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Ford B-MAX

The independent definitive Ford B-MAX video review

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    TO B OR NOT TO B? (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Ford's compact B-MAX supermini-MPV family carrier has been improved. Jonathan Crouch looks at what's on offer.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 99

    Is there any point in a People Carrier if it's a really small one? It's a fair question that supermini-MPV models in the Nissan Note, Citroen C3 Picasso and Vauxhall Meriva segment have often struggled to answer. We think that in many respects, Ford's B-MAX offers a credible response to that query, its unique design and unrivalled versatility offering more ways to use a car of just 4m in length than you might ever have thought possible. It's now been improved with the option of a pokier 140PS version of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that most buyers want.

    Backgroundword count: 255

    The smallest sort of people carrier is definitely evolving - and here's a car that's been driving that process. Prior to this model's original launch in the Autumn of 2012, we'd had so-called supermini-MPVs, cars like Nissan's Note, slotting in below compact Scenic and C-MAX-sized designs. Usually though, they offered little more than a slightly pumped-up take on the usual small car theme. New brands entering this segment needed to try harder - and with this B-MAX, Ford did. It scores on its doors, but in a very different way to any of its rivals. This was the first car of this kind to use sliding side doors and, more uniquely still, it was 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. A far more innovative design than the Blue Oval bought us with this car's direct predecessor, the Fusion. And there's equal brilliance beneath the bonnet, with the option of a three cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that provides a decent alternative to diesel and is now available in pokier 140PS form, if you need more performance than the standard 100 and 125PS 1.0 EcoBoost variants can provide. Overall, Ford's plan continues to centre around trying to attract the kind of buyer who wants the versatility of a larger C-MAX-style compact MPV but needs something easier to park and cheaper to run. Something like this? Let's find out.

    Driving Experienceword count: 278

    Ford models are generally great to drive and most of the reason why is found in one thing: chassis stiffness. You might think that the lack of a B-pillar would see this B-MAX falling down here. Not a bit of it. It's not that there isn't one: it's just that you can't see it. Clever design has integrated the central pillar structure into the leading edges of the front and rear doors where they come together. When they're shut, they clamp themselves to the body very tightly and become part of the stiffness of the car. So much so in fact that this B-MAX can actually boast a stiffer structure than that of the Fiesta supermini upon which it's based. And a stiffer ride too? Well actually no. In fact, 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 here than in almost anything else Ford makes, soaking up terrible town tarmac, yet firm enough to keep body roll well controlled through twisty roads you'll enjoy yourself on thanks to the standard torque vectoring system that helps corner turn-in and accurate, well-weighted electric power steering. And under the bonnet? Well, if you can get beyond the 90PS 1.4 and auto-only 105PS 1.6-litre petrol units at the foot of the range, there's plenty to admire, most notably with the innovative three cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol powerplants, as before offered in either 100 or 120PS guises and now also available in a pokier 140PS form. If you want a diesel, there's a choice of a rather slow 1.5 TDCi unit in 75 or 95PS guises.

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-60 mph (s):

    10.8

    16

    Combined mpg:

    44.1

    74.3

    Extra urban mpg:

    55.4

    78.5

    Height (mm):

    1604

    Length (mm):

    4077

    Max Speed (mph):

    98

    122

    ... and 6 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category:

    Performance
    80%
    Handling
    100%
    Comfort
    80%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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