15th Aug 2013, 13:22


Yearly maintenance due on Tourneo, so had it up on the ramps to have a look at potential MOT issues after a hard year of -20 degrees to plus 40 degrees, and some heavy off road, autobahn and winter use.

Body - usually the part that kills an otherwise decent Transit: looks solid underneath, which is good for a 2001 model, two stone chips on outer sills need treating, inner sills, chassis, structure perfect, minor surface rust on a few brackets etc. Some rust bubbles appearing on panels; front wing lowers very minor, rear arches a couple of pimples, deep stone chip on B pillar needs dealing with.

Mechanicals - deep/thorough inspection showed:

Nearside lower wishbone bush pulled apart by yanking wishbone with a long bar; bush is less than £3 (note: all prices include VAT and courier costs), but it's easier to fit a wishbone (£23.89) and ball joint (£7.40) while you're at it. Not surprised this has worn with the endless unsurfaced tracks it has been hammered along this year.

Front discs: wearing low, ordered new Mintex discs/pads for £48.10.

Complete exhaust is the original, still going after 12 years, not leaking, but the outer skin of the rearmost centre silencer has separated from the inner. The mechanic said no need to replace for many years yet (centre two boxes £38, tailpipe £24.75) just leave as is or put a band around the silencer for aesthetics. Ordered correct stainless steel cable ties for this (£1.99 for 5).

Needing a service soon after a hard year, so:

Full Genuine OE Ford branded service kit including 7 litres of oil, fuel filter, oil filter, air filter, sump plug etc (£74.75).

Pollen filter, genuine Ford (£5).

Coolant tested OK, has tiny leak somewhere by starter motor cable, but is around a teaspoon a month. There's an even more minute oil leak off turbo pipe, brake fluid all OK. Firestone CV3000 tyre set on 6mm+, Nexen Eurowins winter set still on 7mm+.

Interior looks brand new after a valet following a year of abuse by a two and five year old, tip runs, building materials lobbed in, spillages etc - what are the seats made of? Nothing damages the material or stains it.

All electrics and ancillaries OK, Parrot Bluetooth now working correctly after faulty remote was replaced. Stereo is still excellent.

So, another year and a deep inspection reveals a parts cost of £161.22 and the labour from a mate at between £50-100.

Add in the coolant fan drama, which cost £93 all in, rear wiper at £22 delivered, the fuel pump replacement (first £500 on our breakdown parts cover, so we paid =) £415), the cost for the year including an MOT at £35 will be around £800 or less than £70 per month.

Considering it has not depreciated in value and we have been to six countries in it, as well as it being our daily driver, this is not bad at all, and is one reason why we keep it instead of buyer newer or new. Why spend on finance when it is such a great bit of kit and cheap to own?

We do need to do a bit on the body, but the bolt on front wings (bubbling slightly on lower edge) are just £50 each in the right colour on eBay, and the other bits are minor and can be touched in for a few years. I guess £200 will cover the next couple of years easily.

Not only is it adored by all the family and useful as a van, cross country minibus and decent off roader, it has a charm of its own.

With the Tourneo being based on a Transit, parts are stupidly cheap and it's easy to work on. The MPG sits between 32-35 MPG on premium fuel and it's worth about the same as this time last year.

I just can't fault it. Why buy a smaller, less comfortable and capable MPV, which costs more?

OK - insurance can be a pain (no chance on a 9 seater - takes some persuading insurers it's actually a car on 8 seater versions), some think it looks boxy and dated, some of my wife's friends can't imagine driving it, although it's much easier than any MPV as it's easier to judge, it's square and you sit high with great visibility and double mirrors each side.

It's not fast - but it does keep up with traffic easily.

I hope this endless review helps those considering one as their family vehicle. If worried about costs, look at the cheap parts prices, if worried about size, just drive it - my wife was amazed. If unsure, post a question or hire one for a few days.

The 9 seats can be turned into 8 seats by swapping the double front seat for a captains chair, easily sourced on eBay. Ours was 9 now 8, and just took sending the reg doc off to the DVLA with the change noted and now stating 8 seats.

I've used hundreds of vehicles and owned 185 over the years. The Tourneo is the absolute best of the lot.

24th Aug 2013, 15:01

Hi, we have a mk6 Tourneo (Feb 2006) 8 seater family car and insure through Churchill. Had some renewal quotes this year coming in in excess of £1500! Churchill were a grand cheaper and I have max no claims bonus, protected with roadside recovery.

27th Aug 2013, 07:19

£500-odd including recovery isn't bad considering the liability of 8 seats.

Check your recovery covers it - most cover up to 7 seats!

10th Oct 2013, 11:19


Running superbly after a service, and much more softly now it's back on the winter tyre set.

Very slight occasional squeak from belts to the left of the engine; advised is a noisy tensioner, which will last for ages yet.

Will do this job next on its routine maintenance.

Otherwise spot on, 35 MPG, starts instantly, no noise, rattles etc.

Still adore it. This is the longest I've ever kept a car in my life, and with good reason.

4th Nov 2013, 16:23


Tensioner now quietened down again and runs perfectly. Left in an exposed spot at an airport car park during storms for an extended trip, started first time on return, but had a strange whining noise from the dash on the way home, traced to the lights on alarm/switch/module - disassembled, but was found to be a wet-through door light switch, which was not turning the alarm off 100%. A squirt of WD40 into the door switch sorted it.

Rear screen heater fuse blew, 20A fuse under dash top tray, does this once in a few months, probably water in the tailgate-body wiring somewhere. 10p, 2 minute fix.

Running perfectly and still much enjoyed. We worked out from eBay sale prices that it is still worth around what we paid for/have spent on it after/over three years, so with 35 MPG it's been great value for money, even with £280pa tax.

We looked at the new Custom at £25k, but it's not worth £400+ PCM to have one over this 13 year old model. We looked at the Dacia Lodgy 7 seat MPV, which is available in EU but not the UK, but although it's great value for money, it does not have the width of talent of the Tourneo we have.

Looks like we're going to run it forever!