2014 Ford Tourneo Connect review

  • New Ford Tourneo Connect tested
  • Five- and seven-seat versions; three engine choices
  • On sale December, priced from £14,245

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The Ford Tourneo Connect is based on the Transit Connect van, but adds rear seats and windows to turn it into a roomy MPV.

It’s available as a five-seat, or as a longer, seven-seat version called the Grand Tourneo Connect.

There are three engine options; a 99bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.6 diesel in 94bhp and 113bhp forms. The 1.6 petrol is restricted to an automatic gearbox and the Grand Tourneo is diesel only.

Prices start from £14,245 for the Tourneo Connect and £16,985 for the Grand.

What’s the 2014 Ford Tourneo Connect like inside?

In a word, huge – and also extremely practical.

Those van-like dimensions ensure there's loads of head- and legroom in the front, to the extent that even very tall occupants will have more than enough space.

That high driving position, together with the Tourneo’s deep windscreen, rear and side windows, help ensure all-round visibility is very good, too.

You won't have any problem getting comfortable, either, as there’s a good amount of adjustment in the steering wheel and driver’s seat.

The dashboard isn’t as easy to live with, though, as Ford has stuck with a similar layout found in the C-Max and Focus. That means lots of buttons that are difficult to locate easily on the move.

In the rear, the high roofline continues so headroom stays very generous. It’s a shame the middle seats don’t slide back and forth, but there’s enough and shoulder and legroom for two adults or three children to remain happy on a long journey.

Access to the rear is excellent as there are sliding doors on both sides that reveal wide openings.

With the rear seats in place, the five-seat model has more than 500 litres of boot space, courtesy of a practical, square loadbay with low loading lip. However, the large tailgate (on both the Tourneo and the Grand) means you need to leave plenty of room behind when parking in order to get it open.

The Grand is 40cm longer than the five-seat version, and the back row of seats can be moved back and forth individually to trade legroom for boot space. Slid all the way back, two adults will sit comfortably and there is still enough room for a collapsible pushchair or a couple of small bags in the boot.

In both models, the middle-row seats can be quickly and easily split 60/40 and folded and tumbled forward to leave a flat surface. The Grand’s rear-most seats can be folded flat, too.

There are plenty of practical touches in the cabin, such as aircraft-style overhead lockers on higher-trim cars, a large shelf located above the front passengers and large cubby holes for the other two rows.

All models come with a DAB radio, a USB socket, Bluetooth connectivity, alloy wheels and six airbags, including full-length curtain 'bags.

Zetec-trimmed models are likely to sell best, adding all-round electric windows, air-con, heated mirrors and Ford’s Sync infotainment system.

Top-trim Titanium cars add luxuries such as cruise control, rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, a panoramic roof, climate control and leather steering wheel.


What’s the 2014 Ford Tourneo Connect like to drive?

The diesel engines are predicted to account for 90% of sales. The higher-powered 113bhp 1.6 TDCi is powerful enough to move seven people around, although you do need to make sure you're in the correct gear to make swift progress.

In any case, it’s a quiet engine, even when revved, with little vibration felt through the steering wheel or pedals.

The 1.0 petrol copes better than you might expect in a car as big as the Tourneo Connect, but it needs to be worked harder than the diesel. It remains smooth, but is noisier than the diesel.

The 1.6 petrol is less impressive because it's hampered by its automatic gearbox. Although changes are smooth, the 'box holds on to gears for too long, causing the revs to rocket and lots of engine noise to enter the cabin.

Whichever engine and seating layout you go for, the Tourneo's steering is consistently weighted and accurate, if a little lighter than in other Ford models such as the C-Max.

That helps with manoeuvring the Tourneo in town, though, and the fact that the body stays relatively well behaved in bends will reduce the likelihood of travel sick children.

The ride is comfortable even on optional 17-inch alloys (16s come as standard), with lumps and bumps rounded off well.

It’s likely the smaller, standard, 16-inch wheels will improve the ride further, but it remains to be seen how the Tourneo Connect will cope with the UK’s poorer surfaces.

Apart from some wind noise around the large door mirrors and windscreen on the motorway, both the Tourneo and Grand are impressively refined.


Should I buy one?

The choice of van-based MPVs is limited, but the Tourneo Connect certainly stands out as the most accomplished.

The Grand Tourneo Connect also offers genuine, flexible space for seven people, and while it isn’t as good to drive as Ford’s own S-Max, it is bigger and cheaper.

An equivalent five-seat diesel Citroen Berlingo Multispace or Peugeot Partner Tepee might cost slightly less and offer similar space, but they don't drive as well, aren't as refined and have poorer-quality cabins.

They’re also less well equipped and their higher CO2 emissions, worse fuel economy and steeper depreciation mean they’ll end up costing you more to own over three years – whether you’re a company or private buyer.

 

What Car? says...

Rivals:
Citroen Berlingo Multispace
Peugeot Partner Tepee

Specification 1.0 EcoBoost
Engine size 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Price from £14,245
Power 99bhp
Torque 125lb ft
0-62mph 14.0 sec
Top speed 103mph
Fuel economy 50.4mpg
CO2 emissions 129g/km

 

Specification 1.6 TDCi 95 PS
Engine size 1.6-litre diesel
Price from £14,745
Power 94bhp
Torque 162lb ft
0-62mph 14.7 sec
Top speed 100mph
Fuel economy 56.5mpg
CO2 emissions 130g/km

 

Specification 1.6 TDCi Start-Stop
Engine size 1.6-litre diesel
Price from £15,105
Power 94bhp
Torque 170lb ft
0-62mph 14.7 sec
Top speed 100mph
Fuel economy 61.4mpg
CO2 emissions 120g/km

 

Specification 1.6 TDCI 115PS
Engine size 1.6-litre diesel
Price from £16,995
Power 113bhp
Torque 199b ft
0-62mph 13.8 sec
Top speed 103mph
Fuel economy 58.9mpg
CO2 emissions 130g/km

 

Specification 1.6 EcoBoost
Engine size 1.6-litre petrol
Price from £18,895
Power 148bhp
Torque 177lb ft
0-62mph 10.9 sec
Top speed 108mph
Fuel economy 35.3mpg
CO2 emissions 184g/km

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