Ford E-Tourneo Custom review

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Ford's E-Tourneo Custom could well be the definitive super-large full-electric MPV. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

Ford's E-Tourneo Custom resets the standard when it comes to what you can expect from a full battery-powered super large MPV. It seats up to eight, goes up to 230 miles between charges and offers the kind of interior quality that previous People Carriers in this model line could only dream about. There's a price to pay for it all though.

Background

The E-Tourneo Custom, according to Ford, represents the first of a new generation of large People Carriers. Fully electric and with a longer driving range than any rival, it's also the market's first eight-seater EV.

You don't have to have full-battery drivetrain in your Tourneo Custom: diesel and PHEV versions are also available. But as far as Ford is concerned, it's this E-Tourneo Custom model that represents the future. Like all current Ford commercial vehicle-based designs, it shares all its engineering with comparable Volkswagen models, in this case the competing Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experience

The E-Tourneo Custom gets a 215bhp electric motor powered by a 74kWh battery offering a range of up to 230 miles. The motor drives the front wheels and there's a brake regeneration system that promises 'one pedal' driving so that you'll hardly ever need to use the brake when you come off the throttle. This Ford can tow up to 2.0-tonnes as well, considerably more than direct rivals.

Ford makes much of the all electric powertrain's 'one-pedal' drive capability which will allow you to select a level of brake regeneration so powerful when you come off the throttle that you'll hardly ever have to actually touch the brake pedal to slow the car down. Transmission is the usual single-speed EV auto gearbox.

Design and Build

Ford's attempts to make the previous generation Tourneo Custom look less 'minibus-like' fell rather flat but this Volkswagen-influenced version is a different proposition entirely. The stance is more confident, there's increased visual width both front and rear and it can look genuinely smart when optioned up in 'Active' trim with big alloy rims, wheel arch cladding and side steps. As before, there's a lengthier long wheelbase body shape option too. And this E-Tourneo Custom gets its own unique front grille.

You'll want to know about the seating permutations. Diesel and PHEV versions can offer up to nine seats, courtesy of a two-person passenger seat at the front which this eight-seater-only EV version can't have. There are six seats at the rear, with all three middle row positions offering ISOFIX child seat fastenings. The addition of floor rails makes it easier to change seating layouts and all six rear chairs slide, fold or can be removed completely (at which point you'll realise that they're lighter than before). The middle ones can also be turned around to face those at the rear. And you can optionally access the back of the vehicle via power-operated side doors. Up-front, there's a big 13.0-inch central touchscreen running the brand's latest SYNC4 software. Along with a clever 'tilting' steering wheel that can be folded flat into a table.

Market and Model

We expect a price starting somewhere near the £60,000 mark for this E-Tourneo Custom. The vehicle is being sold by 'Ford Pro', the Blue Oval brand's commercial vehicle division and there's a choice of short or long wheelbase body shapes.

There are three main trim levels - luxury-orientated 'Titanium X', SUV-inspired 'Active' and racier-looking 'Sport' models. Expect to find equipment features on plusher models like 19-inch alloy wheels, synthetic leather upholstery and matrix LED lighting. A panoramic glass roof is an option, as are power-operated sliding doors (which can be operated with a kicking motion if you're approaching laden down with bags). In addition, you can fit a 14-speaker B&O Sound system, 3-zone climate control and multiple USB ports. Choose an electric or a PHEV version and your Tourneo Custom can also feature vehicle-to-load power sockets up-front, allowing you to tap into the vehicle's battery in order to power devices up to 2.3kW, like lap tops or kettles.

Cost of Ownership

The E-Tourneo Custom, as we told you in our 'Driving' section, has a 74kWh battery with a driving range of up to 230 miles. To give you some class perspective, this model's closest rival, the Mercedes EQV, can only manage 213 miles between charges. This Ford's more closely priced three mainstream competitors though, are way off in terms of driving range. The Vauxhall Vivaro Life Electric, the Citroen e-SpaceTourer and the Peugeot e-Traveller can each travel only 143 miles between charges.

Charging this Ford takes just under 8 hours from an 11kW source, while DC public charging can take the battery from 15 to 80% capacity in 41 minutes. Ford has designed the charge profile to 'frontload' the energy, which allows a 125kW fast charge to add 23 miles of range in just 5 minutes for quick top-ups. Better still, the 'one pedal' brake regen driving system can keep the battery topped up as you journey on. That compares to the alternative PHEV petrol/electric version of this model, which has an 11.8kWh battery offering 31 miles of EV range.

Summary

Apart from its platform-engineered Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle cousin, it's hard to see a credible rival for this E-Tourneo Custom in the super-sized part of the large MPV segment. Other rivals can only seat seven - and even if that's not an issue, you'll find the most credible class alternative, the Mercedes EQV, costs quite a lot more and can't match this Ford's driving range. While the various competing Stellantis Group models from Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen are way off when it comes to the distance you can drive between charges.

Another impressive large all-electric Ford then. Now all we need are equally well developed smaller, more affordable EVs from the brand.

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