New Ford Tourneo Custom 2023 review

The new Tourneo Custom redefines Ford’s MPV offering, hiding its van roots supremely well

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Ford is trying to make more of the Tourneo brand, and the latest Custom model will easily raise its profile. It hides its van roots superbly, and can lay claim to being the spiritual successor to the S-MAX and Galaxy in Ford’s line-up. Prices are on the steep side, but even the entry-level models offer a lot of kit and excellent cabin space.

There was a time when passenger-carrying versions of the Ford Transit were little more than vans with seats, but the Tourneo brand has tried to rectify that. The last-generation Tourneo Custom was a step in the right direction for Ford to make a rival to the Volkswagen Caravelle and Mercedes V-Class, but the all-new model is even better.

The latest version is being launched at the same time as the new Transit Custom, which, as we’ve revealed on the previous pages, is a van that’s more car-like than ever to drive. That bodes well for this new passenger variant, which will be offered with up to nine seats, depending on spec.

As with the Transit Custom, there will be PHEV and electric versions coming in 2024, but for now it’s diesel power all the way, and here we try the 168bhp version with Ford’s eight-speed automatic gearbox.

There’s no arguing with the amount of space on offer in the Tourneo Custom, especially in long-wheelbase guise tested here (stretched by 400mm over the standard model). The seats now come on sliding rails (they were fixed in place in the last Tourneo Custom) so there is a wider range of configurations on offer, and all the chairs are removable, with four out of six being individual seats, making it easier to configure the cabin as you please.

Interior quality is good, too, especially on this Titanium Luxe model, which features panoramic glass – another Tourneo Custom first – rear climate controls, cup holders, storage slots and numerous USB-C sockets.

Up front, the three-wide front seat isn’t the roomiest, but the dashboard is carried over from the Transit Custom wholesale, so there’s the same 13-inch touchscreen with SYNC4 and 5G telematics connectivity.

One major departure for the auto model over the manual is the column-mounted drive selector. This means the wipers and indicators have been moved to a single stalk, which might take a bit of getting used to.

On the road, the Tourneo Custom is as refined and relaxing as any car-based MPV. As with the van version, comfort is first class, while the long-wheelbase model feels rock-solid and stable at higher speeds. Combine this with a lack of road and wind noise, even on our car’s larger 17-inch wheels, and the Tourneo Custom should be a capable long-distance cruiser.

One downside is the eight-speed auto gearbox. It’s a little slow to react, and when you do demand some extra grunt, it jerkily kicks down a couple of gears and sends the revs skywards. That hampers the Tourneo Custom’s ability around town a little, but the other issue is likely to be its size, especially since it’s more than two metres wide.

Model: Ford Tourneo Custom EcoBlue 170 auto Titanium Luxe LWB
Price: £64,722
Powertrain: 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel
Power/torque: 178bhp/360Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Economy/CO2: 35.0mpg/213g/km
Boot (9/6/3st): 632/2,064/4,343 litres
Size (L/W/H): 5,450/2,032/1,966mm
On sale: Now
Senior test editor

Dean has been part of the Auto Express team for more than 20 years, and has worked across nearly all departments, starting on magazine production, then moving to road tests and reviews. He's our resident van expert, but covers everything from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and consumer products.

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