2019 Dodge Grand Caravan vs. 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Dodge Grand Caravan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ford Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Grand Caravan has standard Reactive Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Reactive Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Grand Caravan and the Transit Connect Wagon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Dodge Grand Caravan is safer than the Ford Transit Connect Wagon:

 

Grand Caravan

Transit Connect Wagon

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

247

315

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

130

217

Neck Injury Risk

37%

40%

Neck Stress

143 lbs.

207 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Dodge Grand Caravan is safer than the Ford Transit Connect Wagon:

 

Grand Caravan

Transit Connect Wagon

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

51

104

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

57 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

788 lbs.

806 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Grand Caravan first among minivans in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Transit Connect Wagon isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The Grand Caravan’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 133 more horsepower (283 vs. 150) and 116 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 144) than the Transit Connect Wagon’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Grand Caravan’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 114 more horsepower (283 vs. 169) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 171) than the Transit Connect Wagon’s optional 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Dodge Grand Caravan is faster than the Ford Transit Connect Wagon:

 

Grand Caravan

Transit Connect Wagon 2.0

Transit Connect Wagon 2.5

Zero to 60 MPH

7.9 sec

10.5 sec

10.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

17.8 sec

17.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.6 MPH

77.5 MPH

77.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Grand Caravan has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Transit Connect Wagon (20 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Grand Caravan has larger tires than the Transit Connect Wagon (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R16).

For better load carrying, ride, handling and brake cooling the Grand Caravan has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Transit Connect Wagon.

Suspension and Handling

The Grand Caravan has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Transit Connect Wagon’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Grand Caravan offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Grand Caravan’s wheelbase is 16.4 inches longer than on the Short Wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon (121.2 inches vs. 104.8 inches). The Grand Caravan’s wheelbase is .6 inches longer than on the Long Wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon (121.2 feet vs. 120.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Grand Caravan is 4.2 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Transit Connect Wagon.

Passenger Space

The Grand Caravan has 4.2 inches more front hip room, 6.1 inches more front shoulder room, 6.5 inches more rear hip room, 6.2 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.7 inches more third row legroom, 1.7 inches more third row hip room and 5.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Long Wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Grand Caravan’s middle and third row seats recline. The Transit Connect Wagon’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Grand Caravan when its tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

The Grand Caravan’s cargo area provides more volume than the Long Wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon.

 

Grand Caravan

Transit Connect

Behind Third Seat

31.1 cubic feet

19.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

78.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

58.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

140.3 cubic feet

106 cubic feet

The Grand Caravan’s cargo area provides more volume than the Short Wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon.

 

Grand Caravan

Transit Connect

Third Seat Folded

78.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

46.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

140.3 cubic feet

77.6 cubic feet

The Grand Caravan’s cargo area is larger than the Transit Connect Wagon’s in almost every dimension:

 

Grand Caravan

SWB Transit Connect

LWB Transit Connect

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

24”/58.6”/98.1”

n.a./54.9”/70.8”

14.5”/45”/85.6”

Max Width

69”

n/a

n/a

Min Width

48.8”

45.3”

45.4”

Height

46.2”

49.4”

43.3”

The Grand Caravan offers optional Stow ‘n Go™ second and third row seats, which fold flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Grand Caravan. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Grand Caravan SXT has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Payload and Towing

The Grand Caravan’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Transit Connect Wagon’s (1600 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Transit Connect Wagon is only 2000 pounds. The Grand Caravan offers up to a 3600 lbs. towing capacity.

The Grand Caravan has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Short Wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon (1540 vs. 1140 lbs.).

The Grand Caravan has a higher optional payload capacity than the Long Wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon (1540 vs. 1350 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Grand Caravan to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Ford doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Transit Connect Wagon.

Ergonomics

The Grand Caravan SXT’s power side sliding doors make it much easier to load and unload kids and cargo. One touch opens the door, before you even get to the van. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer a power rear door.

The Grand Caravan has standard power remote mirrors. The Transit Connect Wagon only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Grand Caravan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford charges extra for heated mirrors on the Transit Connect Wagon.

Both the Grand Caravan and the Transit Connect Wagon offer available heated front seats. The Grand Caravan GT also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Transit Connect Wagon.

On extremely cold winter days, the Grand Caravan SXT’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the Grand Caravan has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The Transit Connect Wagon doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Grand Caravan third among minivans in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Transit Connect Wagon isn’t in the top three.

The Dodge Grand Caravan outsold the Ford Transit Connect by almost five to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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