Ford Tourneo Connect 1.0T Trend (2015) Review

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The Ford Tourneo Connect is the brand's attempt to move into the people-carrier segment and on paper it looks promising. Despite its very apparent van-like design, the Ford Tourneo Connect offers some great family practicality and thanks to a decent price, makes a strong case for itself as an affordable people carrier. We spent a week with the 1.0-litre Tourneo Connect in Trend spec, but is a 1.0-litre engine powerful enough for a people carrier?

Engine and Performance

The star of the show has to be the engine. While we’re well aware of the punch offered from Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, we thought a people carrier application would be a bit of a stretch. It doesn't have the same outputs as the Fiesta 1.0 and Focus 1.0 as it’s detuned from 90kW to 74kW.  Torque however sits happily at the 170Nm.

Questions were asked of the Ford Tourneo’s performance while loaded. Without any cargo and just a driver, we’re satisfied with how the Tourneo drove. A perfect opportunity arose when some of the Johannesburg office staff requested transportation and this included their luggage which consisted of surfboards and suitcases. With four adult males in the car as well as gear, performance remained credible and the six-speed gearbox made light work of a busy commute.

Practicality and Boot Space

Practicality is another area where the Ford Tourneo Connect shines. There are storage compartments aplenty all around the cabin. For the driver and passenger, there are some overhead lockers which are perfect for loose jerseys and laptop bags. The second row of passengers gets similarly-sized compartments, however these have access doors.

The boot space is commendable and with the ability to fold down the rear bench, the potential to carry items such as bookcases or washing machines becomes very real. The headroom in the Ford Tourneo Connect was particularly impressive and the entire cabin felt very spacious.

The rear bench is accessed by two sliding doors, which make entry/exit easy. The seats in the rear are spacious and adults will be comfortable.

The Drive

Thanks to a relatively decent six-speed manual gearbox and reasonable ride quality, the Ford Tourneo Connect offers a generally positive drive. It's super comfortable and offers a car-like driving experience. Once you're up to cruising speed, the Ford Tourneo Connect starts returning impressive fuel consumption figures and at one stage we saw 3.5L/100km on the instant fuel readout. Overall you're looking at around 8L/100km when driving the Tourneo Connect around town.

The materials inside the cabin feel very durable, but cheap. It's not a crisis as materials like this are designed to last and are easily wiped clean. Trend specification gets you a lot of features such as steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, speed limiter as well as the rather good Ford Sync infotainment system which plays through a small screen in the middle of the dashboard. Parking sensors and alloy wheels are strangely optional...

An excellent feature is the tiered wing mirrors which offer two sets of glass. The one mirror is your usual rear view setup, while the other makes parallel parking super easy and you're able to accurately see how far the vehicle is from the kerb.

Summary and Conclusion

The Ford Tourneo is a simple and sensible multi-purpose vehicle that offers tons of practicality and interior space. While it may lack some premium touches, the market prefers simple yet durable materials anyway. The engine is more than up to the task of lugging people and cargo about, and offers reasonable fuel consumption returns. If you're in the market for an affordable people carrier, this may be the answer to your needs.

Ford Tourneo Connect Price in South Africa

The Ford Tourneo Connect 1.0 EcoBoost starts at R269 900 for the Ambiente model, while the model tested here is the Trend at R279 900. The vehicle comes with a 3 year/60 000km service plan, 3 year's worth of roadside assistance and the warranty is a 4 year/120 000km plan.

Test Team's Comments

"The Tourneo Connect has a smaller engine than you'd ever imagine. What a great car for surfers!" - Ciro De Siena

"The Tourneo Connect is a super practical vehicle perfectly suited for family use. The 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine offers good performance and the Tourneo Connect should be fairly easy to live with on a daily basis." - Gero Lilleike

We Like: Practicality, engine, drives well, features galore, value for money offering

We don’t Like: Commercial looks, rear tailgate only accessible for tall people and it's impractical for confined garages,

Also consider: Volkswagen Golf SV, Citroen C4 Picasso, Opel Meriva

Compare the Ford Tourneo Connect to its rivals here.

Ford Tourneo Connect 1.0 EcoBoost Trend Specs