From £14,5158
Entry-level van-based Tourneo is another success for the Ecoboost triple. Flexible, zesty, great value, hugely spacious.

Our Verdict

Ford Tourneo Connect
The Tourneo Connect, left, is the five-seater; on the right is the Grand Tourneo Connect which is available with seven seats

The new Ford Tourneo Connect is a practical and flexible family MPV

What is it?

This is Ford’s entry-level engine derivative of its Tourneo Connect utility MPV. And it’s a car that’s part of a sudden explosion of boxy-looking Fords on UK roads – a phenomenon that probably won’t have escaped your attention. All of them look a bit like the new Transit, and that isn’t by coincidence. There is now a Transit family of light commercial vehicles, ranging from the Fiesta-based Transit Courier at the bottom of the pyramid up to the full-sized Transit ‘jumbo’ at the top.

The two medium-sized vans between those extremes – the Connect and the Custom – both have ‘Tourneo’-branded passenger car doubles, and it’s the smaller of the two we’re interested in here. A rival to the Fiat Doblo and Citroen Berlingo, the Tourneo Connect comes in regular five- or ‘Grand’ seven-seat versions, and is based on Ford’s ‘Global C’ platform – just like the current Focus. 

Even in standard five-seat form, this is a full-sized family car that’s more practical in many ways than even an S-Max MPV. But it’s priced like a B-Max; from little more than £14k.

What's it like?

Being totally slab-sided and square-cornered, the Connect offers huge cabin space. Passenger room is on a par with a large executive saloon in most respects, but headroom is even more abundant than that. Sliding rear doors make accessing the back seats easier in tight spaces; the front passenger seatback folds to accommodate extra-long loads.

The only disappointment is that the back seats don’t slide fore and aft – but they do tumble forwards to clear the way for really bulky loads. With everything folded, this car can carry 2410 litres of luggage. ‘Cargo’, more likely. It’s huge – the kind of car to just throw things into. Bikes, dogs, lounge furniture – you name it.

The compromises you’ll have to accept for that kind of space and value for money are on desirability, quality and rolling refinement. You’ll have noticed the first of those already – and frankly, you’ll either be willing to accept tooling around in something that looks so much like a van, or you won’t.

The Connect’s cabin, though entirely robust and functional, is only satisfactory on material quality. Some of the fittings and switches look and feel a bit basic. Not cheap – but certainly cheaper than you’d get on a proper passenger car. But relative to what you’ll find on a Doblo or Berlingo, they’re much more respectable.

To drive, the Connect is quietly impressive in lots of ways. It rides bumps in slightly stiff-legged fashion, and pogos a bit when the surface gets really bad - though would doubtless settle down the more load you put in it. 

That apart, the car’s quite refined and handles perfectly well. The steering’s got good weight and directness, and feels consistent at all times. The body’s well controlled, remaining upright even when you’re cornering quickly. Grip levels are quite high and well-balanced; the car’s ever-stable but never inert or dull to drive. Ride apart, the Connect feels every inch the modern Ford passenger car.

And choosing a Connect with a 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine wouldn’t be the maddest thing you’ve ever done, either. The turbo triple is unexpectedly quiet, and while it doesn’t give the Connect much outright pace, it’s flexible and obliging throughout the rev range. You’ll need all six speeds on that gearbox in you want to hurry the car along – and with a heavy load aboard and climbing hard, you might want for a bit of low-end torque. 

But times like that are few and far between. Mostly, the Ecoboost engine just makes the Connect strangely zesty, well-mannered – and reasonably frugal (mid-40s-mpg on our mixed test drive).

Should I buy one?

Depends mostly if you mind the ‘light commercial’ associations. The Connect’s boxy looks are the worst of those by far. If you can stomach those, chances are you won’t find a compromise anywhere else on the car that’ll discourage you. And considering how much car you’re getting for the money, and how much use you could put it to, we certainly wouldn’t blame you.

Ford Tourneo Connect 1.0 Ecoboost Zetec 

Price £15,895 0-62mph 14.0sec Top speed 103mph Economy 50.4mpg Co2 129g/km Kerbweight 1429kg Engine three cylinders in line, 999cc, turbocharged petrol Power 99bhp at 6000rpm Torque 126lb ft at 4100rpm Gearbox six-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
6

19 June 2014
Thank you for saying what mpg you got during your test drive. All reports should say that, it's not hard!

A34

19 June 2014
Looks like a cheap(ish) lifestyle ("blue collar is so cool") C-Max. The extra load capacity makes it quite an interesting proposition, and presumably the 1.0 makes it a better (and cheaper) car for smaller / non-motorway journey profiles. But note you can get bottom-rung CMaxen quite cheap too...

19 June 2014
In many ways, this makes far more sense than a Ford Galaxy does for people that want/need outright space and seats . Those that don't want a box on wheels can go for the S-Max instead.

Put it a decent diesel in it for pulling the caravan and I may be interested. Although I accept it's not going to win any style awards... :)

19 June 2014
excels in the small Fiesta but I'm not so sure of it scoring similar success in larger Fords. Tourneo is huge I wonder how would this engine cope when it's fully laden?

20 June 2014
fadyady wrote:

excels in the small Fiesta but I'm not so sure of it scoring similar success in larger Fords. Tourneo is huge I wonder how would this engine cope when it's fully laden?

It just seems cruel to expect such a small horse to work so hard.


20 June 2014
fadyady wrote:

excels in the small Fiesta but I'm not so sure of it scoring similar success in larger Fords. Tourneo is huge I wonder how would this engine cope when it's fully laden?

and how long it will stay away from service..

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