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By Jonathan Crouch
Ford's improved Tourneo Custom offers acres of space in a cost effective package. If you need something bigger than a Galaxy, this could be just the ticket. Jonathan Crouch reports
Ten Second Reviewword count: 47
The improved Ford Tourneo Custom is a smart-looking, well-equipped and economical super-large People Carrier that can seat eight or nine. If you've progressed beyond the normal seven-seater MPV, this could be the perfect left-field choice. Now it offers the option of clever mild hybrid engine technology too.
Backgroundword count: 167
Ford has a reputation for making some of the best people movers in the business. B-MAX, C-MAX, S-MAX and Galaxy all have their firm adherents but sometimes there's just no substitute for size. Sometimes, buyers need a size beyond what even a Galaxy full-size MPV can deliver. If you're doing some heavy hauling and need a vehicle to fit that particular bill, the latest Tourneo Custom with its smarter styling and more efficient EcoBlue engines could be the answer. This contender offers generous space and reasonable comfort for up to nine people beneath an exterior that while not doing too much to disguise its commercial vehicle roots, at least now looks as if it's been designed rather than arrived at. The Tourneo Custom is designed to be cost-effective for business use or as a safe, luxurious way of carrying family, friends and all their stuff and you can even opt for an L2 long wheelbase version if you've never really got round that 'people or luggage' predicament.
Driving Experienceword count: 233
Whichever Tourneo Custom you choose, if you pop the bonnet you'll be greeted by a 2.0 litre EcoBlue diesel engine, mated to a six speed manual transmission and driving the front wheels. So far, so simple. After this it gets a little more involved but nothing that'll require homework. There are three power levels to choose from - with 105, 130 or 185PS options. The 130 and 185PS variants can be had with the option of 48-volt mild hybrid technology. Engine refinement at idle still isn't class leading, but you'll never be kidding your passengers that they're in a Lexus anyway. There's the option of a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, plus a unique-to-segment rear air suspension system that delivers a supple, controlled and level ride across a wide range of load conditions. There's also the option of a plug-in model hybrid based around 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol power. The chassis has been meticulously tuned for British conditions with beefy front and rear axles, bringing excellent levels of stability and control. The ultra-stiff body structure allows the suspension to do its work effectively without the usual van-like intrusions. There's even Torque Vectoring Control which reacts to the road surface 100 times per second. Using this information, it balances the amount of power delivered to each of the two front wheels, maximising grip and sharpening handling. And you thought all that was just for sports models.
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Category: MPV People Carriers
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