Ford's Tourneo Custom is a smart-looking and well-equipped People Carrier that's perfect for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) conversions. It's well worth a look if you want a sophisticated rear-passenger WAV with more seats and extra space for all the family.
Think of a large-ish van and it’s a pretty sure bet that you’ll be thinking of the one this Tourneo Custom WAV is based on, Ford’s Transit, the self-proclaimed ‘backbone of Britain’.
So successful has the Transit been on these shores since its original launch back in 1965 that its very name has almost passed into our language, a byword for van versatility.
This improved Ford Tourneo Custom passenger version is a smart-looking, well-equipped and economical People Carrier that offers acres of space in a cost-effective package. This design was built from 2013, but it's been regularly updated since that time, most recently when a raft of new media and connectivity features were added to the range.
This Tourneo Custom WAV hits the sweet spot in the second-hand WAV marketplace as a practical vehicle that’s not too big – and not too small. It’s better than many of its competitors to drive, it’s steering feel being especially impressive with body roll well controlled, which is obviously rather important in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.
Originally built by Ford, the vehicle was then sent to a specialist UK based WAV converter, where highly skilled engineers, using state-of-the-art technology, lowered the vehicle floor and installed the access ramp and restraints. This conversion is safe, practical and really comfortable for wheelchair users
Designed and built to an industry-approved specification, this WAV has been completed to an impressively high standard, using quality materials to create a seamless finish.
This passenger-carrying version of the Transit Custom van offers generous space and reasonable comfort. Ford of course has a reputation for making some of the best people movers in the business. Models like the S-MAX and the Galaxy both have their firm adherents, but no firms converted these models into wheelchair passenger vehicles, so buyers who want large Ford WAV may well find that the Tourneo Custom-based WAV is the vehicle they’re looking for.
It's well-equipped throughout, offering twin side sliding doors as standard and a choice of seating options. Electronic Stability Control is standard on all later models as is Torque Vectoring Control, which helps with traction in corners and improved stability.
Up front the driver is well looked after. It feels more like a car than a van thanks to a high quality interior that echoes many of Ford's popular hatchbacks. There’s plenty of headroom, the seats offer good support for long distance comfort and as you expect there’s plenty of storage space. If you want an even bigger load area, look for the long wheelbase ‘L2’ version.
Later models all use a 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine, and you can find second-hand versions with various power outputs. Under the bonnet of this particular vehicle is Ford’s Euro6 compliant diesel engine with 105PS. As well as lowering CO2 to around 160g/km for the 105PS and 130PS models, this newer engine also improved headline economy figures to just over 45 mpg.
It’s an efficient vehicle to run, but you’ll need to bear in mind that vehicles converted into WAVs are heavier because of their interior conversion, which will slightly affect the standard model’s efficiency figures and acceleration. Always check specific details on the used vehicle you are looking to buy with your WAV Supplier.
When the wheelchair user wants to access the vehicle, the wheelchair ramp pulls out from the rear to become a strong, low-gradient ramp with a high traction, non-slip surface so that wheelchair tyres and carers can safely access the WAV through the large rear tailgate. Many models are also fitted with a powered wheelchair winch that makes accessing the vehicle via the ramp even easier. Once sat inside the vehicle, the ramp can then be folded back into the WAV behind the passenger.
The wheelchair is secured by high-quality restraints, while the seat belts ensure maximum safety for the passenger.
The number of standard passenger seats in different WAVs does vary, but on the vehicle we’re looking at here there’s enough space for the wheelchair user, the driver, two front passengers and six additional passengers behind them. You can also find examples where you can arrange the two rear rows of seats in conference format, for enhanced interaction between passengers.
Versions of this WAV have been built with room for just one, two or three additional seated rear passengers, which gives the wheelchair passenger more space, and also makes transporting a mobility scooter easier.
Some Ford Tourneo Custom based-WAVs can also transport two seated wheelchair passengers at the same time.
Specialist used WAV dealers can often add or remove seats to second-hand wheelchair vehicles like this, so if you see a vehicle that you like but the seating layout isn’t quite right, they may be able to easily adjust the seating by adding or removing seats for you.
They will also be able to help if you need additional driving or access adaptations fitting to the vehicle.
The Tourneo Custom makes a decent attempt to hide its commercial vehicle roots, and as van-based WAVs go, it's a reasonably handsome thing, with many of the styling cues used in Ford passenger cars. If you want a Ford-based Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle that's significantly bigger than a Tourneo Connect, the Tourneo Custom provides acres of internal space and tons of flexible seating options. Properly specified, it even has plenty of style and some decent interior appointments.
For larger families and wheelchair users who need more space, it could be the answer they never knew existed.
Choosing a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle might seem like a big step, but it could make a huge difference to your life. Make sure you ask the WAV specialist you’re purchasing from all the right questions and do your own thorough checks before choosing a vehicle.
The answers to these questions will help you to choose the WAV that’s right for you. Select the ideal vehicle for you via the MotaClarity used WAV search.