There’s always been a place in the world for the no-nonsense approach-and the Ford Tourneo Connect is this in car form. It looks like a van, it has the capacity of a van, it even has wing mirrors like a van–yet it seats five comfortably and even drives pretty much like a car.
As you might have picked upon already, the Tourneo Connect is pretty much based on a Ford Transit Connect, with most of the rough edges smoothed off to make it a little more car-like.
About the first thing you notice is the steeply raked - and truly huge - front windscreen. The body’s vertical sides and square shape also mean there’s plenty of glass in evidence. The top-of-the-range Titanium models even have a panoramic glass roof that floods the interior with light.
It also has super-practical sliding rear doors, handy when a parking place is tight. Great if you’re trying to get kids out the back.
What's it like to drive?
Anyone who’s interested in the Tourneo Connect is unlikely to be that hung up on precise handling, 0-60 mph figures or the torque that the engines deliver. They will want to know that it drives almost as well as the Ford C-Max or S-Max - with remarkably little roll into corners, pretty precise steering and the ability to take most bumps in the road in its stride.
While the large mirrors do sometimes whistle on the motorway, on the plus side of things, it does mean no other cars are going to creep up on you unnoticed.
It drives almost as well as the Ford C-Max or S-Max - with remarkably little roll into corners.
From the driver’s perspective, Ford has done a great deal to make the interior definitely car-like. The driver’s seat adjusts in 2 directions, as does the steering wheel, and your high driving position means good all-round visibility.
The materials in and around you would definitely fall into the category of practical instead of plush. Then again, this is a workhorse of a car, not a show pony.
The car’s real wow factor lies in its interior space. There is so much head and legroom that it’s impossible to imagine it feeling cramped for even the tallest members of the family. The seats are pretty comfy too, even in the back.
The basic model does have what is undeniably a basic infotainment screen whose 3.5-inch dot-matrix format is pretty tricky to use. Higher spec models come with a more useful 6.5-inch colour touchscreen. There are no less than 4 12-volt sockets dotted around the interior of the car, including one just behind the steering wheel - ideal for charging your phone, tablet, and even Bluetooth headphones on the go.
You’d imagine that practicality is always going to be a strong point in a car like this - and you’d be 100% right. The boot area is large with the seats up and, when you start putting the 60/40 back seats down, it becomes truly humongous.
You can even put the front passenger seat down completely flat to create a long enough space to carry a roofer’s ladder – not that most people probably ever would.
The sliding back doors are also a lot more practical than the hinged ones on most MPVs and maybe the only downside is the big tailgate. Yes, it means the boot lip is low but you need plenty of space behind the car to open it.
There are also plenty of door bins, cubby holes and a big glovebox in the cabin so you’re never going to be pushed for storage space.
Reliability and running costs
It makes most sense to go for the 1.6-litre diesel engine if you’re thinking of a Tourneo Connect. It hits the sweet spot of giving you enough power and returning pretty good fuel economy figures too. How good? 61.4 mpg is the officially quoted figure. While you might not quite achieve this in daily use, you should easily get within shouting distance of it.
Because the Tourneo shares a lot of the components with Ford’s famous van range, reliability shouldn’t be a problem for you either. Ford is also confident enough in their quality to give a 3-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
What cinch loves
If looks aren’t everything and practicality is, the Ford Tourneo Connect could well be the car to win your heart. It’s got everything you could want but few, if any, of the bells and whistles that you might find in a comparable MPV. Sometimes simple’s best-and here it most definitely is.
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The Ford Tourneo Connect does what it does very well indeed. It has all the room you could want, drives far better than you might expect, and is tough and robust enough to take everything that you and your family can throw at it.
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