Had the opportunity to drive Ford Motor Company’s new Tourneo Custom this week. And when it arrives, it certainly gets your attention, as it is 2m tall, luckily with fairly low roof racks, that give it a sporty look. But one of the first things you get when you slide behind the wheel, is how easy it is to drive this rather larger 8-seater around in traffic. The model we drove is the Custom, which comes with leather seats, and this can be used for active, large families, or as an effective, high-end people carrier.
Lets look at the styling, coming with the character five-bar trapezoidal chrome-finish grille, accompanied by slim headlamps that are purposefully styled to seamlessly flow into the eye-catching crease lines of the bodywork, adding dynamic flair to the overall design. The Tourneo stands tall, with good width and length to accommodate 8 people seated comfortably. It has a nice look, as it is not square, but rounded off, and not looking roly poly. It has headlamps which incorporate daytime running lights, rectangular front fog lamps, housed in a chromed bezel, are positioned on the outer edges of the front bumper to give the Tourneo an athletic stance. The polished look is complemented by 16-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels.
Into the spacious cabin
The cabin is equally sophisticated, with high-class ‘Salerno’ partial leather trim unique to the Limited model and used for the front seats and well as the second and third-row seats. Both front seats benefit from a heating function for cold days, manual lumber adjustment for the front passenger seat, while the driver seat offers 10-way power adjustment for optimal comfort.
The cabin is very spacious, and all seats have enough room with a climate control system to reach all three seat rows, as well as having tinted windows and shades which can be drawn. .
The interior has a premium feel, from the headliner to the side panels and carpets – with a greater emphasis on craftsmanship and appearance. The doors have a solid clunk, and there is a dual sliding door, left and right for easy entry & exit. Both seat rows can be folded flat to give mega room for carrying luggage or other. The cabin is quiet, with minimal road noise detected. I really like the arm rests for both driver and passenger, as well as the convenient cup holders and storage for a cell phone or keys. There are lights overhead in the cabin for illumination.
It has a smallish rear-view camera, as well as rear and front sensors, which surely helps with parking the Custom. The Tourneo Custom range incorporates an extensive range of advanced driver assistance features as standard, including ABS brakes, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Load Adaptive Control (LAC) and Roll-Over Mitigation (ROM).
In Limited guise a towbar is fitted as standard, which incorporates Trailer Hitch Assist as well as Trailer Sway Control that mitigates against a loss of control when towing.
In the event of a collision, occupants are protected by dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags. Additionally, ISOFIX child seat mounting points are provided in the centre of the second and third-row seats, as well as on the driver’s side in the middle row.
All models are equipped with a six-speaker audio system incorporating Bluetooth, USB and Aux connectivity and steering wheel-mounted controls. Electronic cruise control is standard across the range.
Engine-114kW 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine.
The Tourneo Custom Limited is equipped with Ford’s top-specification 2.2-litre four-cylinder Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, which assures gutsy performance and superb fuel economy. My initial reaction, is that it was not great in third gear, which indicated it being underpowered, but as the week test went on, you get accustomed to the gearing, which works well from the conveniently placed little gear stick.
Power is rated at 114kW at 3 500 r/min, upping the ante compared to the 74kW and 92kW units that power the Ambiente and Trend models respectively. The maximum torque output is 385Nm from just 1 600 r/min versus the 310Nm and 350Nm outputs of the lower-spec models. The custom has some real oomph on the highways, and plenty of grunt on the small roads as well, the gearbox tells you succinctly when you are over gearing, or straining the box.
This makes the Limited ideally suited to carrying a full complement of passengers, or exploiting its gross payload rating of 939kg, 24kg more than the LWB models. It is approved to tow a 1 600kg braked trailer or 750kg for unbraked trailers.
Ford Tourneo Custom – Recommended Retail Prices:
2.2 TDCi LWB Ambiente 74kW 6MT R568 700
2.2 TDCi LWB Trend 92kW 6MT R591 300
2.2 TDCi SWB Limited 114kW 6MT R637 200
All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.
In summary, I really loved this SUV, it is a great holiday car for bigger families or just to have the extra space, and it is well priced as well.