At 706 litres, the boot in the Ford Tourneo Courier is roughly twice the size of that in a Ford Focus – and the Tourneo is cheaper.
So why isn’t everyone driving one? The reason, of course, is people carriers have fallen out of fashion, forgotten in the craze for SUVs.
That’s a shame because they often offer more car for your cash than anything else.
The Tourneo is the people carrier variant of Ford’s super-successful Transit van. It comes in a range of different sizes and the model tested here, the Courier, is the smallest in the line-up.
There’s only one trim level, so picking a Tourneo Courier is as simple as deciding whether you want a petrol or diesel engine. Prices start at a low £14,820 for the 1.0-litre petrol or £16,130 for the 1.5-litre diesel tested here.
Neither engine offers the last word in performance – the diesel takes more than 13 seconds to reach 62mph – but that’s hardly a key factor. There’s plenty of torque, which means it will pull well even when filled with children and dogs, and economy is very good. I managed to break 50mpg with a bit of careful driving.
It has the elevated driving position SUV owners crave, and the huge windscreen gives a good view of the road ahead. Get up to motorway speeds and wind noise makes itself felt, but the suspension is comfortable and it doesn’t feel van-like to drive.
Sliding rear doors create a generous opening, making it easy for rear passengers to get in and out. Headroom is virtually limitless and while legroom isn’t overly generous there’s enough space for most adults.
That huge 706-litre boot will swallow a family’s belongings and if you drop the rear seats it has a van-like capacity.
The infotainment system isn’t as modern as that found in the Fiesta or Focus, and the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, meaning not everyone will be comfortable.
With its boxy, van-origin appearance, the Tourneo Courier doesn’t have the kerb appeal of an SUV. Plenty of buyers couldn’t give two hoots what people think of their car, however, and it’s these people the Tourneo is aimed at.
These canny customers will find they have a car that offers more practicality than their neighbours’ SUV, a similar driving experience, and leaves them with a healthy chunk of leftover money in their bank accounts.
- Model: Ford Tourneo Courier
- Price: £16,310
- Engine: 1.5-litre diesel
- Performance: Top speed of 109mph
- Economy: 51.4mpg
- Emissions: 117g/km