Six word summary
Practical, spacious and good to drive
What is it?
Ford is getting in on the budget MPV scene with the Tourneo Connect and its Grand Tourneo Connect big sister. Both offer the sort of space you can only get when the origins of the vehicle lie in the van world. However, there’s nothing van-like about the way the Tourneo Connect drives and it’s also decently refined.
What’s it like?
Balancing style with versatility and masses of cabin space is something Ford is very adept at and the Tourneo Connect is the latest demonstration of this ability. This new MPV offers lashings of interior space thanks to its simple, uncluttered exterior style and high roof.
It means the Tourneo Connect can swell inside to accommodate a maximum of 2410-litres of cargo and loads up to 3.0-metres in length. Very few full size seven-seat MPVs can manage this, never mind one with a starting price of £14,245. This makes the Tourneo Connect unique and very appealing to those who value practicality.
In the five-seat version, a huge boot is more than up to dealing with shopping, dogs and work or play. To extend the carrying capacity, the 60/40 split and tip rear seat folds forward quickly and easily at the tug of a strap, leaving an enormous, flat load floor that can easily hold a mountain bike or two without the need to remove the wheels.
There’s also the Grand Tourneo Connect that has an extra pair of rears seats to accommodate seven in surprising comfort. The third row of seats in the Grand can also be folded float into the floor to free up a huge boot.
In both models, the rear seats offer superb room for adult passengers, so you never feel hemmed in. This impression is furthered by the large windows and airy feel of the Tourneo Connect’s cabin.
Up front, the driver is treated to a supportive seat and excellent driving position. The clear dash has the gear lever mounted up high and within easy reach, while even more storage is dotted all around the cabin with cubbies above the main dials and a shelf over the front seat passengers’ heads.
Powering the Tourneo Connect is a choice of 1.0-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines and Ford’s punchy 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 95bhp or 115bhp. All of them are smooth operators and, if you think a 1.0-litre petrol engine isn’t up to the job, just try the Tourneo Connect on the road.
Pick of the bunch, though, is the 95bhp 1.6 diesel that mixes strong performance on the move with excellent 61.4mpg average economy and 120g/km carbon dioxide emissions if you choose the model with Auto Start-Stop that switches off the engine when the car isn’t moving.
There’s a six-speed automatic gearbox available with the 1.6 petrol for those who spend more time in town or need an auto.
The Tourneo Connect stays true to Ford’s values of offering a fine ride, precise steering and top notch refinement, which adds up to a superb, cost-effective compact MPV.
Ford may have come late to the cheaper end of the MPV market, but the Tourneo Connect range offer a brilliant alternative to the likes of the Citroen Berlingo and Renault Kangoo. The Tourneo Connect provides the same space and wide range of interior configurations as its rivals, but it betters them in the way it drives, rides and handles to make it the best choice in this sector.
Words: Al Suttie