We all know that Ford are a huge company. In fact, thanks to their quality vehicles and stylish designs, they are the most popular car manufacturer in the country. The B-Max has had a makeover to follow Ford’s recent change in design, and its fuel return of 68.9 mpg and superb standard features make this a great choice for a car. One of our Ford B-Max contract hire options is right for you – why not get in touch?
We’ve long had so-called supermini-MPVs, slotting in below compact sized designs but usually, they’ve offered little more than a slightly pumped-up take on the usual small car theme.
This was the first car of this kind to use sliding side doors and, more uniquely still, the first to do away completely with a central B-pillar so that with the front door open, there’s an enormous 1. 5m of cabin aperture width, stretching all the way from windscreen to rear hatch. And there’s equal brilliance beneath the bonnet, with the option of a three cylinder 1. 0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that at last provides a decent alternative to diesel. The idea, it seems, is to attract the kind of driver who wants the versatility of a larger compact MPV but needs something easier to park and cheaper to run.
As soon as you get going, this Ford feels frisky, even fun, certainly feelsome in the way it responds to the way you want to drive. Of course it helps that the basics are right. You sit quite high up, positioned far more commandingly than you would be in a Fiesta with everything you need perfectly placed around you. And at speed, all-round visibility’s great.
The ride quality is one of the very best things about this car. There’s a suppleness to the suspension which strikes a better balance than in anything else Ford makes, soaking up terrible town tarmac, yet firm enough to keep body roll well controlled through twisty roads thanks to the standard torque vectoring system that helps corner turn-in and accurate, well-weighted electric power steering. I’d go as far as to say that new standards have been set here for supermini-MPVs in the ride and handling department.
Engines include a 90PS petrol 1. 4 that props up the line-up and an auto-only 105PS petrol 1. 6-litre variant that’s mainly there for older or disabled buyers. Inevitably, the engines you’d really want are the ones further up the range, most notably when it comes to consideration of the cleverest petrol powerplant on the planet, Ford’s clever 1. 0-litre EcoBoost unit, complete with its distinctive three cylinder thrum and offered to B-MAX drivers with either 100 or 120PS.
Newest of the pair of engines on offer is a 75PS 1. 5-litre diesel developed for use across all of Ford’s small car offerings. A better combination of virtues is offered by the 95PS 1. 6-litre TDCi unit, an engine that gets this car to sixty in 13. 9s on the way to 108mph and offers a bit more all-round performance punch.
This car has primarily been packaged for people – and the lives they lead. Thanks to the pillar-less Easy Access system, it’s simplicity itself to lean in and install a child seat or to help in an aging relative. Once inside, there’s an airy feel, even if you don’t opt for the full-length panoramic glass roof. More importantly, you can just about accommodate three adults across the back seat who’ll have more head, leg and knee room than they would enjoy in most rivals.
And up front? Well, with an overall vehicle height that’s 12cm higher than a Fiesta, you get all the benefits of what Ford calls a higher ‘command’ seating position. The seatbelt has of course to be anchored to the seat itself, there being no B-pillar behind your right shoulder to attach it to. From this pleasingly prominent position with its height and reach steering wheel adjustability, you marshal the controls of a dashboard that’s easy to operate. In front of you, there’s a twin-dial instrument binnacle topped with lovely soft-touch plastic that contrasts with the harder, scratchier surfaces on the door tops, the glovebox and the centre console.
Of course, we’ve had cars designed around doors before, few of them had much else to offer. Here though, it’s different. Class-leading safety, the SYNC connectivity system’s cleverness and three cylinder EcoBoost engine technology that delivers petrol power with diesel returns, all these things make this model a benchmark in its segment. In this Ford you’ve the perfect growing family’s second car. And finally, a small people carrier that makes perfect sense.