Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ford Transit Connect Wheelchair Vehicle

     The Ford Transit Connect Wheelchair upfit is probably the cheapest new wheelchair transport vehicle on the market.  Brand new the Transit msrp's for about $24,000 and upfit will probably cost a minimum of $5,000 with a rear lift. Ford has a $1,000 handicap upfit allowance on a new vehicle, which should put you about $28,000 brand new.
     We checked into one of these from a dealer in florida that had one listed on ebay. But with the 54" entry height and 56-58 interior height it just didn't meet our minimum requirements of 56" entryway and 60" interior height.  But this vehicle was very economical and had a lot of cool features like an overhead storage shelf above the drivers seat and 5 doors which would have made wheelchair tie downs a breeze. If you were transporting someone in a manual wheelchair this vehicle is perfect!
     There is only a small handful of wheelchair capable vehicles that taught and EPA 25 MPG highway, and this is one of them.
     I should add there are other upfits one with a lowered floor and a ramp rear entry (side entry isn't possible as the doors don't open wide enough).  These models have about a 3 foot wide box cut into the floor that extends up to the back of the front seats. There is no maneuvering in a power chair in this design and requires the the powerchair operator to back up in a perfect straight line for about 8 feet before they are on the pavement.
     One of the other problems with the Ford Transit Connect is with the rear entry setup the vehicle is only a 2+1 configuration ie 2 ambulatory passengers and 1 wheelchair maximum.  And there is no storage of any kind if you were wanting to travel.  With the rear entry you can't put a bike rack or trailer on the back. You could probably get a roof rack for it being it's a commercial vehicle but the little van is actually fairly tall so you would need to carry a ladder too to utilize the rack and mileage suffers with odd shaped stuff on the roof of a car or truck.
    I really liked the idea of Ford Transit Connect Wheelchair Van, but after doing some research I couldn't make the little van fit our needs.  How do you feel about this vehicle? Anyone have any firsthand experience with it?


  1. DDT Mobility offers a Ford Transit Connect conversion with a raised roof. The conversion increases the entry height to 56" and the interior height to 60".

    1. does provide a pretty cool product. I wonder what the upfit pricing is?

  2. It is my understanding that the upfit charge is the lowest cost, fully powered, ADA compliant, FMVSS approved conversion in the country.