Look at This Cute Little Ford Fiesta Panel Van
Along with being adorable, the new Ford Fiesta Van introduces some cool new tech for commercial vehicles.
I’m sorry for reminding you, but the newly updated Ford Fiesta isn’t coming to the U.S. We knew we would miss the sporty ST variant, but one we had no idea we would miss is the panel van version of the Fiesta. That’s right, in Europe, you will be able to get the subcompact Fiesta as a three-door van with panels in lieu of rear windows.
The smallest commercial vans you can get here in the States are city vans like the Chevy City Express, the Ram ProMaster City, and Ford’s own Transit Connect. Apparently, Europe has enough demand for little vans even smaller than the Transit Connect to justify making a van variant of the Fiesta which only has 35 cubic feet of cargo space and a surprising payload capacity of 1,100 pounds. For reference, the Transit Connect has a maximum of 105.9 cubic feet of cargo volume and 1,170-1,515 pounds of payload capacity.
The Fiesta Van is more than just a Fiesta with fewer seats and windows. It will come with the new FordPass Connect on-board modem tech that promises to enhance productivity and convenience for businesses that require tiny vans. Available in the Fiesta Van and the Transit Connect, FordPass Connect turns commercial vehicles into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots and provides live traffic updates in the Sync 3 infotainment system. It also gives you the handy FordPass mobile app that can give you vehicle health alerts, a vehicle locator, and provide various other conveniences. For now, FordPass Connect is only available in Europe.
Commercial vehicles have traditionally been pretty stripped-down and low-tech, but that isn’t the case with the Ford Fiesta Van. On top of the cool FordPass Connect technology, the new van will be available with tech like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and parking assist.
The Fiesta Van will be available with four different engines; two petrol and two diesel. The base gas engine is a naturally aspirated 1.1-liter inline-three making 84 horsepower or you can upgrade to a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder packing 123 hp. Both diesel options have a displacement of 1.5 liters with one making 84 hp and the other making 118 hp.
We reached out to Ford asking about plans to expand availability of the Fiesta Van and of the new FordPass Connect technology. "At this stage, Fiesta Van is planned for European markets only," said a Ford representative in an email to The Drive. So what about that cool new tech? "By 2019, 100 percent of Ford’s new U.S. vehicles will be built with connectivity. We have similarly aggressive plans for China and other markets, as 90 percent of Ford’s new global vehicles will feature connectivity by 2020," said Ford.
It sounds like Chevy is about to have some heated competition in the in-car connectivity game.