What is it?
If you needed proof that ‘White Van Man’ is an outmoded concept, the new, £33,000 Ford Tourneo Custom 300 is it. Sure, it’s a version of the all-new Ford Transit, easily Britain’s favourite van (and definitely available in white) but it’s also the ultimate example of how luxuriously specified these vehicles can be. And it shows how impressive they are to drive.
The Custom is just one of an enormous and complex range of Transits: you can have high or low roof, short or long wheelbase, jumbo, windows or not, double cab, and a thing called Kombi, which lets you stow the seats to leave a big carrying space. Whatever you want to do, you can do it with a Tranny. Or Tourneo, as Ford calls the ritziest versions.
What is it like?
Our particular Tourneo was a short-wheelbase model, powered by a 153bhp version of Ford’s familiar 2.2-litre diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox to match. Nobody’s too keen to talk kerb weight (we’d estimate 1800kg) and, of course, the frontal area is huge in car terms, but the Tourneo feels both quick off the mark – that’s the 284lb ft of torque working – and geared highly enough for motorway cruising in faster traffic. More to the point, the control efforts and responses are car-like, the ride quality, helped by a long wheelbase in car terms, is smooth and very quiet.
Should I buy one?
The Tourneo Custom is never going to be a substitute for a car (although those with a nine head count family may demur). But if you need to carry lots people or lots of stuff you’ll find the latest Ford carry-all amazingly capable. As good, say the van pundits, as anything else on the market.
Ford Tourneo Custom 300 SWB
Price £33,000; 0-62mph 12.5sec (est); Top speed 100mph (est); Economy 46.3mpg (combined); CO2 172g/km Kerb weight 1800kg (est); Engine 4 cyls, 2198cc, turbodiesel Power 153bhp at 3500rpm Torque 284lbft at 1600-2400rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual