What is it?
We like the Ford C-Max. We've already driven it in diesel form, and given its seven-seat sibling a glowing road test verdict. Here we're testing the new 124bhp 1.6-litre petrol motor, mated to the standard five-speed manual gearbox.
What's it like?
This is unlikely to be one of the bigger sellers, but it certainly has appeal as one of the cheaper models in the range at £1000 less than the equivalent 1.6 turbodiesel or more powerful petrol Ecoboost model. And in practice it is a very pleasant thing to hum around town in. In fact it is in urban areas where it really shines because here its excellent refinement can be really appreciated.
Ride quality on the standard 17-inch wheels is very decent – pliant over bigger bumps and settled over the choppy surfaces you normally encounter. Plus, with the lighter motor in its nose it also has a sharper turn-in and more nimble feel than the diesel.
Still, if you plan on covering many motorway miles the oil burner is the one to go for. At higher cruising speeds this naturally aspirated C-Max needs time and patience for overtaking, and the engine also becomes buzzy when it’s asked to spin at such high revs. Otherwise this is a thoroughly likeable car.
Should I buy one?
If you want something with a bit more space than a Focus or Golf, and spend much of your time around town this is a decent option. It's comfortable, quiet, practical and very well equipped. There's plenty of competition at this price, so think carefully about whether a high-rise hatch is for you when there are full-size estates available at this price, but if its brand of utilitarian suits your lifestyle then the C-Max won't disappoint.
Ford C-Max 1.6 125 Titanium
Price: £18,745; Top speed: 117mph; 0-62mph: 11.5sec; Economy: 42.8mpg (combined); CO2: 154g/km; Kerb weight: 1374kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1596cc, petrol; Power: 123bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 118lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox 5-spd manual
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