Ideal for around-town use, but stick with the diesel if you spend much time on the motorway

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 17in 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 Ford Focus or Volkswagen 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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TegTypeR 6 February 2011

Re: Ford C-Max 1.6 Titanium

Had a look round one of these yesterday for the first time and was bemused by it.

First thing that struck me was how big (exterior) this car actually is. It seems to take up a massive amount of road space for what seems to be a relatively small interior.

Yes, the boot is quite big but as soon as you get in to the passenger compartment, you are met by some quite snug conditions. Both head and leg room were less than the Hyundai IX20 (a car a class down) and the seats both front and rear were also less comfortable (I know you could argue that's subjective down to body size and shape).

The dash also errr.... slaps you in the face. I went in to the show room quite liking it from the pictures I'd seen but the reality is an overly fussy quickly dating lump slapped between the driver and passenger. It is almost too big and lacks elegance - it dominates the cabin. This would be fine if it was a removeable item that in 3 years you could replace but it's not.

On the road, I don't doubt it's a different beast but just sitting in the show room, it left me cold.

FastRenaultFan 13 January 2011

Re: Ford C-Max 1.6 Titanium

sniper one wrote the following post at Jan 13, 2011 2:31 PM:

dull exterior,dull tacky interior....moves the class on not one iota.......and may i just inform autocar that mums taking kids to school arent interested in your opinion on its handling...its totally irrelevant,like,moaning about a f430's performance off road or an off roaders track time....get real and get some perspective staffers!

Have you been in one . I have been the Dad just got one this week traded in his S-Max and got a C-max Titanium and I can tell you that there is not one bit off tacky trim it is all top class high Quality materials . It has pleanty off space a big boot and rides and handles supperbly it is not just familys that by MPV,S but old meb too who can not get into low down cars anymore but still want a nice car that is also nice too drive .

sniper one 13 January 2011

Re: Ford C-Max 1.6 Titanium

perhaps,but there is a big difference between having a safe handling car and a sporty car and sporty one doesnt necessarily mean safer in terms of big top heavy cars.....sometimes more understeer in such a car is actually a benefit for your average driver who gets themselves into difficulty.