From £17,430
Entry-level diesel engine is a fine match for impressive five-seat MPV

Our Verdict

Ford B-Max

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

Mark Tisshaw
28 November 2010

What is it?

We've been mightily impressed by every Ford C-Max we've tried so far, both at home and abroad. The seven-seat Grand version scored four and a half stars in its road test a fortnight ago, and now it's time to see how its compact five-seat sibling performs on UK roads.

We're testing the entry-level 113bhp 1.6 turbodiesel version, which will be the biggest seller among five-seat C-Max buyers. Ours arrived in loaded Titanium trim at £19,745, although most buyers will opt for the £18,245 Zetec model.

What's it like?

Ford should have another hit on its hands with this model. Most noticeable at start-up is just how quiet the engine is, so much so that there's no major audible way of telling it's a diesel. Pulling off the line isn't as smooth as we'd like, though; the engine feels underpowered in first and at the bottom of second.

This can lead to the car feeling hesitant at junctions and requiring a firm press of your foot on the right pedal and a small slip of the clutch to ensure you don't stall.

But this lack of initial grunt is the engine's only real flaw, and it's certainly no deal-breaker, requiring a small adjustment in driving style that becomes second nature after a few miles have been negotiated.

The delivery of both power and torque is linear (the hesitance disappears once the turbo properly kicks in and peak torque arrives), the gearchange is slick and the engine remains quiet and incredibly refined at almost all speeds and situations, whether it's sat in the outside lane of the motorway or tootling down the high street.

The supple ride and superb body control of its seven-seat sibling are equally impressive in this shorter five-seat model. The fully electric steering is accurate and nicely weighted, too. This is a car with handling characteristics you wouldn't expect of a car in its class; practical doesn't always mean dull.

Should I buy one?

If you don't need the extra seats and interior space offered by the Grand, it's hard not to recommend this excellent five-seat version that blitzes rivals such as the Vauxhall Meriva. It also looks promising for the next five-seat car Ford will spin off the platform: the new Focus.

Ford C-Max 1.6 TDCi 115 Titanium

Price: £19,745; Top speed: 114mph; 0-62mph: 11.3sec; Economy: 61.4mpg (combined); CO2: 119g/km; Kerb weight: 1390kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1560cc, turbodiesel; Power: 113bhp at 3600rpm; Torque: 199lb ft (210lb ft with over-boost) at 1750-2000rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

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Join the debate

Comments
29

3 December 2010

I really like the new C-Max 5seater . The old man is even thinking off buying this version so glad to see the review before he gets it . It is just a pity that there is not a higher powered version off this 1.6Diesel but it does seem like it works good with the car except for the slight lack off low power in 1st and 2nd gear but as he says just a matter off adapting driving style to match . The same problem is on the old 1.8 diesel in the S-Max do . It just needs a little more power in the lower gears thats prob why they have droped that engine in the revamped S-Max do .

3 December 2010

This car bodes well for the next Focus especially when you consider they have to sell it in the U.S. as well.

3 December 2010

I suspect the lack of power as described is more to due with the tuning to get the engine to meet specific emission regulations and the lack of good quality fuel in the market this engine may be sold in, a reputable diesel tuning firm would be able to dial this out without too much trouble and give a slight increase in power without damaging the emission and possibly increasing you MPG.

3 December 2010

Is it just me or does anyone else think it's hideously ugly too? I'm glad it drives well and at least from the driver's seat you can't see it!

Audi A3 2.0TDi S-Line / Subaru Legacy Tourer

3 December 2010

2xtrouble wrote the following post at Dec 03, 2010 1:13 PM:

Is it just me or does anyone else think it's hideously ugly too? I'm glad it drives well and at least from the driver's seat you can't see it!


Think it must be just you but there will no doubt be other people that do not like it too I think it looks good there is even hints off the S-Max in the sideprofile too granted the front ain,t as good looking as an S-Max but its still good looking and I think colour sensitive too . Some colours make it look better than others .

3 December 2010

From the picture of the interior it looks horrible typical ford interior then cheap, nasty plastic's and trying to hard !

Guess thats why i will never drive or buy a ford again !

3 December 2010

[quote 2xtrouble]Is it just me or does anyone else think it's hideously ugly too? I'm glad it drives well and at least from the driver's seat you can't see it! [/quote]

Under wheeled and the body is ungainly (too tall?) especially from the door mirrors back.

Where has all Japanese design went to?

3 December 2010

Reminds me of b class merc to be honist I've got the current 1.8 diesel 118bhp and I like the look of this one indeed.

3 December 2010

moe360 wrote the following post at Dec 03, 2010 4:04 PM:

From the picture of the interior it looks horrible typical ford interior then cheap, nasty plastic's and trying to hard !

Guess thats why i will never drive or buy a ford again !

What are you ok there Moe . It is a classy very stylish fine interior indeed . It certainly is not cheap or with nasty plastics . Trying to hard at least they do try and do something new and different unlike certain car companys from Germany .

4 December 2010

The last C-MAX was a great mini mpv (the best of the ones i have tried) and in titanium trim (with brushed aluminium inserts) a classy environment to sit in. It also drives really well. Regarding the VAG interiors - they are really very nice (if that is your sort of taste obviously) but age badly. And the more expensive the interior is (wood, ALU, even leather inserts) when the car is 3 or 4 years old any you can see the scratches and marks of use it is not the pleasant environment any more - quite the opposite.

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