Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ford's latest attempt to make a practical family car out of a van

First drive: Ford Tourneo Courier

Grand Tourneo Connect, seven-seat people mover, 1.6-litre diesel (94bhp, road tax €270).
Grand Tourneo Connect, seven-seat people mover, 1.6-litre diesel (94bhp, road tax €270).

Eddie Cunnigham in Frankfurt

THIS can all get confusing so let's start at the beginning.

There is this family called Tourneo.

They're Fords. They are all dressed up these days as sort-of people carriers but their bloodlines are vans.

There is the Custom – based on the Transit van.

There is a Connect which is from the Mondeo platform.

And there is this new, smaller, Courier which has the same underpinnings as the Fiesta, B-Max and June arrival EcoSport crossover.

Right, that's the lineage.

The result of the latest endeavours is a practical, family/business vehicle that is angular and awkward looking to my way of seeing things. But despite my poor assessment on the visuals, I could not fault it for effort to provide a platform for everyday practicality. Especially for families. Those with younger children, mucky boots, hurley and hockey sticks will love the cargo space and the hard wearing plastic surfaces, the shelves in the boot, the overhead locker and overall space.

It left me a bit underwhelmed I must say.

Maybe I'm getting old.

Admittedly this is a niche car for relatively few buyers so its appeal is bound to be limited. Which is where I find myself. But you can't deny the relevance of the package to those who need a workhorse of a car. It has sliding rear doors and the front doors open out wider so getting in and out was quite easy.

It will cost from around €19,990 (the van version costs just €13,000 with only €200 VRT). But don't hold your breath – the Courier doesn't get here until early next year.

There are 780 litres of luggage space, 60 more, they claim, than any rival. The boot is great: you can separate stuff with upper and lower shelves.

The rear seats fold 60:40 and when flattened can rack up 1,650litres – the same as a large station wagon.

I felt dwarfed by the amount of space over our heads but my front-seat passenger was crying out for proper seat adjustment.

The amount of vertical space, say Ford, is why this will also appeal to those who need to move awkward stuff around such as those going camping or canoeing – that sort of thing.

I thought the under-seat storage for the likes of lap-top or tablet was excellent. There is no spare wheel.

They will fit you one – full-size – for €50.

The Courier has SYNC – which reads messages out loud or you can dictate text messages and it will have Applink as an option, I imagine, which can use phone applications.

There will be a 1.6-litre diesel and a 1-litre EcoBoost petrol.

I drove both here. I think the diesel with 95bhp and excellent 97g/km emissions is the pick of them.

The petrol EcoBoost (100bhp and 119g/km) wasn't as good.

They are not bringing in the 1.5-litre diesel (103g/km 75bhp).

Stop/Start is standard.

Indo Motoring

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