The van scored a total of 130 points from a maximum 163, putting it ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Renault Kangoo.
The 24-strong jury of journalists praised the model for its fuel economy, design, driveability, load-carrying and safety.
‘The all-new Transit Connect impressed the jury on a number of fronts, and above all by the fact Ford has succeeded in building a light van with a strong accent on economics – the vehicle is a good answer to the needs of small operators as well as big fleets to reduce the cost of transport of goods,’ said Pieter Wieman, chairman of the “International Van of the Year” jury.
‘The loading space offers several innovative aspects such as a load-through hatch in the bulkhead, fold-up front passenger seat and a sliding side door in the long-wheelbase model which enables a Europallet to be loaded,’ Wieman said. ‘Ford has also paid a lot of attention to durability and safety, subjecting the van to commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, and being first in its class to offer features like Active City Stop.’
The latest win means that Ford is now the first single manufacturer to win the award for two consecutive years, after gaining the title for its Transit Custom last year. Other previous Ford winners are: the Transit (2001), Transit Connect (2003) and Transit (2007).
‘The all-new Transit Connect has moved the game on for compact vans – and we are really proud to win this significant award again,’ said Barb Samardzich, vice president of Product Development, Ford of Europe. ‘The new Transit Connect is just as tough and hard-working as all our commercial vehicle range, and comes with smart new looks and much lower fuel bills.’
The new Transit Connect is now available to order for delivery in late 2013, and joins an all-new four-strong Transit range, alongside the Transit Custom and the forthcoming two-tonne Transit and Transit Courier models to be launched in 2014.