Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Ford Tourneo Custom PHEV 2021 long-term review

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After a number of weeks together, we’re learning what it’s like on the inside – 28 July 2021

The Tourneo could probably make its own way to mid-Wales by now, having been driven there so many times in a few weeks for work and visits to the excellent BikePark Wales. Fold a few seats down and it can practically swallow an entire peloton of mountain bikes.

Notice that I said fold, not remove. While you can take out any combination of rear seats, it’s a real pain to do so. The process is simple enough and doesn’t require tools, but each seat is incredibly heavy and, even with the sliding side doors, it’s awkward to get them in and out without bending over awkwardly and risking back pain. I tried it once when the Tourneo first arrived and quickly decided I wouldn’t be doing it often. Not when folding them is a doddle and still frees up plenty of space.

It’s what I did for a camping trip to the south coast last weekend: with me and three passengers in the front two rows, we folded down the remaining seats and had room for a large tent, climbing gear and lots of luggage, with room to spare.

Before it arrived, I was a little worried that I would feel the effects of long-distance drives, but no one had any complaints after a three-hour stretch. The driving position is vanlike, of course, so you’re more raised up than you might be in a seven-seat SUV, but I’m a tall guy and still have plenty of head room. It would be nice if the steering wheel had more reach, but that’s true of a lot of cars I drive.

Everyone was a big fan of the way the huge rear door opens upwards; it worked brilliantly as an impromptu shelter from the elements while we battled to pitch the tent. The amount of space it needs forces you to park nose-in at the shops if you want to throw your bags in the back, though.

And with no parcel shelf, anything you leave in the boot is on permanent display, although the tinted rear windows do at least offer a little privacy. You would need your nose up to the glass to see what’s inside, so you would hope anyone with bad intentions would raise suspicion. While it’s slightly longer than a typical parking space, the Tourneo isn’t gigantic, so it still fits in most multi-storey car parks. There’s plenty of rubber around the 16in alloys, so it feels fairly protected from kerbs, but it did get nerve-rackingly close to the height limit recently; 1.97m or 6.5ft has now been burned into my memory for subsequent visits.

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