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Research Ford Takes on the Chrysler Pacifica with an Updated Transit Connect Wagon

18:07  13 february  2018
18:07  13 february  2018 Source:   automobilemag.com

Chrysler Pacifica Named Green Car Reports Best Car to Buy

  Chrysler Pacifica Named Green Car Reports Best Car to Buy The 2018 Pacifica Hybrid is a hybrid electric minivan with seven seats.The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was named the 2018 Green Car Reports Best Car to Buy. The editors over at Green Car Reports chose the most significant new green car made available to shoppers during the 2018 model year. They take into account new technologies, their practicality, and their impact on the environment. After sizing up the competition this year, the Pacifica Hybrid took the overall crown.

Ford left the minivan market to Chrysler/Dodge, Honda, Toyota, and Kia when it discontinued the Freestar after the 2007 model year, then discovered an alternative to the segment with its Transit Connect compact delivery truck.

Test Drive: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum

  Test Drive: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum I believe it is impossible to drive a minivan for a week and not be a convert.I believe it is impossible to drive a minivan for a week and not be a convert. When we talk about practicality in other cars, whether they’re sedans, or hatchbacks, or three-row SUVs, we’re only ever talking about relative practicality. If you want the real thing, the whole enchilada, you can only get it one place: Minivan-land.

Research

ford transit connect
ford transit connect

The Ford Transit Connect is assembled in Turkey and delivered to the U.S. market with windows. Here, the windows are removed and steel panels are inserted, to create a European-style delivery van for the U.S. market while avoiding the 25-percent "Chicken Tax."

a car parked on a city street© Automobile Magazine Staff

When the all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect arrived on our shores, the redesign (we got our first TC model in the '10 model year) lent itself to broader use as a small family van, complete with windows.

That configuration now accounts for about 15-20 percent of the van's sales. Ford sold 34,473 Transit Connects in 2017, off 20.2 percent from the previous year.

a car parked on the side of a road© Automobile Magazine Staff

Featuring new sheetmetal ahead of the A-pillar, and a redesigned interior, the '19 Ford Transit Connect Wagon, heretofore known as Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, targets "active" Baby Boomers who will attach bikes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards or luggage to the optional roof rails, or who need to keep working as craftsmen and craftswomen after age 65. In a way, that's pretty much the demographic of the modern minivan buyer.

Chrysler recalls more than 162,000 minivans

  Chrysler recalls more than 162,000 minivans Pacifica minivans may have software glitch that causes engine to stallThe issue affects 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans (but not the Hybrid model), whereby the engine control module may incorrectly assess the engine’s operating status, causing it to stall.

a car parked in front of a brick building© Automobile Magazine Staff

As with conventional passenger cars, the best way to stop such sales slides is to refresh the model. For the 2019 model year, Ford adds a 1.5-liter turbodiesel engine, which it expects will earn an EPA-estimated 30-mpg on the highway, and a new 2.0-liter gas direct-injection four based on the 160-horsepower Focus 2.0-liter engine. Both new engines are mated to a new, eight-speed automatic based on the Ford-General Motors-developed nine-speed automatic.

The 2.5-liter gas Duratec I-4 with six-speed automatic carries over, but only to fleet buyers who convert to alternative fuels, such as natural gas.

  Ford Takes on the Chrysler Pacifica with an Updated Transit Connect Wagon © Automobile Magazine Staff

Of course, the big news for most Ford Transit Connect Wagon buyers is the new banquet of connected and driver-assist features. For '19, Ford adds standard Automatic Emergency Braking combined with Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, plus optional Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert. The Lane Keeping System warns the driver by vibrating the steering wheel, and can apply wheel torque to keep the van centered.

FCA To Replace The Grand Caravan With A Smaller Chrysler Van

  FCA To Replace The Grand Caravan With A Smaller Chrysler Van Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) boss Sergio Marchionne says the Dodge Grand Caravan will likely go away, but will be replaced by another minivan. That's according to the folks at Allpar.com, who were listening in when a journalist at the North American International Auto Show asked Marchionne a direct question about the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan, a popular vehicle that has nonetheless gone without a significant update for about a decade. While that minivan's same-old status had fomented rumours it would be discontinued in favour of the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, Marchionne says the Dodge van will be replaced, only with something smaller and based on the Pacifica's architecture. Allpar suggests that smaller van will be a production version of the Chrysler Portal concept revealed last year. While the Pacifica is a nicely designed van, its price puts it well out of the bargain-basement territory the Grand Caravan occupies in the current minivan market. A smaller variant of the Pacifica would allow the American automaker to continue catering to that budget-oriented crowd with a more stylish vehicle than the boxy Caravan. However, the new vehicle would come under the Chrysler banner, as minivans no longer fit Dodge's current image of a purveyor of performance-oriented vehicles.

a close up of a car© Automobile Magazine Staff

The Transit Connect comes with a standard embedded 4G LTE modem to provide WiFi for up to 10 devices. Sync3 with Ford+Alexa is optional, and there's an available 6.5-inch floating touch screen, digital driver information center, and wireless charging. Ford plans to add Waze compatibility.

The long-wheelbase Transit Connect is built for seven passengers, and Ford claims more interior cargo volume behind the first row compared with the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe.

The short-wheelbase model has seating for five. Both come in XL, XLT, and Titanium trim levels. Towing capacity is 2,000 pounds with the optional trailer towing package. The 2019 Ford Transit Connect goes on sale this fall.

a car parked on the side of a road© Automobile Magazine StaffTransitConnectWagon 03 HR© Automobile Magazine Staff TransitConnectWagon 03 HR

Ford F-Series production halted amid parts shortage .
Ford Motor Co. says it will halt production of its top-selling F-150 and Super Duty pickup trucks at several of its U.S. plants where they are built following a fire at a plant in Michigan that produces instrument panels. The Detroit Free Pressreports the truck side of Ford's Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant shut down this week because of the parts shortage, idling about 3,600 workers, with no date set for reopening it. Ford is mulling whether to shut down the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan, which employs 4,000 workers. "It is a very fluid situation," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker told the Freep.

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