Ford C-MAX 2015 review

If a hatchback just doesn’t cut it when it comes to practicality, then an MPV is definitely an avenue you will want to explore. Take the Ford C-MAX for example – a bigger, more practical take on the underpinnings from the Focus. And it’s even available with seven seats if you go for the Grand C-MAX model. But today we have the standard five seat C-MAX, competitor to the likes of the Renault Scenic and Citroen C4 Picasso. So let’s jump inside and have a mooch. Similar to its bigger brother, the S-MAX, the C-MAX’s interior has recently had a dashboard revamp, with many of the function buttons disappearing and being integrated into the touchscreen system instead. And if you see the old and the new models side by side, the change is unquestionably for the better – although annoyingly, the screen is recessed quite deeply into the dash. There is some new kit across the trim levels, including an optional autonomous parking feature – which really does work, adaptive cruise control, and Ford’s MyKey technology – handy if you want to keep tabs on any younger driver’s behind the wheel. A kit is so impressive, the entry-level Zetec model is the most popular, as it gets you the likes of air-con, DAB radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and loads of connectivity features like Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary inputs. You can make your C-MAX pretty lavish if you go for something like the optional Titanium X pack we have, which adds the likes of heated leather seats and sat-nav. Another thing you may want to check out is the Family Pack, which brings things like tray tables in the back and a powered tailgate. This is on top of its standard practicality though, which upfront is brilliant. Realistically there is only space for two in the back of the C-MAX, or three if a child is sat in the middle. But the C-MAX’s biggest plaudits are with its flexible seats – as they can be easily manipulated in a series of different ways, accommodating for passengers and luggage. Or, speaking of luggage, they can be completely removed altogether. Boot-wise, with all the seats in place there is just under 500 liters. Fold the seats down and you get around 1,700 liters. Impressive, but a bit behind the likes of the Citroen C4 Picasso. Go for the most popular 1.5-liter diesel and you will not be disappointed as it offers a good balance of power and efficiency and hands down makes the most sense cost wise, emitting just 105g/km of CO2 and it claiming to return an average of around 70mpg. There is a slightly punchier 2.0-litre diesel for those who want a little surplus power on tap as well. But we haven’t got either of those engines, we’ve got the petrol – and not the entry-level 1.6 either. Nope, we’ve got the famed 1.0-liter, 123bhp, three-cylinder EcoBoost. Now, the first question that may come to mind is ‘can such a small engine shift such a big car’. Well, yes it certainly can, but don’t expect anything astonishing – although a zero to 62 time of 11.5 seconds isn’t too bad, and it is very quiet. When it comes to drive you really do get the best of both worlds with the C-MAX. It’s incredibly comfortable, thanks to a soft suspension and recently improved road and wind insulation – so motorway journeys are a doddle. But it’s also brilliantly composed and planted in the corners, proving Ford are still one of the best brands at making a well-rounded MPV. Entry-level price wise, the C-MAX is one of the more expensive MPV’s out there, being more expensive than the Citroen C4 Picasso but cheaper than the Renault Scenic. But there is no denying that the C-MAX manages to tick many of the important boxes that make Ford’s MPVs so popular, with its size being the only real distinguishing factor between it and its siblings – so, if you are after a Ford MPV, consider this the sort of Medium model – with the S-MAX being the Large and the Galaxy being the XL. But what do you think of the C-MAX?

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