Finished in Midnight Sky Metallic paint and well equipped with Privacy Glass, Thatcham Alarm and Spare Wheel 14-inch x 5.5-inch as extra. Other essential are Audio system with CD player that reads MP3 CDs ; radio receives AM/FM, digital and RDS, Connections for USB and auxiliary audio devices, Service interval indicator, Six speakers, Speed limiter, Stability control system, Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls and much more.
Petrol 47.1 combined MPG
Location: Preston Motor Park Fiat and Volvo - Stock At This Dealer
All vehicles can be purchased from your local Motorparks dealer regardless of their physical stock location.
Best part-ex price paid
Ready to test drive
Qualifies for Warranty4life
The Ford B-MAX is a small MPV with clever sliding rear doors and comes well equipped with generous level of essentials.
CO2: 139 g/km
Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
|Badge Engine CC:||1.4|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||10E|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||12|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||1|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||92|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||84|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||5|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||67|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||71|
|Service Interval Frequency - Months:||12|
|Service Interval Mileage:||12500|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||60000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months:||96|
|Timing Belt Interval Mileage:||100000|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Noise Level dB(A):||70|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|Cylinders - Bore (mm):||76|
|Cylinders - Stroke (mm):||76.5|
|Engine Layout:||FRONT TRANSVERSE|
|Fuel Delivery:||MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION|
|Number of Valves:||16|
|EC Combined (mpg):||47.1|
|EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies:||True|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||57.7|
|EC Urban (mpg):||35.8|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||13.8|
|Engine Power - BHP:||90|
|Engine Power - KW:||66|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Power - RPM:||6000|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||94|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||13.1|
|Engine Torque - NM:||128|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||3600|
|Tyre Size Front:||195/60 R15|
|Tyre Size Rear:||195/60 R15|
|Tyre Size Spare:||TYRE REPAIR KIT|
|Wheel Style:||5 SPOKE|
|Wheel Type:||15" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||1613|
|Width (including mirrors):||2067|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||42|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||1745|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||1386|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||318|
|Max. Loading Weight:||545|
|Max. Roof Load:||75|
|Max. Towing Weight - Braked:||675|
|Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked:||635|
|No. of Seats:||5|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||10.4|
All the talk so far with Ford's clever little B-MAX supermini-MPV has been about the variants with clever three cylinder EcoBoost petrol power. But they're pricey. So might the entry-level model with its older but willing 90PS petrol 1.4 prove to be a better bet? Jonathan Crouch decides
Admittedly the Fusion never left particularly big shoes to fill, but the B-MAX, Ford's successor in the supermini MPV sector, is a good deal more progressive. Highlights include sliding side doors with no central pillar to impede entry and a great deal of technology under the bonnet, little of which is found in the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol variant we're testing here. But it's the only version that's really affordable. Let's try it.
It's said that the car is the most recyclable consumer durable. But it's not just the metal that gets recycled in the car industry. Ideas appear, disappear and then reappear in a different form. Take this Ford B-MAX. Its makers will tell you that it's a fresh, novel take on the supermini-MPV genre and there's an element of truth in that. But it's also a car that leans heavily on other vehicles that went before it. There have been a few compact cars with sliding doors, Nissan's Prairie being a noteworthy contender and more recently, the Peugeot 1007. You might have noticed a common theme. None of them were any good. Neither, if we're completely honest, was the B-MAX's immediate successor, the Fusion. It drove pretty well but then so did a Fiesta. The Fusion offered precious little additional utility, had a grim interior and looked dull as well. The B-MAX is almost off to a win by default here before it's even turned a wheel. Just as Mercedes gets out of the short, high and clever compact MPV market with its A-Class, Ford has dived right in with this Romanian-built B-MAX. Perhaps it's a better fit with Ford's image than that of Mercedes, but do people want this sort of car? Let's take a closer look at it and figure that question out for ourselves at the wheel of the most affordable entry-level 1.4-litre petrol version.
Two conflicting thoughts niggle at you before you get into the B-MAX for the first time. The first is that it's a small Ford. How can it fail to be impressive to drive? The second is the nagging reminder that no car in history with sliding side doors has ever driven well. It's a perfect unbroken form line of dismal ineptitude. You'd like to think that someone got angry at Ford, broke a couple of pencils, took his glasses off and shouted THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS! And you know what? It's really not bad. Visibility out of the front and sides is good but the front and rear dive out of sight quite quickly, so if unless you want to engage in Parisian parking tactics, you might well find it a good idea to invest in the camera pack which includes front and rear parking sensors. The driving position is halfway between what you'd expect in a typical supermini and that of a small SUV and the way the B-MAX tackles corners is similarly halfway between how typical superminis and little 4x4s handle. There's the grip of a supermini as you turn in, but then comes the body roll and there's quite a bit of it. It's not badly controlled by any means, and it lets you know precisely the point that you've tiptoed from 'making progress' to 'shortly about to have your other half use your full Christian name'. I tried the base 90PS 1.4-litre petrol version, an older Ford unit I wasn't expecting much from. Actually though, it's a very willing powerplant, making sixty from rest in 13.8s on the way to a top speed of 106mph, more than adequate for most potential buyers.
And this car's shape? Well, there are aspects that undoubtedly work effectively. Remember the big metallic strips on the sides of many MPVs where the door runners went? Ugly weren't they? Now try spotting them on this B-MAX. You just get a tiny little indent at the back. That should tell you a great deal about how wide these doors open. The so-called Easy Access system lives up to its billing. By doing away with the pillar between the front and back doors, Ford has created a car that's incredibly easy for anyone of any age to get in and out of. There are a couple of caveats. One is that the side impact beams on each end of the rear bench are a bit bulky, especially when you're trying to manhandle a child seat in. The other is the weight of the doors. There's an alarm fitted which lets you know if you're pulling away with the rear doors ajar, but should you brake suddenly, they'll fly forward and close with unstoppable momentum. Once inside, there's plenty of room - it's one of the best in its class for space. The acid test is whether a tall adult in the back can sit behind another in the front and there's really no great problem in that regard with the B-MAX. What's more you can get three adults in the back, but it'll be a bit cosy. The boot isn't huge as a consequence of prioritising the passenger cell, but you do get 318 litres of luggage space and the loading floor is a decent shape.
It's all very well for motoring journalists like me to tell you that the version of this B-MAX you should choose is the 1.0-litre petrol EcoBoost, but that car retails for well over £16,000, an awful lot of money for a compact family car, even if it's a very clever one. Buy your B-MAX in base 1.4-litre petrol form as tested here however, and the sticker figure is a far more acceptable-sounding £13,000 or so, if you choose the base 'Studio' variant. That is a little spartan though, so many buyers will want to shake their piggy banks a bit further to find the extra £2,600 that'll see them in the same car with plusher 'Zetec' trim. That gets features such as Hill Start Assist, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, a heated windscreen, air conditioning, a height adjustable front seat, leather trim for the steering wheel and gear lever and trip and fuel computer. There's also a stack on safety equipment that's available from the base model up. It's good to see electronic stability control, traction control and brake assist on even the cheapest B-MAX. Factor that in when you're looking at rivals as many shamefully try to cut costs here, which is inexcusable on a family-oriented vehicle. There are also front, side, curtain and driver's knee airbags on all versions and ISOFIX mountings.
If you do choose this petrol 1.4 over the higher-tech 1.0-litre EcoBoost version, here's where you'll lose out a bit. The 1.4 returns 47.1mpg on the combined cycle - as opposed to 55.4mpg for the EcoBoost. And the 1.4-litre model's CO2 return is 139g/km as opposed to 119g/km. Still, you are paying a lot less up-front to start with. Otherwise, there don't seem to be any skeletons in the B-MAX's closet that are likely to present you with big bills. Options pricing isn't unreasonable so it's hard to put so much kit into the car that the residuals value are shot to pieces. Insurance bills aren't going to leave too much of a mark, the B-MAX's premiums being governed by groupings that start at 5. The three year/60,000 mile warranty though, has been eclipsed by many rivals and is something Ford probably needs to revisit to remain competitive but there is also a one year roadside assistance service thrown in for new buyers.
The Ford B-MAX isn't one of the headline grabbers in the Blue Oval's canon. It's a support player, but it's one that has probably taken the biggest step forward over its predecessor than any Ford since the original Focus launched. It's almost as it we've skipped two generations of vehicle from the dowdy Fusion and arrived in the future. A future where cars have sliding doors and brilliant engines the size of shoe boxes. The ingredients that go to make up the B-MAX seem weird and initially unpromising, but spend a few days with the thing and you begin to realise it all hangs together really, really well. Not what I expected at all. The entry-level 90PS 1.4-litre petrol engine surprised me too. Here's a unit that still has plenty of life in it, even if the running cost figures pale against those of the comparable 1.0-litre EcoBoost unit. But there's a big premium for that, so I'd suggest that potential B-MAX buyers take a long hard look at the financials before opting for one or the other. Either way, the decision buyers have to make in the supermini MPV sector just got a lot tougher.
"These sorts of cars are all about the interior practicality though, and the B-MAX looks as if it'll come in useful..."
Think Ford MPVs and you'll probably think first of the Galaxy, or maybe the smaller C-MAX. One car that's usually overlooked is the tiny B-MAX. While compactness might not instantly seem the most compelling virtue for an MPV, the Fiesta-based B-MAX nevertheless crams a lot of talent into its 4060mm length. We've just taken delivery of one as a long term car and while it didn't provoke a mad rush for the keys, I expect that this one might prove to be a grower. It's called a B-MAX because it basically has no B-pillar. If you're of a certain age, you might instead associate Bemax as a rather vile vitamin supplement that your mum used to lace your breakfast with, but I doubt that thought was uppermost with the Ford marketing team when they came to name the car. It's a tidy-looking thing, helped by the optional Nautical Blue paint and upspec Titanium-X trim that our car has been delivered in. With smaller wheels and silver paint, I've no doubt it would look a bit anonymous, but as it stands, it looks anything but frumpy. Life's too short for frumpy MPVs. Like most modern Fords, the B-MAX sports a grille that looks like an Aston Martin crib. If a brand is going to unashamedly copy the front end of a car, I'd rather they chose an Aston Martin than, say, a Peugeot 4007. Otherwise, the exterior of the B-MAX follows much the same 'kinetic design' as contemporary Fords. Certain features catch the eye. The zig-zag slash on the lower rear doors is a bit outre and the swage line that runs the length of the body is deeply chamfered. These sorts of cars are all about the interior practicality though, and the B-MAX looks as if it'll come in useful. You get the usual 60/40 split rear seats and carrying capacity is boosted by a folding front passenger seat. Together these create an extensive load floor, capable of swallowing items measuring up to 2.35 metres in length. The side access is particularly convenient to load bulky items such as flat-pack furniture or even a bicycle and the door aperture measures a full 150cm in width. The impression of space inside the car is boosted by the fitment of a full-length panoramic glass roof. There's also a child observation mirror fitted, which was useful for telling me that I was about to punch the bar end of my mountain bike through said panoramic glass roof if I used the brake pedal with any more gusto.
Under the stubby bonnet is shoehorned a fairly hefty 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine that's good for a rather underwhelming 95PS. Before I disappear into despair at the thought of driving an MPV that can't get out of its own way, I was reminded that due to the car's transient overboost facility, it could deliver up to 215Nm of torque. This actually gives it a fairly brisk pickup in the midrange, although you do have to dial a few revs up onto the board when pulling away from a standstill. The stats say that it gets to 62mph in 13.9 seconds and runs out of steam at a modest 107mph but, to be honest, I haven't worked up the enthusiasm to try to verify these numbers. The five-speed manual transmission offers a crisp action and the electrically-assisted steering is well-weighted and endowed with a bit more feel than I anticipated. It sounds like I'm damning this car with faint praise, doesn't it? That's not intentional. As I said earlier, it feels as if this model will prove to be something the road test team will warm to without providing too much of an instant hit. In the meantime, I still haven't grown bored of reminding our road tester that the B-MAX has more torque up its sleeve than his Toyota GT-86. In the meantime, we'll put a few miles on the clock and see how the little Ford settles in.
FACTS AT A GLANCE CAR: Ford B-MAX 1.6 TDCi Titanium X PRICE: £19,095 INSURANCE GROUP: 11E CO2 EMISSIONS: 104g/km PERFORMANCE: 0-60mph 13.9s / Max Speed 107mph FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 70.6mpg STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: ESP, ABS, twin front & side airbags WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm 4077/1751/1604mm WHO TO SEE: September 17th 2014
There are three things that usually guarantee the popularity of a long termer on our fleet and they are, in no particular order, practicality, reliability and, because we are a bunch of closet tightwads, fuel economy. I still remember our road test editor catching the train to work because he couldn't stomach pouring any more petrol down the neck of a Land Rover Discovery V8. It usually means that the glamour cars that we've run often lose their lustre surprisingly early whereas more humdrum fare like diesel MPVs and estate cars are in constant demand. Therefore it won't surprise you to learn that there are some nefarious tactics afoot to land the keys to our Ford B-MAX come Friday afternoon. Okay, so it's not the car to pull up to outside a fancy restaurant and have people thinking you're a lottery winner, Premiership footballer, Russian oligarch but it's a car that just seems to be able to cover a whole lot of bases. We introduced you to the car in our last instalment and in case you missed that, we've landed ourselves a Nautical Blue 1.6 TDCi diesel with a five speed manual box. It gets to 62mph in 13.9 seconds, packs 95PS under its stubby bonnet, measures a mere 4060mm from stem to stern, and can be yours for the princely sum of £19,195. Yes, that is more than a Fiesta ST, but lets stick to comparing like with like. So how's it fared in terms of practicality? Mostly well, really. Those of the test team with kids love the thing, largely because without a pillar in the middle, fitting and unhitching child seats is absolute simplicity. Then there's the added benefit of not having to wince every time the kids clang someone's door in a multi-storey car park because the sliding doors allow you to slot the B-MAX into narrow bays without concern.
The downside of this setup is that the sightlines out of the car aren't particularly great. In some cars you can lose a pedestrian behind the pillars, in others you can fit a cyclist fairly easily into the blind spot. In the B-MAX I reckon you could get blindsided by a taxiing A380 so big are the blind spots at both the B-pillars and the A-pillars. You get used to it after a while and have to take added care but I'm a big fan of avoiding an accident in the first place rather than having a car that can withstand a big biff. Is this really progress? Fuel economy has proven pretty good. We've averaged 54mpg which is about 76 per cent of Ford's 70.6mpg claimed figure. That's a whole heap better than the 1.0-litre B-MAX we tried which averaged 38mpg, just 66 per cent of the manufacturer's claim. It's also worth noting that our 54mpg figure has included some performance testing, several heavily laden trips to the tip, lots of schlepping through city traffic and even a full-speed run around the banked track at Millbrook test facility. We reached 109mph there against Ford's published top speed of 107mph, so it's good to know the Blue Oval isn't a serial overclaimer. The engine felt a little tight when we first took delivery, but has become a bit more supple with a few miles under its belt. Everyone loves the easy Bluetooth hookup from phone to car and the sound quality isn't bad when streaming music. The standard speakers could use a little more heft but then they were being subjected to Pharrell Williams at quite inadvisable volume. All told, we're getting quite attached to the B-MAX. It's not an instant hit, more of a slow burn in fact, but it's a car that is easy to make room for in your life. Cars like this usually struggle for sales. Perhaps we can give this unassuming MPV its moment in the sun.
Mr Edward Temple - 12/11/2018, owner of a Ford B-Max Zetec
User rating: 4.5/5
Mr Nigel Attenborough - 29/05/2018, owner of a Ford B-Max Titanium 1.0T 125PS EcoBoost
User rating: 4/5
Mr Kenneth Dempsey - 28/04/2018, owner of a Ford B-Max Titanium 5 Dr 1.6 TDCi 95PS
User rating: 5/5