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Price, fuel economy and range, finance and depreciation

There is only one Ford B-Max that’s cheaper on company car tax in outright terms than our test subject: the entry-level 1.4-litre Zetec model, which very few will buy.

Company users could save between £170 and £200 a year in benefit-in-kind tax by choosing the 1.0-litre 123bhp Ecoboost B-Max instead of the equivalent Meriva or Picasso. And considering the impact on contract hire of the very competitive residuals that our sources predict, for fleet users at least, that should more than offset a list price that looks high compared with some.

Fuel economy is the only area in which the Ecoboost engine doesn't particularly impress

For private money, the case is a bit less clear-cut. The Ecoboost engine’s real-world economy is good but doesn’t decimate the case for a diesel, as we’ve already explained. You’ll have to attach value to the added refinement and high-rev flexibility of the petrol engine to seal the deal here.

If somebody else has already made your mind up for you to buy a diesel, you'll find the 1.6-litre oil-burning B-Max competitive with the equivalent Vauxhall Meriva Ecoflex on cost and CO2, and on a par with Citroen's 1.6 HDI C3 Picasso on emissions and economy, although not quite on purchase price.

Ford could have been a bit more generous with B-Max equipment levels, though. It may be a supermini, but our test car is also a mid-range Titanium-spec car, and yet it does without the likes of sat-nav and a reversing camera as standard – items that you’d find on equivalent competitors.

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