What is it?
A Transit-based people mover, offering space for eight or nine people, plus luggage. The Tourneo Custom is destined to find most of its work ferrying tourists and business types betwixt hotel and airport, but Ford hopes it’ll attract a number of private motorists who have outgrown the limited-luggage capabilities of the Galaxy and S-Max when all seven seats are in place.
The Tourneo is based on the new Ford Transit Custom, which itself takes its well regarded reputation as a reliable and spacious vehicle to carry cargo in, and adds some genuinely car-like dynamics. For a vehicle that Ford hopes will begin to break out of the airport taxi market, it has chosen a good place to start.
What is it like?
Big and spacious, as you’d expect – the SWB model tested here is 51mm longer, 136mm wider and a massive 526mm taller than a Galaxy. That means that fully loaded, our nine-seat model provided plenty of legroom for the full complement of passengers, and without the need to invade your neighbour’s personal space.
The boot offers 1323 litres of space to the roof with all three rows of seats in place. Remove the second row – an easy process hampered only by the seats’ weight – and cargo capacity virtually matches that of the SWB Transit, with 5520 litres of room. The LWB variant doesn’t increase space for the passengers, but grows the boot capacity to be able to stow a standard-sized Samsonite case lengthways — research has shown that loading them widthways raises the prospect of one falling out when the boot is opened.
Access to the third row is easy, although the high sills mean a big step up through the twin sliding doors, and the second row seats flip and tumble in a two-part movement. There are 30 combinations of seating arrangement and all seats have three-point seatbelts.
Up front, the driver’s environment is a handsome one. Yes, there are the hard plastics that you’d expect from a car that’s essentially a very posh Transit, but the dash is designed well enough that the upmarket parts bin switchgear looks like its supposed to be there, rather than an unusually sparkly highlight.
Power comes from one of three versions of the Ranger’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel. Our test Tourneo produced 153bhp and 284lb ft; the other pair develop 99bhp/229lb ft and 123bhp/258lb ft. Ford doesn’t quote 0-62mph times as it depends on a huge number of factors, but its acceleration felt more than adequate, if rather noisy under load. Top speed is 94mph.
Generally, the Tourneo is hugely refined for a commercial-based people mover, with NVH levels that are as low as those of many passenger cars on the market. The ride quality depends on how loaded it is. With just a pair of adults on board, it has a tendency to chop across high-frequency undulations, but when loaded down, it feels far more planted – a legacy of its ability to carry 859kg on its rear leaf springs.
For what it is, the steering is responsive, too. There’s less vagueness than you’d expect for such a vehicle, but those looking for the sharp-edged steer offered by the S-Max won’t, unsurprisingly, find it here.
Should I buy one?
If you regularly need to carry a large number of passengers, plus luggage, then yes. It feels less like a van than the average upmarket Volkswagen Transporter, and is far more luxurious than the cheaper Hyundai i800.
It’s not a vehicle to enjoy driving in the conventional manner, but as a tool to use every day, its certainly one that will please its owners or drivers.
Ford Tourneo Custom 300 Limited 155ps
Price: £32,605 0-62mph: na Top speed: 94mph Economy: 43.4mpg CO2: 172g/km Kerb weight: 2141kg Engine: 4cyls, 2198cc, turbodiesel Power: 153bhp at 3500rpm Torque: 284lb ft at 1450rpm Gearbox: 6-spd manual