Ford Tourneo


     My cousin Jayne called: “I’m getting married. The invitation is in the post”.

    Great news! And I mean it when say it genuinely couldn’t happen to a nicer couple. But while she and soon-to-be husband Stuart busied themselves with the minor details: venue, rings, dress, cake etc, I was left pondering how I was going to get six people, and no doubt copious amounts of their luggage, from out here in The Far Unlit Unknown, into central Liverpool on Friday evening. “Please be seated by 4:30pm”, read the card.

     Hmm…. Had such an event happened only a few years ago the list of MPVs and people carriers I could’ve picked from would’ve felt near endless. Alas time moves on. Seven seaters these days usually come SUV shaped, which more often than not, means cramped, child-only, rear seats, not to mention precious little luggage space with them deployed. Clearly, I needed something more spacious. What I really needed, in fact, was a van.

     Fortunately, I know someone at Ford. 

    Think Ford vans and inevitably you’ll think Transit (hardly surprising, they’ve been making it for over 50 years), but I bet you’d didn’t know that after the Fiesta, the Transit is Ford’s best-selling model. However, despite appearances (and engine, gearbox, dashboard headlamps, sliding side doors, and very nearly everything else for that matter) very much to the familiar, the van Ford agreed to loan me wasn’t a Transit at all. It was a Tourneo – and in very lifestyley Active spec no less. There wasn’t a Transit badge to be seen.

    Honestly, you couldn’t get further from a builder’s van if you tried (I have sneaking suspicion that was the idea). The Ford Tourneo Custom Active – to give it its full title – gets chunky body cladding, standard full-length side steps, bespoke alloy wheels and 8 individual, part-leather seats – the 6 rearmost of which are removable. Its ride height is higher compared to Tourneos in Titanium, Titanium X trim, and Sport, trim, it sits on all-season tyres, and should you wish, you can even have it with a mechanical limited-slip differential.

    There’s sat-nav, Bluetooth, climate control front and rear, parking sensors, heated seats (in the front), and more storage cubbies, cup-holders and USB ports than you can shake a selfie stick at. There’s even an option for 230V 3-pin supply socket. It really is, pardon the pun, fully loaded. Although in black, as per Ford’s press demonstrator, there’s still more than a hint of private hire minibus about its appearance. Where to, Guv?

      Mercifully, the Tourneo neither sounds or feels like a million mile mini-cab. Once you’ve acclimatised to its size (although it’s not much bigger than a Range Rover), it’s as easy to drive as a Ford Focus. The steering is light, albeit surprisingly direct, there’s not anywhere near the amount of body-roll you might expect, and despite being based on something more akin to transporting pallets, the Tourneo’s ride is never what you’d call uncomfortable. Wind noise is kept to minimum too.

      Performance isn’t slacking either – although that said “my” Tourneo came with the range-topping 183bhp diesel and six speed manual ‘box. Quite how either of the alternative diesels cope (104bhp and 128bhp) pulling a fully laden Transit, sorry, Tourneo, I really couldn’t comment, however I’m reliably informed the manual is preferable to the auto.

     Six-up and with bags packed and loaded, the Tourneo made light work of the two and a quarter hour journey to north of the river (The Mersey). Everyone was warm, comfortable, had more than enough leg-room, and charged their phones on the way-up. 95 miles, near 40mpg, and no complaints from the rear. Perfect.

    A Ford Tourneo might not perhaps be the first thing that springs to mind, nevertheless, take it from me, whatever the occasion or gathering, it does makes a very welcome addition to the family.




Engine: 1,995cc 4-cylinder, 16V, bi-turbo diesel

Power: 182 bhp

Torque: 306 lbft

Transmission:  6-speed manual. Front-wheel drive.

Performance: 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds

Max Speed: 112 mph

MPG: 35.7

Weight: 2,438 kg

CO2: 207 g/km

Price: £46,841


Twitter and Instagram: @bird_liam

Many thanks to all at Ford’s UK press office.


Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

Read More from Liam Bird