£18,915 - £22,465 Price range
50 - 64 MPG
Based on Ford’s popular Tourneo van, the Connect sees the load bay furnished with a few seats and nicer trim to turn it into a budget MPV. The practical shape makes this a hugely spacious people carrier, whether you plump for the five or seven-seat model.
Reviews are very positive; the driving experience is decent enough (as is the case with most Fords) and it’s so cheap that niggles like the slight lack of power from the economical engines gets largely overlooked.
Thanks to its van origins, the interior is predictably huge. Front and rear, passengers get levels of leg and headroom that are hard to find in any other car in the sector. There are overhead storage bins and cubbies all over the place. Access to the rear seats is made easy thanks to the sliding doors which offer a huge opening – a godsend for any young families.
The boot is massive too: over 1,000 litres in the five door, which grows to 2,410 when the rear seats are removed. Even the most enthusiastic IKEA shopper will struggle to overstuff the Tourneo’s load bay!
The criticisms are few and far between, but like the Focus and C-Max with which the Tourneo shares it’s dashboard architecture, several testers complain that the layout is fussy, with too many buttons – particularly on the radio. It’s also worth noting that the rear tailgate is huge, so make sure you leave plenty of space behind you if you’re planning to use it.
The driving experience receives plenty of praise, testers are most impressed with the secure handling, although body roll is noticeable thanks to the fairly high centre of gravity.
One problem that testers note is that the ride can be a little fidgety, particularly with the car unladen. With a full complement of passengers and things, though, it settles down nicely.
Testers recommend avoiding the automatic gearbox, as it is sluggish and harms the fuel economy. The manuals elsewhere are fine, though.
Let’s make one thing clear from the outset: the Tourneo Connect isn’t going to win any drag races, even against other MPVs. However, it’ll do the sensible stuff reasonably well.
There are two petrols on offer. The first is the 99hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo so popular in the Fiesta, B-Max and Focus, and a larger 1.6 turbo with 148hp sits at the top of the range. We’d recommend avoiding the 1.0 here – it isn’t really powerful enough and you are highly unlikely to match the claimed fuel economy figures because you’ll have to work it hard most of the time.
Approximately 90% of buyers are likely to buy a diesel model. They’ll have a choice of the 1.6TDCi unit in two states of tune; either 94 or 113hp. We’d go for the slightly more powerful unit – it’ll be more able to cope with heavy loads, and there is hardly any drop in fuel economy, achieving a respectable 58.9mpg.
The Tourneo has received top marks in the Euro NCAP crash tests, receiving a five-star rating.
Auto headlights and wipers are available, and LED daytime running lights feature at the front. Anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control are fitted as standard in every model.
Prices are comparable with direct rivals like the Peugeot Partner, and significantly less than the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life.
Spec levels will be familiar to any Ford owner, with a choice of Style, Zetec and the top-of-the-range Titanium. We’d recommend the Zetec, it adds useful features like a heated windscreen, front fog lights and Ford’s Sync bluetooth system.
If your priorities when choosing a new car are space, safety and value for money, it is hard to beat the Ford Tourneo Connect. There are absolutely more stylish MPVs on the road, and Ford’s own C-Max is more fun to drive, but that would be missing the point of this car.
It comes highly recommended from reviewers across the board. Who knew such a van-like thing would attract such praise? One for the shopping list if you’re after a giant load carrier.
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