On road to becoming fast movers

Bobby Cheetham

FORD South Africa last week launched two new models into the local market that will attract a whole new range of customers to the blue oval brand. The Ford Tourneo Custom, a people mover, and the Transit Custom, a one-ton commercial vehicle, close a gap in the local line-up of Ford products.

The Transit, one of the most popular panel vans in the United Kingdom, will face stiff competition from market leaders Volkswagen with their Transporter, Toyota’s Quantum and Hyundai’s H1, which have a head start due to their launch a few years ago.

But for Ford Bantam bakkie lovers, there’s nothing on the horizon yet as far as a replacement model goes, says Ford.

The Tourneo Custom is expected to attract families, lifestyle and executive shuttle customers.

“The Tourneo Custom offers the kind of style and performance which will have a very broad appeal, particularly to personal use customers looking for a spacious and versatile vehicle,” says Ford marketing manager Gavin Golightly.

The eight-seater Tourneo is available in a 2933mm short wheelbase version (SWB – 4.97m overall length), and a 3300mm long wheelbase (LWB – 5.34m overall length), both of which provide generous space for people and luggage.

The additional length of the LWB version translates into extra luggage space behind the third seat row.

Power comes from Ford’s latest 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine and is available in two power ratings: 74kW on Ambiente derivatives and 92kW on Trend derivatives.

Both are mated to a six-speed manual transmission delivering fuel consumption figures of 6.5 l/100 km on a combined cycle and 172g/km CO easy to handle in congested traffic conditions, with good visibility all-round, in spite of its size.

The 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine, the same as fitted to the Ford range bakkie, was fine as long as one got used to keeping the revs up in the lower gears. Turbo lag was evident on take off.

We did not find the turbo lag a problem when we drove the Ranger bakkie and perhaps Ford need to look into this abnormality.

Both the Transit and Tourneo are fitted with this engine.

The Tourneo Custom is the first new vehicle in its class to achieve a maximum five-star safety rating from independent vehicle safety organisation Euro NCAP – and this is one feature that many will find to be an essential part of the decision-making process when buying a vehicle. Representing a completely new generation of Ford one-ton vehicles, the Transit Custom marks an important step in the company’s commitment to expanding its presence in the commercial vehicle line-up.

The Transit Custom is available in a choice of short wheelbase (SWB – overall length 4.97m) and long wheelbase (LWB – overall length 5.34m) versions.

The optimised bulkhead and loadspace design enables the SWB model to carry three Euro pallets loaded to at least one metre high, while the load-through hatch in bulkhead enables loads of up to three metres in length (3.4m with LWB) – such as pipes or ladders.

Both vehicles come with a 4-year/120000km comprehensive warranty. Service intervals are every 15000km, with a service plan covering five years or 90000km.

TOURNEO CUSTOM

2.2 TDCi Ambiente SWB FWD 6MT – R385200

2.2 TDCi Trend SWB FWD 6MT – R407800

2.2 TDCi Ambiente LWB FWD 6MT – R392200

2.2 TDCi Trend LWB FWD 6MT – R414700

TRANSIT CUSTOM

2.2 TDCi Ambiente Low SWB FWD 6MT – R302700

2.2 TDCi Ambiente Hi SWB FWD 6VMT6 – R306400

2.2 TDCi Ambiente Low LWB FWD 6MT – R309700

2.2 TDCi Ambiente Hi LWB FWD 6MT – R317400

2.2 TDCi Sport SWB FWD 6MT – R364600

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