Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
As mentioned in the Introduction section, the Ford Tourneo Custom is available with Ford’s 2.0-litre diesel engine in three power outputs: 104bhp, 128bhp and 182bhp.
The 182bhp version transforms the Tourneo Custom into something of a rocketship – in van terms, at least. Even when loaded up with people and luggage, it feels genuinely punchy around town and on a motorway. The 128bhp version, though, suffers from laboured acceleration above 50mph and, because you need to keep your foot down for longer when getting up to speed, you’re more aware of the grumbly diesel engine.
With that in mind, we’d avoid the entry-level 104bhp unit unless you’re sticking to urban environments. We have yet to sample the plug-in hybrid petrol, but we suspect this will be the Tourneo Custom to go for if the majority of your journeys are limited to the city.
If you select the 128bhp or 182bhp engine, you have the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox. Its shifts are not lightning quick, but they are smooth enough to avoid any jerky or uncomfortable changes and, at low speeds, you won’t have any complaints (the eight-speed auto in the Citroën Spacetourer is even smoother). As standard, all engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox – we'll let you know what that's like once we've tried it.
Overall, the Tourneo Custom handles quite well for a van. The steering has decent weight and is nimble enough, but it does feel quite slow so a stretch of twisting country road will give your arms a good work-out. There’s a fair bit of body roll, too, but no more than you'd find in its rivals. Let’s be honest, though – you won’t be hot-footing this around country B-roads. Around town and on the motorway, the handling is stable and predictable. It also has a usefully tight turning circle.
The ride, meanwhile, is as compliant as you could hope for in this class. Over a silken stretch of road, it will carry you along nicely, but it can get quite crashy and bouncy over broken surfaces. It absorbs big road imperfections well, although there’s quite a bit of suspension noise when it does so. In that respect, it's better than the VW Caravelle and Mercedes V-Class.
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