It’s easy to look at Ford’s new Tourneo Custom and think it’s purely for shuttle drivers and commercial purposes. Its look, size, and exterior design lean to more of a business application, but once you slide open those slick, gliding doors, it’s easy to understand why this vehicle might just slip onto your new car wishlist.
You see, while it looks like Ford’s other van-class vehicle, the Ford Transit, the Tourneo is specifically designed for upmarket travel and families, harking back to the day where VW Kombis and Chrysler Voyagers were the norm for families, rather than colossal SUVs.
The Ford Tourneo Custom therefore comes with a host of bells and whistles to appease drivers and passengers, making it a more comfortable and personalised ride than its commercial counterpart, the Transit. Inside you get 3 rows of seats: 2 at the front, three in the middle, and three in the rear, giving you a lot of passenger space, not to mention some sizable foot space in between each rows. Of course, you can change up the orientation of the seats with ease, adding even more space to throw in tog bags, sports equipment, or small farm animals (we don’t know what you drive around with; we don’t judge). But, while you can slot in a lot in between the rows, the boot gives more than enough space, and is a joy to use.
Where most vehicles (even larger SUVs) have somewhat tricky or highly-raised boots to access, the entire back of the Tourneo opens up, allowing you to load larger items without the risk of dinging the sides of the car or damaging any seats. It’s low enough so you don’t have to lift items towards the clouds in order to just get them into the car, and a feature like this is invaluable to smaller kids or parents.
While the Tourneo is a dream to be in the backseat of, the driver’s seat is anything but the stifled simplicity of a commercial vehicle. Everything about the New Tourneo Custom has been designed with comfort and ease in mind, with features that make any journey a pleasure – whether it’s work, play or the everyday. The New Tourneo Custom includes an updated dashboard design, with climate control, audio and navigation controls and convenient driving features like cruise control, all within easy reach. One standout feature you’ll notice as the driver too, is all the nooks, crannies, and spectacularly placed storage spots within your grasp. You’ll find clever storage spaces all over the place, like rubberised slots in around the steering wheel, roller-covered cup-holders, bottle-holders, under-seat containers for laptops and files, door bins and even a fold-out table. If you’re always carting a few things around, like your cellphone, keys, coffee-on-the-go, laptop, etc, then the Tourneo could be your solution.
Further creature comforts include an 8.5-inch colour screen featuring Ford’s Sync 3 system, which includes the pinch-and-swipe capability found on smartphones and tablets – making navigation quicker and more intuitive. Of course, there is a rear-view camera too, making reversing the Tourneo Custom anything but a chore.
Driving it forward is pretty easy too, and while you might think captaining the Tourneo Custom may be akin to driving the Starship Enterprise, it’s surprisingly simple and nimble. Thanks to a high point-of-view from the drivers seat, and a great turning circle, the Tourneo Custom feels like a small SUV in terms of its handling and manoeuvrability. The 2L engine helps get you off any hillstart or up to necessary speeds you need, and small assists, such as blindspot indicator lights in the side mirrors, give you a lot of confidence to take the vehicle into busy areas.
Driving the Tourneo Custom, you truly do feel like the leader of the pack, and while some of the backseats in other cars in the segment might look appetising, you easily have the most enviable spot being in the driver’s seat. Not only is the Tourneo Custom extremely fun to drive, but it’s also incredibly practical for just about any situation life could throw at you. If you’re in the market for a larger family vehicle, the Tourneo Custom should be on your radar.
Tourneo Custom 2.2TDCI LWB Ambiente manual — R639,000
Tourneo Custom 2.2TDCI LWB Trend manual — R664,700
Tourneo Custom 2.2TDCI SWB Limited manual — R716,800
Tourneo Custom 2.0L LWB Trend automatic — R721,700
Tourneo Custom 2.2L SWB Limited automatic — R764,400
You can check out more on the Ford Tourneo Custom on Ford’s official website.