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What is it?
Ford’s innovative B-Max supermini-MPV pulls off the clever trick of increased practicality via its sliding rear doors, which make a real difference when parking in tight spaces or for loading and unloading children or older people.
What is the Ford B-Max like to drive?
Ford’s reputation for fine-handling cars is maintained, despite the B-Max’s upright stance and the extra weight of that clever door mechanism. The B-Max rides well, has good steering feedback and the chassis is composed enough to cope with spirited driving better than most cars of this ilk, although that’s obviously not the main purpose of cars like this.
What engines are available?
The Ecoboost 1.0-litre, multiple International Engine of the Year award winner, is available in 100hp and 125hp form, and these are the most efficient petrol options, though there’s also a price entry point with the 90hp 1.4 petrol, and a 105hp 1.6 that comes only with the Powershift auto transmission – the B-Max’s sole automatic choice. The diesel options consist of 75hp and 95hp power levels of the 1.5-litre TDCi unit.
What are the key standard features of the Ford B-Max
The first of the four trim levels is Studio, which comes with 15-inch steel wheels, DAB radio, fold-flat passenger seat and body-coloured bumpers.
What are the key options?
A lengthy options list includes a rear spoiler, spare wheel, Tidy Pack of luggage compartment kit and, available on all bar the entry Studio trim level, sat nav, rear parking sensors and the Active City Stop safety system. Most of the extra kit on the Titanium X trim can be ordered individually on the two trim levels below it.
How spacious is the Ford B-Max?
The sliding rear doors are a genuine boon in terms of rear access, with the B-Max offering practicality unrivalled in the sector. Space is adequate in the back, though it’s worth remembering this is a car based on the Fiesta platform. The B-Max’s boot has an adjustable floor to separate areas of the boot and a maximum volume of 318 litres with the seats up. It is worth noting that the passenger seat folds flat on all models for help with long loads, and with the rear seats folded it totals 1386 litres.
What will it cost to run?
It’s really worth weighing up the mileage the B-Max is likely to do, because the two diesels are at 98g/km of CO2 or an official 78.5mpg figure, but cost more than the Ecoboost petrol engines to buy, and have near-identical monthly benefit-in-kind bills. The most efficient petrol is the most powerful model in the range – the 125hp Ecoboost with stop-start at 114g/km and 57.7mpg.
What safety features does it have?
The B-Max scored the maximum five stars in its 2012 EuroNCAP crash test, and standard safety equipment includes seven airbags, Isofix mountings in the outer rear seats and hills-start assist on all manual models. The clever City Stop system that applies the brakes when it senses a low-speed crash is imminent is an option on all manual models above the base Studio trim level, and the Ford Sync system, standard from Zetec upwards, helps alert the emergency services in the case of an accident.
These include the Citroen 3 Picasso, Kia Soul, Skoda Roomster and Vauxhall Meriva.