FORD SOUTH AFRICA has expanded its line-up in the local commercial market with the introduction of the Tourneo Custom eight-seater bus and the Transit Custom panel van.
Knowing that it’s not enough these days to just manufacturer a car on a basic competitive level, Ford has gone all out to produce two vehicles that offer unmatched specification, vastly superior levels of safety and the latest in engine technology.
From the outside, these two models are unmistakably Ford. It has been given the same dynamic character as Ford’s kinetic-design passenger cars, which includes the bold trapezoidal grille, muscular shoulder line and distinctive kick at the rear.
Both models will be available in short- and long-wheelbase versions, depending on the consumer’s needs. The short wheelbase measures 4 972mm in length, with a wheelbase of 2 933mm. This stretches to 5 339mm and 3 300mm for the long wheelbase, translating to extra luggage space behind the third row of seats in the Tourneo and expanding the maximum load-space length of the Transit from 3 085mm to 3 452mm (with load-through bulkhead).
These two vehicles combine to make nine derivatives in three specification levels: Ambiente, Trend and Sport.
Standard features across all derivatives include air conditioning, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat (heated in all Tourneo models and Transit Sport spec), steering-wheel-mounted controls, door mirrors with blind-spot eliminator and integrated side indicators, manual headlamp levelling and headlights with 30-second courtesy delay.
Safety is arguably these vans’ biggest trump card, thoroughly outdoing all its competitors. Standard across both ranges are driver airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, hill-launch assist, load adaptive control, emergency brake warning and roll-over mitigation, among others. These two vehicles were also the first in class to achieve five-star Euro NCAP ratings.
All models are powered by Ford’s 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine, available in three different states of tune: 74kW with 310Nm of torque, 92kW with 350Nm and 114kW with 385Nm. It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
If you are familiar with the interior workings of the Fiesta and Focus, there’s very little get familiarised with in the Tourneo and Transit’s car-like cabins. The dash is a pure adaptation of these models, as most of the controls are near identical and a synch to use.
The Transit panel van features a host of load-space innovations, including optimised bulkhead and load-space design, a load-through hatch in the bulkhead that enables objects of up to three metres (3.4m in the long wheelbase) to be transported safely as well as the repositioning of tie-down hooks and fixing points to the body sides to leave the floor clear for easier loading and cleaning. Optional features include a deployable roof-rack system that integrates into the roof and can be deployed when required, as well as an easy clean load-floor liner.
A total of five Transit derivatives will be on offer. Short- and long-wheelbase versions of both low- and mid-power outputs will be available in Ambiente trim, with a high-power short wheelbase in Sport spec topping off the range.
Ambiente standard features include electric windows, radio/CD with aux, USB and Bluetooth functionality, glove box with A4 file-storage capability and two power-point sockets. Sport trim adds a leather gear knob and steering wheel, Ford SYNC™ voice-activated, in-car connectivity system, cruise control, automated and day running headlights as well as lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
The Tourneo bus is a comfortable, fun and obviously very spacious and versatile people mover.
The seats in the two rear rows can be folded into over 30 permutations and can be removed in segments or altogether. All eight seats are provided with integral three-point lap- and shoulder-style seatbelts.
The Tourneo will be powered by either the low- or mid-powered versions of the 2.2-litre diesel engine and will be available in Ambiente and Trend specifications.
Ambiente trim features passenger, curtain and side airbags, eight rear coat hooks, radio/CD with aux, USB and Bluetooth functionality and a host of courtesy lights. Specify Trend and your Tourneo will see the addition of Ford SYNC™ multimedia system, cruise control and front fog lights, among many others. Rear air conditioner and park distance control can be ordered as an option package at R7 386.
Ford South Africa took the motoring media on some Amazing Race-style Jozi hopping last week, where we had to traverse the CBD, highways and Soweto in the Tourneo.
A company must be optimistic about its car’s fun factor if it is to send a bunch of journalists on such a mission, but Ford’s claim that the Tourneo is a fun and dynamic commercial people mover was spot-on.
Manoeuvring the Tourneo around town was no problem at all and it is surprisingly agile for a vehicle of this ilk.
Both ranges come standard with a 4-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty. A 5-year/90 000km service plan is standard on the Tourneo, but optional on the Transit. The Tourneo’s price also includes 3-year/unlimited kilometres roadside assistance.