From £17,430
Minimum max offers most

Our Verdict

Ford B-Max

The Ford C-Max MPV is as much fun to drive as it is easy to live with

9 March 2004

It’s not always easy to see the point of a five-seater midi-MPV, particularly when it’s based on a car as capable and comfortable as the Ford Focus. But as a family wagon offering extra space and versatility, the C-Max is a compelling package – and the new 1.6-litre TDCi powerplant adds even further appeal.

There’s the same low-set driving position, VW-rivalling cabin quality and class-leading dynamics as the 2.0 version we tested last year, but added to the mix are a lower price tag, better economy and the option of a £1100 continuously variable transmission.

On the road you rarely miss the 2.0-litre’s extra 26bhp and 55lb ft of torque. It lacks the hot hatch-style turbo punch, but the 100kg lighter 16-valve common-rail Duratorq 1.6 offers a smooth, linear power delivery and rarely feels off the pace. It’s impressively refined too, with 70mph recording a lazy 2250rpm. The five-speed manual ’box is not as light as big brother’s six-cog option, but it’s more positive and meaty and only at over 80mph does the engine’s slightly laboured note make you miss that extra ratio.

This would all seem rather wonderful were it not for the price. In Zetec trim, the 1.6 is just £800 less than the 2.0 TDCi. Start going bonkers with the options list (whoever specified our test car certainly did) and you’ll end up with a car like this, at a stratospheric £19,660.

The smaller diesel motor makes much more sense in basic LX trim – not available on the 2.0 – because if its £15,490 price tag doesn’t give you reason to feel smug, the extra 7mpg and lower emissions compared to the bigger engine certainly should.

Alastair Clements

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out