Ford Flamingo - 2019 Tourneo Custom LWB
Ford New Zealand has rejigged the rear seating arrangements in the upgraded 2019 Tourneo Custom to better suit the Kiwi market.
Van-based people movers are growing in popularity with corporate and tourism fleets as well as private owners who appreciate the durability, flexibility, and carrying capacity for both humans and cargo that these vehicles offer.
The Tourneo offers a five-star safety rating which distinguishes it from other vehicles in this class. Its Euro 6 compliant 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel pushes out a sprightly 125kW and 405Nm of torque through a six-speed auto to the front wheels.
Despite being nearly two metres tall, the Tourneo never feels unwieldy, it rides comfortably on 16-inch alloy wheels, has a surprisingly compact 12.8m turning circle for a 5.3m vehicle, and while there is some body roll it sits securely on the road.
And despite that healthy torque figure, we never felt any wheelspin or loss of traction on wet roads.
For the 2019 model year the Tourneo has received a significant cosmetic makeover incorporating a more aggressive front fascia with newly designed headlamps and fog lamp treatment, and bolder five-bar chrome trapezoidal grille.
Inside, Ford has also raised its game by adding passenger car features like a tablet-inspired eight-inch colour touchscreen with the company’s Sync 3 infotainment system.
Tourneo also has the full gamut of driver assistance features, including traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed limiter, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping alert, side wind stabilisation, and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection emergency brake system.
The new dash panel offers a cleaner and more cohesive design with soft touch surfaces and attractive chrome and gloss black finishes, while the dinky mobile phone holder from the previous generation has been consigned to the round bin, hardly surprising as it couldn’t accommodate anything larger than an iPhone 5.
The Tourneo can be used as a comfortable nine-seater shuttle, or the two rear rows made up of individual Flamingo re-configurable seats can be removed entirely, turning the vehicle back into a cargo van.
Versatility is the unique characteristic of the Flamingo seats as they can be arranged conference style as pictured here, with the occupants facing each other, or they can be swapped around so that all rear occupants are facing forward. While the seats do resemble a Flamingo when flipped and folded, they are still quite bulky and heavy, so care is needed not to damage the seat frame or the floor of the vehicle when removing them.
Standard specification for the Tourneo is generous and includes front and rear air conditioning, front seat heaters, 10-speaker audio, six USB ports in the rear compartment, as well as dual side doors and tinted privacy glass, and an electrically heated front windscreen for quick defrosting.
Ford New Zealand reckons the Tourneo Custom targets executive shuttle, personal use, and lifestyle customers, and based on our positive experiences with the test vehicle, we believe those target groups are sound.
Model Tourneo Custom LWB
Price $61,900 Engine 1998cc, 4-Cylinder, 125kW/405Nm
Transmission 6-speed auto
Service 40,000km intervals, 5 year / 150,000km warranty
Vitals 7.1L/100km, 3140kg GVM, 778kg payload,
1100kg towing capacity, 2362kg kerb weight