Motoring | Motoring News
From the moment I hit the open road on our recent weekend away, I couldn’t get Cliff Richard’s 1963 song, “Summer Holiday”, out of my head. I am sure there are still millions of people around the world that can sing along to these lyrics.
“We’re all going on a summer holiday
No more working for a week or two.
Fun and laughter on our summer holiday,
No more worries for me or you,
For a week or two.”
Okay, so it wasn’t for a week or two, and it wasn’t in a red bus, but it was for two nights with Ford’s updated Tourneo Custom, and my girls with what I am sure was our entire house’s contents. Our destination was the Dalmore Guest Farm in the Drakensburg, and the idea was to make the most of easy driving nature of our bus that now offers an automatic gearbox for the first time, and of course utilise all the convenience on offer from such a vehicle.
I cannot praise this aspect of owning such a vehicle enough. The rear offers six individual seats in two rows that can be configured any which way you want. As it was a family weekend away, my mountain bike was not invited on the trip, so no seats were folded flat to accommodate my much-missed companion.
Instead, the seats were left up for the human cargo onboard, for them to have their own section of space within the cabin, and still plenty space behind them for the luggage. From here it just gets better. There are USB points throughout the cabin, and little storage spaces everywhere. Honestly, this felt like a proper holiday car should. And as a family car, safety is vitally important. And covering this base you have an extensive array of standard and optional safety features from a full array of airbags, Electronic Stability Programme with Hill Launch Assist, Roll-Over Mitigation, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
You can also add on front and rear parking sensors, a rear parking camera, Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning, as well as Blind Spot Detection System with Cross Traffic Alert and trailer coverage, HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights. All of which were fitted to our bus.
For the driver up front, or the slave that must drive the bus in my case, I really appreciated the constant urge offered by the new 136kW/415Nm 2.0-litre single turbo diesel powerplant. The combination of the new, easy shifting six-speed automatic gearbox and optional Adaptive Cruise Control that uses radar to automatically maintain the distance between you and the vehicle ahead, made the almost 10 hours and 900 km spent in the Tourneo Custom an absolute pleasure.
In a first for Ford in South Africa, this engine uses the Blue Oval’s AdBlue technology, which uses a non-toxic urea / water-based solution to convert nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in the exhaust gas into eco-friendly nitrogen and water. A particulate filter then reduces more than 99% of emitted solid particulates from the vehicle’s exhaust, thereby contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment.
Low-sulphur grade diesel of 50 ppm or lower is required in combination with the AdBlue. AdBlue is stored in a 21-litre tank, with the dedicated filler located below the diesel fuel filler neck on the Tourneo Custom. If the AdBlue level is low, a message appears on the information display indicating the remaining range along with a warning light to remind the driver that a top-up is required. And for this you just pop into your nearest dealer.
While the exterior styling of the new Tourneo Custom automatic models is unchanged from the recently facelifted range, the cabin environment has been enhanced with an all-new dashboard and instrument panel based on Ford’s new interior design philosophy – pioneered on the current Fiesta and EcoSport.
This offers a user-centric layout that is influenced by your everyday interactions with smart devices and tablets. Based around strong horizontal design elements that emphasise the width of the cabin, the new dashboard has a distinctly upscale appearance, reinforced by soft-touch surfaces and detailing with chrome and gloss black finishes.
The new instrument cluster, displays and control panels have been designed for enhanced ergonomics and ease of use. Additionally, a new three-spoke steering wheel is derived from their passenger cars, with a simplified and improved control layout for the audio, telephony and cruise control functions.
Ford’s SYNC3 communications and entertainment system as fitted to our range-topping Tourneo Custom allows one to control audio functions and connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands. The system also provides smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, including the option of using the phone’s navigation apps.
At R740 900 the Ford Tourneo Custom is exceptional value for money and should be on any short list for a family looking for a vehicle that will meet all their travelling needs in style. All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six year/90 000 km service plan is included, with 15 000 km service intervals.
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