Ford Tourneo Connect review
The Ford Tourneo Connect is an MPV that offers low running costs and loads of interior space
Ford’s reputation for building sturdy and reliable commercial vehicles is second to none, while its range of stylish MPVs is also much lauded. And with the Ford Tourneo Connect the manufacturer has managed to combine the best of both of these things. The Tourneo Connect is based on the Ford Transit Connect, but swaps the bulkheads and empty loading bay for a rear row of seats and lots of clever storage solutions – one of the advantages of being built on the van’s platform. There’s a selection of strong diesel engines (a choice of 94bhp and 113bhp), as well as the excellent 1.0-litre Ecoboost, which continues to impress - even in a bulkier model like this. The main competition in the van-based MPV market is the Fiat Doblo and Citroen Berlingo. However, the Ford feels streets ahead of these two and based on this model should soon be topping these rivals.
Our choice: Ford Tourneo Connect 1.6 TDCi Zetec
Styling is a small footnote in the MPV market, but the Ford is definitely the best of the offerings available. While it retains some of the boxy looks of the van it is based on, the sleeker front end with elements borrowed from more stylish MPVs like the C-Max and S-Max, gives it an edge over the competition. The inside also borrows many aspects from the MPV range with the numerous buttons and functions in the centre of the dashboard, along with sat-nav on higher-spec models, helping further in its car-like appearance. There are still signs of its van origins, though. The plastics and materials used are still the sturdy and hard-wearing ones that serve the commercial vehicles so well.
The Ford Tourneo Connect engine range includes two diesels and two petrols. The most popular option is expected to be the 94bhp version of the 1.6-litre Duratorq, which is paired with a five-speed manual. There’s a higher-powered diesel choice with 113bhp and a six-speed gearbox, too. The petrol engines include the excellent 1.0-litre Ecoboost with 99bhp, and despite the car’s bulk the small engine never feels overwhelmed and feels surprisingly eager on the road, which is helped by the six-speed manual gearbox. The final petrol engine is the 1.6-litre Ecoboost with 148bhp, but this comes with a sole six-speed auto ‘box - though this is best avoided. Despite this car’s connections to the likes of the Focus, it still suffers some of the issues that come with the high body shape such as rolling in the corners, but it’s still the most involving of anything available of its kind.
Ford had a pretty poor time of things in the 2013 Driver Power survey, where it ranked 23rd and had customers criticising its cars for build quality in particular. Despite this the Tourneo Connect feels sturdy and well screwed together - it should benefit from the Transit side of its beginnings in this respect. The Tourneo Connect also comes with Ford’s three-year/100,000-mile warranty, which should help cover any problems over the initial stage of ownership.
This is the car’s major selling point. The high roofline of the van shape means there’s loads of interior space, with passengers also enjoying plenty of legroom. Then there are the numerous cubbies and storage spaces - the car keeps the overhead storage above the driver from the van, which makes for a sizeable space, plus large door pockets and lockable glovebox. There’s even a small storage space above the instrument binnacle. It also has two rear sliding doors, making it easier to get in the back and not causing any door dents in a car park.
Overall, it’s the boot space that really impresses. Leave the seats in place and there’s 1,029 litres on offer – that’s 558 litres more than the Ford C-Max. Drop the rear seats flat, however, and this expands to 2,410. The rear seats can also be removed completely. The load lip is also low, which makes loading items in to the back much easier. There is one problem, the large boot door that opens upwards - this means you’ll have to pick your parking spot carefully and makes things more difficult in multi-storey car parks.
The lower-powered diesel engine is the most efficient in the Tourneo Connect range, and it's expected to be the most popular choice. Emissions are rated at 120g/km, while the claimed economy is 61.4mpg. However, the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine isn’t far off this with emissions of 129g/km (though this is dependent on the specification you choose the car in) and fuel economy of 50.4mpg.
There’s a choice of the usual Style, Zetec and Titanium spec levels. Entry-level Style models get electric windows, DAB radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, 16-inch steel wheels and daytime running lights. Zetec is expected to be the most popular specification, and is the one we’d recommend. This adds alloy wheels, electric windows for the rear passengers, heated windscreen, front foglights and the Ford Sync connectivity kit.