The Ford's wheelbase is more than 150mm shorter than the Vauxhall’s too – something that promises to make the B-Max more manoeuvrable but at the same time threatens inferior passenger space. Overall height is just over 1.6m, making the B-Max quite low and sleek for an MPV.
Based on Ford’s ‘global B-car’ platform, the car’s basics are shared with the smaller Fiesta. This means the engines go in sideways, driving the front wheels, and suspension is via MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear.
The steel body-in-white has been substantially re-engineered to deliver rigidity and crash safety, however, in the absence of those B-pillars. This has been achieved without adding a great deal of weight. On our scales, the B-Max registered 1345kg, only 5kg heavier than the C3 Picasso we tested. Thumbs up.
There are six engines in the line-up. The 1.5-litre diesel engines both record a sub-100g/km CO2 rating. So , if you judge these things simply by the amount of benefit-in-kind company car tax you’ll be liable for, that makes the diesels the fleet car of choice. That doesn't mean ruling out the 1.0-litre Ecoboost, even though they produce more emissions and less torque as a result.