Nothing like you’d expect. Van-derived people carriers like the Berlingo Multispace and Fiat Doblo Family are generally crude and unsophisticated. The Ford Grand Tourneo Connect is neither of those things, thanks to that passenger car platform.
Mechanical refinement is class-leading, a point emphasised by a drive of the Transit Connect, which shorn of some of the Tourneo’s soundproofing was noisy and rattly on the move. Unsurprisingly it lacks the dynamic flair of the C-Max, with steering that isn’t as sharp and a chassis setup that prefers not to be rushed.
Perhaps that’s a good thing. Neither of the 1.6-litre Duratorq diesels offer sparkling performance. The high-output 114bhp version tested here (a 94bhp version is also offered – and expected to be the big seller) take more than 14 seconds to reach 62mph But, again, that refinement comes into play – while it takes a while to wind on the pace, its not like thrashing a van.
Given the target market, little of that will be as important as its ease of use. The dash is neatly designed, and although it is probably best described as hardwearing, there are plenty of passenger car touches and good equipment levels. There’s plenty of room, as you’d expect for driver and passenger, and thanks to good all-round visibility, is easy to thread through tight gaps. Ford says its commercial vehicles, and by extension this, are now designed “around the driver”, and it shows.
There are two sliding doors affording excellent access to the rear. Ford says the 839mm opening width is the best in class. Legroom and, predictably, headroom is excellent. The second row of seats splits and folds 60:40, but the lack of three individual seats seems slightly odd. Folding and replacing the seats isn’t as intuitive as Ford’s best MPVs, and requires a fair bit of manhandling.
To fold or stow either of the seats in the third row means the second row must be completely folded to gain access. Legroom in the third row isn’t especially generous, and it’s unlikely anyone will want to spend too long there.
Boot space varies between a credible 322 litres in seven-seat mode to 1287 litres with five seats in place. With the second row folded, it rivals the Galaxy for capacity with more than 2600 litres of room, and it is possible to carry objects up to three metres in length.
Running costs are slightly more than a Grand C-Max with the same powertrain: 130g/km and 58.9mpg plays 124g/km and 60.1mpg, but the Tourneo is far cheaper. Indeed, only the base Grand C-Max is priced below £20,000; all Grand Tourneo Connects, bar the top-spec model tested here are sub-£20k. And the Ford is fractionally more expensive than a seven-seat Berlingo, and will be worth more on the used market.