If You Want Utility Come And Get It.
Tough Competition For Berlingo, Kangoo, Partner, Doblo.
For – practical, versatile, rugged.
Against – if you like the above, ugliness is not a negative.
rating *** out of 5
If unpretentious practicality and utility are your car-buying watchwords, the Ford Tourneo people mover could be your dream vehicle.
It may be a van with windows, but it’s a tried and trusted formula, and Ford has uprated its Tourneo to make a claim for sales and challenge French vehicles like the Citroen Berlingo and Renault Kangoo.
Even in the world of practicality, things are never completely simple. So there is a base five-seat Tourneo Connect with prices starting at £14,245, a Grand Tourneo Connect with 5-seats, and a 7-seast version where prices start at £16,985.
Ford claims best-in-class flexibility (how do you prove degrees of flexibility?) from seating, stowage and dual sliding rear doors, plus class-unique features like Active City Stop and Ford SYNC. Engine choices range from a one litre 99 hp petrol motor, through three diesels to a range-topping 148 hp petrol engine which comes with a six-speed automatic. There are five and six speed manual gearboxes.
“Whether tackling the school run or taking the family mountain biking at the weekend, the Tourneo Connect people movers are great for today’s busy lifestyles,” said Barb Samardzich, Product Development vice president, Ford of Europe.
The Tourneo Connect has flexible seating and smart stowage areas, including aircraft-style overhead lockers above the rear seats and luggage area. A large glass panoramic roof adds to the feeling of space and light.
Other useful stowage areas include a hidden box with a 12V socket above the instrument cluster, a large lockable glove-box, practical front door bins capable of holding 1.5-litre bottles, spacious centre consoles with cup holders, and a stowage compartment in the second-row footwell. The car provides unrivalled access to the rear, with the widest sliding side doors in the class, according to Ford, and is equipped with a folding front passenger seat that enables items up to three metres long to be carried.
Stephen Lesh, Ford Tourneo Connect chief program engineer, likes it too, in fact I couldn’t find anyone at Ford that didn’t.
“The new Tourneo Connect is all about smart space – helping customers squeeze the most out of everyday motoring with an interior which is clever, flexible and very spacious.”
The seven-seat Grand Tourneo Connect offers rear seating which folds quickly and easily into a flat, unobstructed luggage platform with up to 2,620 litres of space; the third row seats also slide fore/aft to allow customers the choice between extra leg room or increased luggage space.
Outstanding fuel economy?
You won’t be surprised to hear that Ford claims outstanding fuel economy across the range, with efficiency enhanced by Auto-Start-Stop and Active Grille Shutter. I won’t bother you with the details because they will be so at odds with real world experience as to be a complete waste of space.
The new models are the first in their class to offer the automatic emergency braking system, Active City Stop, and to deliver further technologies that enhance the ownership experience such as Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance, Rear View Camera, and Trailer Sway Assist. A gearshift indicator and driver information system are standard.
The Tourneo Connect and the Grand Tourneo Connect join the already-on-sale Ford Tourneo Custom. This new Tourneo line-up sits alongside the “MAX” range of multi-activity vehicles in Ford’s range – B-MAX, C-MAX and S-MAX.
The new Tourneos are an admirable range of useful new cars which will appeal to the value-seekers among us, who wisely eschew vanity purchases. During my test drive, I seemed to have activated a 40 mph speed camera while driving at an indicated 42 mph in a queue of traffic, so I don’t expect to be getting a ticket. If I do, you’ll be hearing my thoughts on the accuracy of Ford’s speedometers.
|Ford Tourneo Connect Zetec|
|Engine:||1.6 litre, 4-cylinder diesel|
|Power:||94 hp @ 3,600|
|Torque:||230 Nm @ 1,500-2,000|
|Gearbox:||5 speed manual|
|Acceleration:||0-62 mph-100 km/h – 14.7 seconds|
|Top Speed:||100 mph-160 km/h|
|Fuel Consumption:||claimed combined 56.5 mpg-5.0 l/km|
|Emissions class:||Euro V|
|Boot capacity:||1,029/2,410 litres|
|Competition:||Citroen Berlingo, Renault Kangoo, Fiat Doblo, Peugeot Partner|
|For:||practical, versatile, rugged|
|Against:||if you like the above, ugliness is not a negative|