You’ll be wide-eyed the first time you open both side doors of the Ford B-Max, when a gap not unlike the one at the side of a Transit van is revealed. The doors themselves are designed so that you can close either the front or the rear one first (the catches are on the roof and floor, if you’re wondering). And although the rear sliding ones are a little heavy, they’re light enough for, say, a 10-year-old to manage. They latch open fairly easily, too.
When they’re closed, ironically enough, the doors make for a slightly wider blind spot for the driver than a conventional B-pillar might. But when those doors are open, you begin to understand the advantages that the B-Max has been designed to offer.
Rear cabin space is only average for the mini-MPV class, but access to the back could hardly be more convenient if you’re leaning inside to adjust a child seat or similar. The effect is all the greater on the passenger side, because the B-Max’s front passenger seatback folds flat. Here, you could load or unload long boxes from the side of the car; there’s simply no B-pillar to get in your way.
However, we don’t like the fact that there’s nothing to lock the rear doors open for safety’s sake. If you parked on an incline and forgot to pull the handbrake on hard enough, for example, they could easily slam closed on an arm or leg after a meeting of bumpers. Nor do we like the exposed electrical cables at the bottom of the doors, where a little one could find them with a foot.