At the Chicago Auto Show was unveiled the 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon, freshened up with new styling inside and out, new powertrains including a diesel, and a new marketing spin to boot.

Europe has never lost their love for compact vans, but in the United States our minivans all grew up into larger and more expensive full fledged family cruisers from the basic economy sized and priced passenger buses they started out as.

Based on the commercial cargo van, the Transit Connect Wagon has stood alone in our market as the only four-cylinder powered compact size minivan, priced well downscale from the larger products offered by Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Nissan today.

For 2019 the Transit Connect Wagon gets some important updates starting with a fresh new face design that includes new headlamps, grille and lower fascia. The look is more inline with the contemporary Ford Fusion and other designs in the Blue Oval Showroom.

The interior however gets a major upgrade with an all-new dash design that’s more consumer grade than the basic fleet grade interior of before. The new dash provides a more modern look and offers up more convenience and entertainment features than before, like those expected in any other car today.

There’s an available 6.5-inch touch screen, a digital instrument cluster, wireless phone charging and standard is a 4G LTE modem that can provide Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices. As before it can seat 5-7 passengers with above average room for its footprint and has two sliding doors for easy access.

TransitConnectWagon_07_HRAnd that gets us to the marketing spin. Ford is really selling up the Transit Connect Wagon to Baby Boomers who appreciated the VW Bus and other vans of the 1970’s but find the modern crop of them far too expensive as a do everything, haul the grand kids, do crafts and road trip machine.

Making it more affordable to trip in will be a new diesel engine option. The 1.5 liter “Eco-Blue”
turbodiesel will be a class-exclusive and offer up to 30 mpg. An engine already proven around the world, it will be carefully tuned to meet our stringent U.S. EPA regulations you can be assured.

Standard equipment will be a new 2.0 liter direct-injected four-cylinder gasoline engine with an auto-start stop system to be more fuel efficient than the current 2.5 liter four. Both engines will come with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

TransitConnectWagon_10_HRBecause Baby Boomers love safety and easy riding, a host of driver-assist technologies will be standard including automatic forward emergency braking and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection. Available will be additional features like adaptive cruise control, blind spot information, cross-traffic alert and a lane keeping system.

To be available in two wheelbases, a short five passenger and a long seven passenger version, the 2019 Transit Connect Wagon will come in three trim grades with it arrives late this year. These are as now the plain wrapper XL, mid-grade XLT and full boat Titanium. The diesel engine option comes early in 2019.

When it arrives, Ford says the Transit Connect Wagon will be among the most affordable seven-passenger vehicles in the United States.