1.5L EcoBlue I-4 Spreads to Cab Fleets
Ford introduced two new taxis today, the 2019 Transit Connect diesel and Fusion Hybrid.
The company estimates the Transit Connect taxi, which shares its available 1.5L EcoBlue turbodiesel I-4 with the recently revealed 2019 van, will achieve 30 mpg on the highway, a number we think is conservative given the gas-powered 2018 Transit Connect’s 27 mpg highway. Expect an EPA rating closer to 35 mpg for the oil-burning Transit Connect Taxi, with about 150 hp and 200 lb-ft motivating the taxi.
As on the civilian/fleet Transit Connect, diesel will be an option, while standard powertrain for cabbies should be the 2.0L direct-injected I-4. Power output is still a mystery for this engine, which replaces the outgoing 2.5L port-injected four. Expect it to match its predecessor in both power and torque—at least 170 hp and 170 lb-ft—while beating it at the pump.
Offered in a five-seat configuration only, the Transit Connect taxi boasts 60 cubic feet of luggage room behind the rear seat, a number Ford claims is better than the similarly sized Nissan NV200. The company will also offer the Transit Connect taxi with a variety of vocational options, including a roof access hole, a taxi-upfit wiring harness, and wheelchair accessibility (the latter courtesy of an easy-to-deploy ramp that doubles as a cargo deck when not in use).
Alongside the Transit Connect, Ford also revealed its first-ever Fusion hybrid taxi based on the Police Responder Hybrid. The taxi shares its law enforcement brother’s heavy-duty suspension with increased ride height, high-performance brakes, and steel wheels. It is now the third hybrid vehicle in Ford’s fleet repertoire, following the Police Responder and recently teased (though not yet on sale) Police Interceptor Utility.