Ford expands Active lineup for all kinds of outdoorsy van lives

Ford is continuing to expand its Active family of rugged variants in Europe with two more off-road SUV-inspired versions of its people mover and cargo van. They’re called the Tourneo Connect Active and Transit Connect Active, respectively, and like the Transit Trail and Transit Active unveiled last month, they come with raised ride heights, configurable interiors and an optional mechanical limited-slip differential for rough conditions found on outdoor getaways.

Ford is offering the same mLSD system on the new Active models. It automatically transfers engine torque in low-grip conditions to the wheel with the most traction and pairs with a traction control system. Ford says it’s similar to advanced differential technology that it has used in performance models like the Focus RS and ST and the Fiesta ST, with no adverse affects on CO2 emissions or fuel economy.

Both models are raised by 24 mm in front and 9 mm at the rear to improve clearance over bumps and other irregularities and provide the higher driving position that is increasingly de rigeur. Also standard are roof rails for that outdoor cachet, front and rear skid plates, lots of plastic black cladding and 17-inch alloy wheels with contrasting five spokes with dark detailing. Unlike last month’s Active vans, both new models get the standard Blue Oval badge, but they’re set on an Active mesh grille.

The Tourneo Connect Active comes equipped with five or seven seats. In the former setup, the split 60-40 second-row bench fold flat for added cargo space, while the longer Tourneo Grand Connect Active adds a third row that also folds into the floor. Load space on the Transit Connect Active remains unchanged at 2.9 cubic meters or 3.6 m³ (102/127 cubic feet), depending on wheelbase version, with a payload of up to 982 kg (2,165 pounds). There are exclusive seat trim patterns and stitching, blue contrast detailing and Active branding, plus Active badges on the front side panels.

Both are powered by Ford’s 1.5-liter turbocharged diesel engine producing the equivalent of 98 horsepower or 118 hp and sending it through an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual.

They’re said to be available to order soon, with delivery starting near the end of the year.