Last year Ford completed its upgrade of its Tourneo range of people-carriers, which began with the range-topping Tourneo Custom and now includes the Tourneo Connect and the model examined here, the smallest of the three, the Tourneo Courier.
Like the other people-movers in the range the Tourneo Courier is based on the Transit van equivalent, in this case the Transit Courier.
Ford says the new model offers updated, more fuel-efficient powertrains and a standard six-speed transmission instead of the previous five-speeder, Sync 3 communications and entertainment technology (as an option), and an updated front end look that incorporates a reshaped grille opening.
Two Euro6.2 engines are available: a 100hp 1.0-litre petrol and a 100hp 1.5-litre diesel. Ford says the latter, driven here, features an Active Grille Shutter that opens and closes automatically “for enhanced aerodynamic performance and [therefore] efficiency”.
To help further reduce fuel consumption and emissions, stop/start comes as an option with both engines for £180, and in the case of the diesel takes CO2 down from 117g/km to 112g/km. Official combined economy, meanwhile, improves as you would expect, to 52.3mpg with from 51.4mpg without.
The Tourneo Custom is only available in Zetec trim. Kit that comes as standard therefore includes a Quickclear heated windscreen with heated washer jets, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Staying in the cabin, it features a changed centre console design, and all the buttons, stalks and switches feel both solid and responsive. Storage includes an overhead shelf plus various cup and bottle holders.
Our vehicle also came with several options, such as metallic paint (£360), front and rear parking sensors (£240), privacy glass (£180), the Comfort Pack (auto aircon, 15-inch alloy wheels, and auto wipers and headlights, all for £480), plus the Ford Navigation System (Ice Pack 61) for £1,020. It includes: a six-inch colour touchscreen, DAB radio, USB connectivity, iPod functionality and Bluetooth hands-free, plus the Sync3 communications and entertainment system that can be integrated with AppLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and comes with Emergency Assist. There’s also a much cheaper alternative (Ice Pack 13) that costs £360 and offers a four-inch display.
As for load-carrying, the back features 60/40 split rear seats with a tip/tumble folding mechanism, providing 1,656 litres of space with the seats folded down and a boot of 708 litres with the seats up. Access to the rear is via twin sliding doors (for people and loads) and a tailgate. What Ford calls ‘an adjustable package tray’ in the boot acts either as a conventional shelf to hide the contents of the boot, or, if positioned lower, becomes a way of separating items.
The likes of electronic stability control, hill-start assist, emergency brake assist, traction control and roll stability control are among the driver aids that come as standard, and out on the road you’re in possession of a vehicle that is nippy (the sixth gear is a welcome addition) yet smooth to drive and comfortable to be in. If you need further convincing about the merits of the Tourneo Courier, then the van version is the 2019 holder of the What Van? Small Van of the Year prize.
Direct small van-derived car rivals are difficult to find, and there’s really only the Fiat Qubo, the passenger version of the Fiorino (the 2019 Highly Commended award-winner). For comparison, in top Trekking spec with a 95hp 1.3-litre diesel engine it retails for £16,750, with a fuel economy of 57.6mpg and CO2 of 129g/km. The fact that we can only name two models suggests there isn’t much demand for what are essentially small vans with extras seats, but if you find the thought appealing and occasionally need extra space, then accessories include roof rails, a Thule roof box, and Brink tow bar.
Ford Tourneo Courier Zetec 1.5TDCI 5dr 100hp 6sp
Price range (ex VAT) £14,815-16,125
Insurance group n/a
Warranty 3 years/100,000mls
Service intervals 1 year/10,000mls
Load length (min/max) 837/ 1,641mm
Load width (min/max) 983/ 1,345mm
Load bay height 1,200mm
Load volume (min/max) 0.7/1.7m3
Engine size/power 1,498cc/100hp
Combined fuel economy 51.4mpg
Niche – but if you need something practical of this size and want to shift people and stuff, then why not?