Those innovative doors and missing pillars may look like gimmicks, but they really do improve access to the car in many everyday circumstances – not just when you’re in a tight parking space.
Fitting a child seat into the nearside back seat and driving with the front passenger seatback folded would be a particularly convenient way to transport young children, for example. The body structure also gives you options for loading and unloading bulky items that you don't get even in big estate cars.
The innovative packaging on show here proves that making the biggest car in the class isn’t the only route to making the most practical, and because they’ve been delivered on a car that is no heavier than the class average, they represent the kind of innovative thinking the car industry needs in the 21st century.
We have one or two problems in the detail of the way in which Ford has executed its 'pillarless sliding doors' concept, but they could easily be addressed as part of a mid-cycle refresh on the car - and we hope they are.
Ford has also proven, again, that it can do ‘MPV’ without compromising on its unique selling point: a distinguishing sporting drive. Aided by an engine that lands a telling blow for petrol in a battle dominated by diesels over the past two decades, the B-Max brings dynamic spice to a class where space has been the be-all and end-all.