Professional drivers recognise Fords’ qualities

Two Ford models have topped the MPV category in the Professional Driver Car of the Year Awards 2014.

For private hire and chauffeur operators alike, people-movers are increasingly vital. MPVs fulfil a wide variety of roles, everything from airport runs to mobile boardrooms.

This year's winner is the Ford Tourneo Custom LWB, which the award judges decided could do all those jobs with real aplomb.

Mark Bursa, editor of Professional Driver Magazine, which runs the awards, commented: "Our 2014 MPV of the Year is a true workhorse - spacious enough to carry six passengers and their luggage, while comfortable enough to be used for business clients wanting to hire a mobile office for the day."

Ford completed a one-two with the ever-popular Galaxy in second place.

The Professional Driver Awards are among the most rigorous in the automotive industry involving a full day's evaluation by a highly respected panel of judges, comprising invited heads of leading chauffeur and private hire firms, experienced chauffeurs, as well as carefully chosen motoring editors and journalists.

This year, more than 40 vehicles were tested on the day with the judges are asked to drive as many of the cars as possible. They also have to ride in the back of the cars to experience them from the customer's point of view. Further marks are awarded for the financial aspects of owning and operating each car, including purchase price, fuel economy, extended warranties, residual values and monthly contract hire prices provided through manufacturer chauffeur or fleet programmes.