA ratings are only available for the gasoline-powered 2.0 and 2.5-liter motors of the Transit Connect’s 2019 and 2020 model year versions, and not for the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 120 horsepower, 200 lb-ft of torque, and returns more than 30 miles per gallon on highway driving.
The agency’s strict review and approval process of all diesel engines is seen as a roadblock to the diesel Transit Connect whose engine was mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and came with an engine start-stop function.
Aside from the diesel Transit Connect, Ford is also reportedly dropping the five-seat, short-wheelbase variant of the model’s passenger version. Moving forward, the brand will only offer the long-wheelbase Transit Connect as a cargo and passenger vehicles, while the short-wheelbase will be available as a cargo LCV.
The 2019 Transit Connect is priced at $26,845 and has estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 24 and 29 mpg for city and highway driving, respectively. For the 2020 model year, it will be sold at a starting price of $25,570 for the short-wheelbase cargo and $28,315 for the passenger version.
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