Ford Tourneo Connect (2012-2021)

Models Covered:

[diesel] 1.5 & 1.6 TDCi [petrol] 1.0


Ford’s Tourneo Connect, sold between 2012 and 2020, may have commercial roots but it packaged them in a way that practical family folk will like. Cars of this kind used to be fairly crude: this one was anything but, almost certainly bigger and more affordable than the conventional compact People Carrier you might have been thinking of made in this period.

The History

Think of compact but spacious People Carrying vehicles from the 2012-2020 period and you’ll probably think of cars like Ford’s C-MAX, Renault’s Scenic or Citroen’s C4 Picasso. Increasingly though, customers looking for true practicality are often finding models like these a bit too polished or, to put it bluntly, not something you’d be happy about piling a wet dog into. It never used to be that way. The first generation versions of these cars were resolutely practical things. Today, while they still retain the space and the clever folding seats, the ambience is one of club class travel rather than rugged versatility. That’s where cars like the Ford Tourneo Connect model of 2012-2020 come in.

Yes, this model is based on a van. No, that needn’t be an issue, unless, rather pretentiously, you’re worried that your image might be tarnished by such a thing. Unfortunately, most buyers seem to be, which is one reason why sales of van-based MPVs are so relatively small in this country. The other is the lack of choice on offer, with only Citroen, Peugeot and Fiat actively promoting such models within their passenger car ranges – though other brands sell similar such vehicles through their commercial vehicle divisions. Ford though, reckons it can rejuvenate this market segment and the excellence of its second generation Transit Connect van gave the brand the perfect platform from which to do just that.

This is, we were told, was the perfect blend between sophistication and simplicity. But would your family really want one? This model sold until 2021, when it was then replaced by a new generation Volkswagen Caddy-based design.

What You Get

Whichever body style you choose, the LCV origins are, as you’d expect, most obvious from the boxy side profile and of course, the slab-sided rear end but, as we’ve said, that’s all to the good when it comes to the space you can expect inside, especially in a cargo area that isn’t very easy to get to if you find yourself backed into a tight parking bay. But just how much space is there in the boot? Well, not quite as much as you’d get in the direct van-based opposition. You’re talking about 30% less than you’d get from a Berlingo Multispace, a Partner Tepee or a Doblo. But don’t be put off: there’s still an awful lot of cargo room, the 1,029-litre capacity being almost double what you could expect from the kind of Ford C-MAX that with the same engine, would cost you about 15% more.

And inside for passengers? Well it’s a bit disappointing that Ford fitted a fixed rear bench rather than the individual sliding separate seats that rivals provide. And that this bench doesn’t either slide backwards and forwards or recline for greater comfort on longer trips. Still, on the plus side, it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit three adults in the back on short to medium-length trips and of course headroom from the boxy shape is ample. At the wheel, it’s all very car-like, though in a sensible, utilitarian sort of way.

What To Look For

As usual with a family MPV, check the interior for child damage. And with top-spec versions, check the alloy wheels for scratches. Look for any dents, dings and scratches to the panelwork. And ensure that the clutch engages smoothly and that the car goes into gear easily. The 1.5-litre diesel engine is fitted with a diesel particulate filter, but this may be clogged up if the previous owner hasn’t completed too many highway journeys. Issues we came across on our ownership survey included a windscreen cracking across all by itself and the air con de-gassing after a few months (neither covered by Ford’s warranty).

On The Road

Like any LCV-based product, it handles better fully loaded, but even when there’s no one in the vehicle but you, cornering is predictable. Body roll’s well controlled too, so roundabouts can be taken at speed without the Connect rolling about alarmingly. If you’ve had experience with the commercial vehicle version, you might be prepared for that. The changes with this passenger model though, centre in on ride and refinement. Even bumpier roads don’t faze it and though at speed, the large door mirrors create a bit of wind noise, otherwise the cabin is impressively hushed for a car of this kind.

For this second generation Tourneo Connect model, the rattly old 1.8-litre TDCi was pensioned off and a more refined and efficient 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel unit inserted in its place, offering a choice of either 95 or 115PS outputs. It’s the 95PS powerplant that was by far the most popular of the pair and you can see why. It’s much more affordable than the pokier variant, yet the flexible 230Nm of torque on offer is still enough to happily shift along a car-full of people - and facilitate a braked towing weight of up to 1,200kg. A pity though, that you only get (an admittedly slick-shifting) five-speed gearbox: you have to stretch to the top 115PS powerplant for the sixth speed that makes motorway cruising that bit more refined. Go for this unit and pulling power improves to 270Nm. Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost three cylinder petrol engine was also offered. From 2015, the 1.6-litre diesel was replaced by a more efficient 1.5-litre unit.


If previously, you’d never even have considered a van-based People Carrier but you’re looking for an MPV from this era, this one’s worth approaching with an open mind. Models of this sort have always specialised in offering everything you need and nothing you don’t. This one though, sugars that concept a small but significant amount. And as a result, sense and sensibility just got that little more desirable.