With cars getting bigger, so too are the needs of expanding families, with many opting for van derived people carriers such as this, the Ford Tourneo.
More commonly recognised as a Ford Transit van, the Tourneo Custom offers fully glazed side and rear panels as well as variable seating options to accommodate nine people with enough room in the boot area for all of their luggage.
Coming as standard in Frozen White, nine colour options are available across five different trim levels, starting with ‘Shuttle Bus’ which is priced from £38,363 and comes with body colour front and rear bumpers, full-size spare wheel, cruise control, parking sensors, daytime running lights, auto stop-start and a Bluetooth audio system with USB connectivity.
Next in the line-up and starting from £39,419 is the ‘Zetec’ as pictured and tested some time ago now. This model receives 16-inch alloy wheels, body-color door handles, rear privacy glass, lockable glove box and front air conditioning.
A ‘Titanium’ model comes next in the pecking order and is priced from £40,985 and adds body-color side mouldings, 17-inch alloy wheels, sun blinds for rear seating, rear air conditioning and an 8-inch infotainment hub with remote audio controls, voice control and Applink.
A staggering jump in price will afford you a ‘Titanium X’ model which includes a rear-view camera, Bi-Xenon headlights with static cornering lights and satellite navigation, priced from £45,611 I really don’t see value for money in this particular model when the ‘Sport’ model, priced the same, offers more substance.
Despite removal of the satellite navigation, it adds a full body kit as well as twin racing stripes and visibility pack premium which includes lane keeping alert, auto high beam assist and driver impairment monitor.
Depending on the model selected, you can choose from either short wheelbase or long wheelbase with a choice of three 2.0L diesel engines starting with 105ps, this engine comes only with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
A popular choice among buyers is the 130ps engine which can be chosen with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox. Finally, a range topping 170ps engine is available, again equipped with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Thanks to Ford UK, we managed to get ourselves a long wheelbase ‘Zetec’ model equipped with the 130 PS engine and 6-speed manual gearbox for a week long review and I’ll admit it was put to work almost immediately to see how it would cope with family life.
With three month old twins at the time, we decided to head off to Cavan to stay for a few nights in a hotel and as you can imagine, no car or SUV was ever going to cope with all that we had to bring with us for such a trip, especially with four adults on-board.
The Ford Tourneo coped with great ease as you would expect, but to my surprise offered a decent amount of ISOFIX bases ensuring the most precious and youngest of cargo, travel safely. It was also noted along our journey that a suitable amount of USB ports are available to charge devices on the go.
With sliding doors on each side, access in and out of the rear seating could not be simpler whilst the boot is large enough that I don’t ever think you would find out its true capacity. One thing I feel would help the luggage area would be to have a partition halfway up allowing a top half and lower half.
When sitting comfortably in the driving position it becomes clear that this really is only an 8-seater as with a middle passenger in the front row, things would become very cramped over a long journey. This model had an upgraded audio system at a cost of £396 which provided everything you needed however, I could not get Android auto to work with this system, and perhaps my Huawei phone isn’t compatible.
As said before, this test vehicle is equipped with the 130ps engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which returned a respectable 40mpg, though to be fair I did actually think it could well have been a 1.6L engine as it was, when fully loaded with people and luggage, a little sluggish on the meandering and undulating road that crosses the Irish border more times than the brexiteers dare to think.
Driving wise you know you’re in a van, a capable van at that and one which drove and handled surprisingly well if a little crashy for those travelling in the rear, along a bumpy stretch of road.
Overall I was very impressed with what the Tourneo offers and, what’s the higher powered engine than what I got to experience, can really see the appeal has a vehicle you would never outgrow and one which can cope with a lifetime of lifestyles.
Fact File for model tested:
Make : Ford
Model : Tourneo Custom
Trim : Zetec
Engine : 2.0 turbocharged diesel
Gearbox : 6-speed manual
Cost Circa : £41,000
Words & Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
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