Stephen Odell, boss of Ford of Europe, wasn’t in any danger of under-selling the subject of this week’s road test when he said that it “does things which other vehicles simply cannot do and will have a major impact on the market for compact cars”.
Bold claims for what many might have taken for a Jody-come-lately entrant in a bit-part segment. Time to investigate what kind of substance Ford’s new downsized family car, the B-Max, can use to back them up.
You’ll have read about this car’s sliding rear doors. And if you’ve seen the TV advert, you might also have realised that those doors close over a body structure that comes entirely free of B-pillars.
That certainly makes the B-Max unique as a utility-oriented hatchback, but how much more practical does it make the car in the real world? And where’s the catch, exactly? Not on the B-pillars, that’s for sure.
The B-Max also becomes the first Ford armed with the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine to face the Autocar timing gear. This could be a revelatory road test, then – Jody-come-lately or no.