The small van may be more or less dead in America, but that hasn’t stopped it from thriving in Europe. From the Mercedes-Benz T-Class to the new Fiat Doblo, the small passenger van is alive and well, and now it’s Ford’s turn to bring out a new offering. This is the new Ford Tourneo Courier, a genuinely small passenger van with available electric power, and we wish it would come to America.
Upon first glance, the Tourneo Courier looks tough but also somewhat classic. Ford claims its design is “SUV-inspired” which means it gets swathes of unpainted plastic along the sills, arches, and bumpers. That all sounds a bit kitschy, but I bet it’s useful for mitigating damage from curb scrapes, stones thrown up by the tires, and cargo being loaded and unloaded.
More importantly, it seems that the color designers have come over all retro, offering two-tone finishes on the Tourneo Courier Active such as the delightful combination of sage green with a white roof. It’s astounding how color can affect the character of a car, and the Tourneo Courier in this spec conjures up visions of seaside holidays, burgers on the barbecue, and Blur’s “Parklife” blaring from a portable CD stereo.
A small van means an equally-small engine, so the Tourneo Courier gets a turbocharged three-cylinder with just one liter of displacement. With 123 horsepower on tap, it won’t win many races, but there’s another powertrain that just might surprise sportier machinery off the line.
Just like its cargo-focused Transit Courier brother, the Tourneo Courier is going electric.
With a 134-horsepower electric motor aboard, the top end isn’t the E-Tourneo Courier’s friend. It can’t even top 100 mph, maxing out at 90 mph. However, it promises an electric kick off the line, 100 kW DC fast charging, and extra practicality.
Because there’s no bulky combustion engine up front, Ford has fitted an admirably-sized 1.55 cu.-ft. frunk which sounds perfect for storing charging cables and the like.
Speaking of charging, each E-Tourneo Courier comes equipped with an 11 kW Level 2 AC charger, a strong unit for such a small vehicle. Of course, towing is slightly reduced on the electric version from 2,205 pounds to 1,543 pounds, but that still isn’t bad for a vehicle this small.
Moving to the inside of the Tourneo Courier, it’s a mix of business and pleasure. You still get all the trays and cubbies necessary for doing van stuff, but you also get nice textiles and plenty of tech. I’m particularly fond of the six jaunty ice blue stripes on each outboard seat, a splash of color to liven things up a bit. Speaking of quirky touches, how about that squared-off two-spoke steering wheel? It’s an odd, C8 Corvette-like form factor, but it seems to offer a fantastic view of the instruments.
While we’re on the subject of tech, let’s talk about all the creature comforts separating the Tourneo Courier from a typical work van. An eight-inch touchscreen comes standard but a giant 12-inch screen is optional, both running Ford’s Sync4 infotainment system. The latter screen blends nicely with an available 12-inch digital cluster so you can keep one eye on things like route guidance and fuel level.
The Tourneo Courier may exclusively be a five-seater, but its form factor does open up certain benefits. For a start, it fits five people and a rated 20.1 cubic feet of behind-the-rear-seat cargo space in a package 8.2 inches shorter than a Honda Civic hatchback. If you’re willing to fill the cargo area all the way up to the roof, cargo capacity more than doubles to 41.9 cubic feet.
That’s a huge amount of room for a genuinely small vehicle, which makes this a proper urban-sized family car. Thanks to that small footprint, Ford also promises easy maneuverability with a turning circle of just 35.1 feet, which sounds perfect for school drop-off areas, mini-roundabouts, and parking lots. There’s even hidden storage in the cargo walls, partially thanks to an upright form factor. It all adds up to one deeply-pragmatic vehicle.
Unfortunately, the Tourneo Courier isn’t expected to make the trip over from Europe. While the form factor is certainly novel, it’s likely American consumers would balk at the low top speed of the electric model and the low horsepower figures across the range.
However, if you are a European, expect the gasoline-powered variant to arrive later this year, with the electric version debuting in the second half of 2024. While a bit of a wait, this could be the rugged, no-nonsense family hauler you’re looking for.
(Photo credits: Ford)
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This is the sort of vehicle I need, but I agree it’s underpowered for American highways and American attitudes.. Like an Element, which I had for 13 years…a vehicle that has a family mode and a cargo mode…
Looks like a 2.5 phev is going to be available (as well as a small diesel) as well. With a roughly 30mile pure electric option I could see that going over super well.
Ford Soulement. I waunt it. :/
The Skoda Yeti… reborn?
Was thinking exactly the same thing, and I’m here for it, as someone who’s generally Ford-phobic. This is the kind of car that would suit my needs kind of perfectly, being the human of two dogs who have grown bigger than expected and finding myself needing to carry large… stuff more often than I’d ever realised. If this brings similar vehicles from Ford’s competitors into the European market, I might get a bit giddy!
The green one with white roof looks very Land Rover like, not bad at all.
Seems mad that this van with windows is replacing the Fiesta.
Ford needs to sell it here.
I really like Ford’s little 3 cylinder, I just wish they would sell it in the US with a manual.
I would have bought an Ecosport if it had a manual option with the 3 cylinder.
I have a guilty-pleasure thing for the EcoSport. Fairly distinctive from the front, nice lines overall, it gives off (to me) the same feel as a first-gen RAV4 – a fun, not too serious sporty vehicle. A manual might have tipped into from an also-ran to something coveted.
I know it didn’t review well, and nobody bought them, but damn I find it makes me happy when I see one.
Have you driven one? I had the same sort of weird affection for it when it came out – I mean, how often do automakers bring slightly weird stuff from the developing world to the US market? (Well OK, VinFast has been in the headlines a lot this week…)
But anyhow, I ended up with one as a rental for a couple of days and, for me at least, that’s all the EcoSport exposure I ever need. Not that I hate cheap and/or underpowered cars or anything, but it definitely didn’t have the charm of the Fiat Panda Cross I had as a rental in Iceland – there’s a cheap mini-SUV I wouldn’t kick out of the driveway.
I haven’t, which is why I count it as a guilty pleasure…everyone I know who’s actually driven one has been underwhelmed just like you relate. Though in fairness to my crappy taste, I own a ’10, hard-plastic-city Ford Focus so maybe I’d actually find things to like about it. And if it had the manual, I could forgive almost anything.
Looks highly functional and useful. But yeah, I could see this being a niche item in the USA possibly not worth the effort to localize for our market.
Oh come on. Its an American company and they won’t sell it here? Whyyyyyy!!!!!!?
Ford Element. Would buy.
Exactly. It’s a Honda Element with a Ford badge and an electric motor (or a tiny gasoline engine).
The name is much, much too long, though. “Ford E-Tourneo Courier” has eight syllables.
At least they didn’t just call it the Ford E-TC, though. Small blessings.
Best we can do is a Bronco Sport. Which isn’t a bad choice, but it’s definitely handicapped on interior space in comparison.
Not available in NA. *shakes head and sighs*
As long as the battery capacity supports it, a dual motor variant might overcome the power issue for the North American market (with the added bonus of AWD to go with the Activ’s Montana SV6-inspired design, although the sliding doors are the mark of death). I’d absolutely be interested if it ever found its way over here.
Love it but people here feel the need to have giant pick up trucks to daily drive.
I think you are mistaken, the CRV and pretty much everyone else’s variant is superior by all measures. this one can stay in the euro nations, the subpar drivetrains are the real issue.
I don’t think you realize how American it is that 123-134 hp is considered ‘subpar’.
Well, considering I did say they can stay in Euro nations, I feel like that adequately indicates the drivetrains is sub par for America. I feel like I fully realize how crappy that is in general, but more so for America’s wide open spaces.
Nothing wrong with underpowered cars. My roommate’s old Civic with 127 hp comfortably did 85 mph on the I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. A modern car with that much horsepower no doubt has more than four gears to get even better performance and fuel economy out of it. Having more horsepower is simply a luxury, not a necessity.
if you haven’t noticed, cars aren’t cheap. If you’d like to buy me a second car thats smaller for my trips not requiring my truck, I’ll shoot you my address.
Pretty sure even you can afford a $1650 2004 Civic as a gas saving runabout:
Like it – I very much get Bronco Sport vibes. This could easily become the Bronco Transport or somesuch here in the states eventually.
Man do those front seats look FLAT!
I haven’t gone over 90mph in the last 20 years, that’s a dumbass reason to not buy a car. Especially a friggin van. Ford sucks for not bringing this to the US.
There is a zero percent chance the top speed was the reason (if anything European highways have higher limits), and 100% chance that it was poor sales of the previous Transit Connect.
Regular minivans aren’t space constrained in anything but the densest downtowns, and full size work vans fill the contractor role without much tradeoff either.
Being small for its own sake is not a virtue for most people, especially in a vehicle explicitly designed to haul stuff.
Ford didn’t cancel the Transit Connect because of poor sales. One of the reasons it was canceled was the chicken tax, once the gov’t started denying their process of importing 5 passenger vans and tossing the back seat at the port, it meant they were no longer profitable. However despite that they did have a plan to continue it by building it in NA on the same line as the Bronco Sport and Maverick. Unfortunately those two sold much better than expected leaving no room for the Transit Connect to join the party. So it was actually good sales (of other vehicles) that doomed it, not its own poor sales.
Those are built in Mexico, they could have instead replaced the Escape with the Transit connect as they are roughly the same size, but the Escape is already here and fills the spot. the connect was always kind of a miserable little thing.
I see this a modern, bigger EV Honda Element which would suit me and my dog and my crap hoarding lifestyle well. I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss this as too small, the Element sold way better with old farts than Honda expected.
True. I was always surprised at the people who bought Elements. A friend’s mom in her 60s loved hers. Like drove it from Idaho to Philly to see her daughter loved it.
“I see this a modern, bigger EV Honda Element which would suit me and my dog and my crap hoarding lifestyle well.”
The Autopian dream machine!
(Well my dream machine anyway.)
I know the EV is what most here would be in favor of, but if this came here it would mostly likely be in the mid-20s for the gas 3-banger to start with, and I don’t think most here would be as enamored by it going by the comments on the recent Trax articles and its similar powertrain. The EV would be even more.
Sure is, especially a van. People were initially really excited about the ID.Buzz concepts, but then when some spy shots emerged with a fleet-grade white paint job, it was slammed as ugly: https://www.edmunds.com/car-news/new-spy-photos-reveal-vw-id-buzz-killer.html
This probably wouldn’t look special in low-grade trim with steelies and a white paint job either, but that green+white hero model does look pretty good.
Seems like this could be a small hit in the US if the hybrid powertrain from the Escape Hybrid would fit.
As a hybrid, it would sell like crazy to rental fleets, and, if they made a stripped-down version, to other business buyers, but, as a minivan/MPV for private customers, it would be doomed to be a niche item. At any rate, probably all fairly low margin stuff, which is a shame, because this really is a perfect form factor for a practical, comfortable family hauler
the Transit connect failed to connect pretty badly, it offered a plug in hybrid option and then quickly did not sell. little oddly shaped tall station wagons just don’t sell very well to anyone in the US.
The previous gen Transit Connect did pretty well with small businesses and fleets, but terribly with private buyers as a passenger vehicle, the updated Transit Connect seemed to just not sell at all
I mean, the reason it probably did poorly with private buyers is that I don’t think I ever once saw one for sale at a dealership. Who even knew they were able to be purchased as non-fleet vehicles?
Why is a dealer going to try to put a customer in a small, affordable van when there’s an Explorer and an Edge just sitting right there in the showroom?
I know we want to put the blame on the dealers, but Ford certainly planned to sell more Explorers and Edges all along. I don’t recall much advertising for the Transit Connect. Even if you could get them in the showroom, a ‘conventional’ minivan wasn’t that much more expensive either. I was shocked to learn recently the MSRP on the ’23 Transit Connect wagon is $35k. But even rewinding a few years – a 2014 short-wheelbase 5 passenger Transit Connect started at ~$25k, easily Dodge Grand Caravan money then; go with the LWB and three rows of seats, you’re in the realm of Town & Countrys and Siennas with more space and comfort, and a V6. I’m a big small van fan, but I can’t say it’s surprising.
But – the new Transit Connect is a restyled VW, so that wasn’t going to last either.
The Transit Connect was never offered as a PHEV. You might be thinking of the C-Max, which Ford replaced the Escape Hybrid with while trying to break it out as a sort-of unique hybrid line like the Prius, before just consolidating it in the Escape line again as hybridized crossovers started to gain traction (also helped by Toyota rolling out the hybrid RAV4).
you are correct, my mistake, I was thinking the 2023 Transit Custom E vans, which are just the big ones made in the us, but I don’t recall ever seeing one of those either. they are either ICE or Full Battery around here. the Hybrid Escape seems like the closest Ford came to making a transit connect PHEV
Glorious. Former mazda5 owner. I begged my wife to cross shop a transit connect wagon in its last few months of availability, but she refused. She got mad I described her Honda Pilot as a “SUV for people who should have purchased a minivan.” We have used the 3rd row 1 time in 24 months. Sigh.
They will get mad at anything. What are you gonna do?
“They will get mad at anything. What are you gonna do?”
Meanwhile, prices of used Transit Connects are trending upwards in the US because they’re no longer being sold new. WTG Ford.
On frunks: Why do you get cable storage at the end of the car furthest from the charge port? I toss the cable in the back of my Bolt, but the charger is up front. On this the port is in back but the frunk is the best spot for the cable. This seems to be a pattern – if there’s a frunk, the charge port is in the back. If there’s no frunk then the port is in the front.
Know what I’d really like? A retractable cable. Open a hatch and pull the cable out to plug into a standard outlet. No need for a J-1772, maybe make an adapter so it fits the typical 120v and 240v outlets both, it could replace the current loose cable most makers are supplying now and still have the CCS port for DCFC and J-1772 connectors. No more tangles, I can plug in and leave a bit of tension so the cable isn’t sitting on the ground, quick and easy to deploy and store.
Yeah, like the power cord on a Westinghouse portable dishwasher from the 1950s, they could make an easy spring loaded retractable cord that just slipped back in its hole and disappeared when not in use back then, why the hell is it unachievable now?
Probably weight, complexity and space. Its much easier to offload that to the charger.
Probably because of the number of people who drive off with gas pump nozzles still in the filler neck. Also the added weight and complexity, the reel and cord taking up interior space, and the times if/when the cord gets stuck, dirty, retractor binds up, etc., that could mean not being able to charge the vehicle and getting stranded. All of which makes the OEM look bad.
AFAIK all EVs are disabled while plugged in.
Looks like an oversized Kia Soul. Of course I like it, and if the low speed and power came with a reasonable price, I’d be into it even more.
Not that we’ll get to buy it in the states, but what’s the EV range (on the Euro test cycle presumably) and price (in pounds, or Euros, or shekels or whatever)?
That was my first impression, too – the Soul stretched out a bit.
I was also wondering the range, looks like Ford may not have said what it is yet.
Sizewise it’s actually closer to the Soul than it might seem. I think it would likely get compared in that small/subcompact “SUV” type segment.
A bit of googling indicates that the base gas version will start “just over 20K (UK pounds, which atm is US$25K). So: cheap but not cheap. It will replace the Fiesta as Ford’s cheapest vehicle in the UK. Also:
It’s built on the same platform as the Puma, and is made in Romania. I didn’t run across any range info yet, but Inside EV says this:
“Predictably, the E-Tourneo Courier shares the electric powertrain with the E-Transit Courier, which means it’s motivated by a 100-kilowatt (134-horsepower) front-mounted electric motor that offers a selectable one-pedal driving mode – alongside Normal, Eco and Slippery drive modes.
Ford remains secretive about the battery pack capacity, but says it takes both 11 kW AC and 100 kW DC charging. A typical overnight AC charge from 10 to 100 percent said to take 5.7 hours, while charging from 10 to 80 percent takes under 35 minutes at a DC fast charger, enabling customers to add 54 miles (87 kilometers) of range in 10 minutes.”
There’s a Ford promo video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R80CNjKZu6o …it looks nice in that light grey everyone now uses, with the white roof (despite the cliche). The sliding door is good too. If the base gas version starts at about $25K, the EV one will probably start in the low 30s I presume.
eh, by yourself maverick and put a camper shell on the back if you feel you need the space…or just buy an escape.