Best & Worst Ford Transit Connect Years

I've analyzed each Ford Transit Connect model from 2010 until the latest model and categorized the best & worst Ford Transit Connect years in this simple guide.

In this simple guide, I’ll break down all Ford Transit Connect generations, revealing the best years for the Ford Transit Connect to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Drawing from comprehensive data and reviews from trusted sources like the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book, we provide a detailed evaluation of the Ford Transit Connect’s performance over the years.

You’ll specifically explore each generation of the Ford Transit Connect, delving into engine performance, safety features, yearly reliability, common problems, recalls, and resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Ford Transit Connect Generations

The Ford Transit Connect, introduced as a compact panel van, has been a reliable option for small businesses and fleets since its launch. First introduced in 2009, the Transit Connect was designed to offer a practical and efficient solution for urban commercial use.

Its first model was notable for its compact size, economical engine options, and versatile cargo space, making it an ideal choice for city-based businesses needing maneuverability and efficiency.

Below is a table outlining the Ford Transit Connect generations from 2010 to 2023.

GenerationYears
1st generation2010-2013
2nd generation2014-2023

Understanding the generational differences is crucial for anyone considering a Ford Transit Connect, as it can determine which model year best suits their specific commercial needs and preferences.

Ford Transit Connect Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In our assessment of the best and worst Ford Transit Connect’s model years, we take into account various factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

The upcoming graph consolidates all these ratings, providing a comprehensive overview of the Ford Transit Connect’s performance across different years.

Ford Transit Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Below is a table categorizing each model year of the Ford Transit Connect into best, neutral, and worst years based on our extensive research and analysis.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation2011
2012
20132010
2nd generation2017
2018
2021
2022
2023
2019
2020
2014
2015
2016

“Neutral Years” didn’t stand out in terms of exceptional reliability or face significant issues but maintained a standard level of quality and satisfaction.

Certain factors, such as NHTSA recalls, contribute negatively to our rankings. A higher number of complaints and recalls often indicates a lower reliability for the vehicle.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years for the Ford Transit Connect.

Best & Worst Years for Ford Transit Connect 1st Generation (2010-2013)

Ford Transit Connect 1st generation 2010 model
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect

The first generation of the Ford Transit Connect was Ford’s innovative venture into the compact commercial van market, tailored for urban businesses requiring efficient, versatile, and compact transportation solutions.

2011 and 2012 are the best years for the Ford Transit Connect, while 2010 is the year to avoid.

The Best Years: 2011, 2012

The 2011 and 2012 Ford Transit Connect models are regarded as the best years of this generation.

These models were powered by a 2.0L I4 engine, delivering 136 hp, and a 4-speed automatic transmission that offered a balance of power and efficiency, crucial for urban maneuverability and cargo transport.

These models were relatively fuel-efficient, averaging 21 city/25 highway MPG.

These models came in various trims, including XL and XLT, both available in cargo and wagon versions, providing options for different business needs.

Safety features included front, side, curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control.

While these models were not without minor issues, such as occasional electrical glitches, they were generally well-received and lacked major problems that plagued other years.

The Neutral Years: 2013

The 2013 Ford Transit Connect is categorized as a neutral year. It continued with the same 2.0L engine and 4-speed automatic transmission, ensuring consistent performance with previous best years.

However, this model encountered issues like coolant leaks due to cracked engine cylinder heads, leading to a significant recall in 2017.

Another safety concern was the risk of unintended rollaway due to detached shift cables, leading to a recall.

Despite these issues, the 2013 model retained the practicality and versatility of the Transit Connect, offering a variety of trims and configurations for different commercial uses, maintaining its appeal as a functional urban commercial vehicle.

The Worst Years: 2010

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect, the first in this generation, encountered several teething problems, making it the least reliable year to avoid.

Owners reported significant electrical issues, especially with power door lock actuators, and safety concerns regarding potential rollaway risks.

These issues were serious enough to impact the overall reliability and safety perception of the 2010 model.

As an introductory model to the North American market, it lacked some refinements found in subsequent years.

The initial problems the 2010 Transit Connect faced make it a less desirable option for those seeking a dependable compact commercial van.

See NHTSA 2010 Ford Transit Connect recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Ford Transit Connect 2nd Generation (2014-2023)

Ford Transit Connect 2nd generation 2014 model
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect

The second generation of the Ford Transit Connect represented improved design, technology, and performance features, catering to the needs of small businesses and fleet operators.

The best years for the second-generation Ford Transit Connect are 2017, 2018, and 2021-2023, while 2014-2016 are the worst years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023

Which year is Ford Transit Connect the most reliable? The best years for the second-generation Transit Connect are 2017, 2018, and the latest 2021-2023 models.

These years brought enhanced engine options, including a 2.5L I4 (2017, 2018), a new 2.0L I4 engine with 162 hp and the 1.5L EcoBlue diesel engine, known for its fuel efficiency.

They also introduced an 8-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previous 6-speed, which offered improved fuel economy and smoother gear shifts.

Fuel efficiency remained strong, with these models averaging up to 24 city/27 highway MPG.

Safety features were bolstered in these years with the addition of standard features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

The higher trims, like the Titanium, offered advanced infotainment systems with larger touchscreens, connectivity features, and luxurious interior finishes, making these years stand out in terms of comfort and technology.

The Neutral Years: 2019, 2020

The 2019 and 2020 models of the Transit Connect are categorized as neutral years.

They maintained similar engine choices and the 8-speed automatic transmission, ensuring consistent driving performance in the best years.

These models continued to offer good fuel economy and a range of trim levels, from the basic XL to the more luxurious Titanium, catering to a broad spectrum of commercial and personal use.

However, some 2019 and 2020 Ford Transit Connect owners complained about transmission issues like rough and intermittent shifting into lower gears.

Necessary recalls concerned engine overheating and unintentional rollaway risks due to detached shift cables.

The Worst Years: 2014, 2015, 2016

The second-generation Ford Transit Connect years to avoid, 2014, 2015, and 2016 received the highest number of recalls and owner complaints.

Owners reported problems mainly with the electrical system, powertrain, and structure, including instrument cluster failures, door latch issues, and transmission problems like slipping and rough shifting.

The 2014, 2015, and 2016 Ford Transit Connect models were also marked by several recalls concerning inoperative instrument clusters, cracked engine cylinder heads leading to oil leaks, fuel pump failures, and risks of unintentional rollaway.

The prevalence of these issues and the need for frequent recalls significantly affected the perception of these model years, making them the least reliable within the second generation of the Ford Transit Connect.

See NHTSA 2014, 2015, 2016 Ford Transit Connect recalls and complaints.

Ford Transit Connect Resale Values

This graph illustrates the Ford Transit Connect’s average resale values across its different model years.

Ford Transit Average List Price

Conclusion

After thorough analysis, the best years of the Ford Transit Connect to buy are 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018, and 2021-2023, while the worst years to avoid are 2010 and 2014-2016 due to their noted issues.

Based on our discussion, which year of the Ford Transit Connect meets your needs best, and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.