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Tourneo Connect is Ford-VW’s first joint model

VW-based Ford Tourneo Connect seven-seat passenger van an unlikely starter for Aus

14 Oct 2021

FORD Europe has launched the first vehicle born from its tie-in the Volkswagen Group, the Caddy-based Tourneo Connect, offering seven-seat functionality and the choice of two body lengths.


The small passenger van is built alongside the Caddy at Volkwagen’s Poznan plant in Poland. European deliveries are expected to commence within the first quarter of 2022.


A commercial variant dubbed Transit Connect will be offered in time as a replacement for the current, and slightly larger variant of the same name. It will compete with rivals including the Peugeot Partner, Renault Kangoo, and Volkswagen Caddy.


Ford Australia told GoAuto it is unlikely to consider the model as part of its future portfolio.


The Tourneo Connect, which like the new Caddy is based on Volkswagen’s MQB modular architecture, is the first of a total of eight million commercial vehicles Ford and Volkswagen plan to build under its industrial alliance – including the upcoming Ranger/Amarok expected here next year.


Under the bonnet, the Ford Tourneo Connect is powered by the choice of two Volkswagen-sourced engines: a 1.5-litre petrol engine developing 84kW or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with 75 or 90kW outputs. Six-speed manual, seven-speed dual-clutch, and all-wheel drive variants are available with a plug-in hybrid variant expected in time.


“Ford’s commercial vehicle family of products in Europe will be 100 per cent zero-emissions capable, all-electric, or plug-in hybrid, by 2024. So, customers can look forward to an electrified Tourneo Connect joining the line-up,” a Ford spokesperson said.


Ford Europe said existing petrol Tourneo Connect models are projected to consume between 6.3 and 7.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, depending on the transmission fitted. Diesel models are listed to sip between 4.8 and 6.1L/100km depending on the transmission type and driveline configuration specified.


Overseas pricing for the Tourneo Connect has not yet been released, though we do know it will be sold in four trim grades, including an “SUV-inspired” Active variant will all-wheel drive, honeycomb-style grille, metal-effect “skid” plate, and additional body mouldings over the wheel arches, sills, and bumpers.


Standard driver assistance technologies on Tourneo Connect include autonomous emergency braking, cruise control, lane-keep assist, and driver fatigue alert. Adaptive cruiser control, blind-spot monitoring, lane centring, parking assist, and cross-traffic alert are available optionally.


Inside, the Tourneo Connect is available with 8.25 and 10.0-inch touchscreens, depending on variant, the larger infotainment array including live traffic reports, fuel station locations, and other cloud-based apps. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is also available.


Top-spec Sport models gain adaptive LED headlights, an optional heated windscreen, heated wing mirrors, and a panoramic sunroof. It is also available with an optional Towing Assistant which helps to reduce the risk of jack-knifing while towing.


Both L1 (short) and L2 (long) wheelbase models are available with the option of seven seats, the rearmost row of which may be tumbled forward, folded, or even removed to allow more cargo space. Between 2.6 and 3.1 cubic metres of cargo can be carried between variants.


Ford Australia currently offers the Transit Custom 340S (from $43,290) as its entry to the light commercial van market, leaving Volkswagen to chase sales at the smaller end of the segment with its Caddy (from $34,990).


The new-generation Volkswagen Caddy arrived in Australia in July this year. The popular model continues to dominate the segment taking a 71.9 per cent share of the market in 2020 alone. The Caddy is offered in six variants across two wheelbases locally and is available with the choice of two turbo-diesel engines.


The range tops out with the camper-style California Maxi TDI320 priced from $54,990.

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