Focus on the Ford C-Max

Another week, another chance for us to look at a car that is making the news in a bit more detail in our ‘focus on’ section.

The Ford C-Max should have been overshadowed by the launch of the new Ford Focus in March, but instead the ‘Blue Oval’ (a nod to Ford’s logo) has confirmed it is being forced to bump up production by 18 per cent to meet demand for the five-seat model.

The sales success also extends to the larger seven-seat version, the Grand C-Max, which is almost identical except for its size and practicality in terms of seating.

This all comes from an update last year of the MPV, and in doing so the Ford C-Max has improved on what was already one of the best people-carriers on the market.

But before we explain why the Ford C-Max is the envy of the MPV world, let us talk through the various options when buying one.

The Ford C-Max is available in two different specifications – making life easier for buyers too often faced with a vast array of confusing and sometimes even misleading trim level options.

Here, the Zetec is the entry-level specification and the cheapest, while the Titanium – the most popular in the UK – is the high-spec model with all the bells and whistles.

That’s not to say Zetec models don’t get enough equipment. We view the essentials as air conditioning and an audio system and the Zetec ticks those boxes – even including a DAB radio with iPod connectivity and an SD memory card as a standard option for an extra £750.

However, it also adds alloy wheels, front fog lights and a full range of safety equipment as standard. This is exceptional for an entry level MPV and can be expanded upon by adding any number of extra packs depending on exactly what equipment you would like to have.

Why should I buy a Ford C-Max?

The Ford C-Max broke the mould in the MPV industry which was being choked by boxy, uninspiring designs and a thoroughly unenjoyable drive.

Comfortable but drab, MPVs had developed a reputation for signalling a kind of ‘giving up’ in terms of ever buying a good car again as the pressures of transporting family and friends required a bigger vehicle.

Not so the C-Max, which retained the comfort but added styling based on Ford’s ‘kinetic design’ – a process designed to make the car look like it is moving even when it is standing still.

We’re not sure if it does that, but it certainly looks modern, sleeker and more car-like than any other MPV that had gone before.

This, matched with a high level of equipment is a winning combination.

Under the glittery exterior, there is also a range of powerful but economical engines, straight out of Ford’s British manufacturing bases.

A 1.6-litre petrol engine offers a choice of 103, 123 and 148bhp outputs, while the diesel options include a 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre unit.

These give a wide and varied choice for all buyers, with fuel economy figures and CO2 emissions amongst the best in the class.

Still not convinced? The clincher for many is the simple fact the Ford C-Max offers more space and practicality but does not sacrifice the drive itself. It remains a fun car to drive, with precise handling, very little body roll and everything else you’d expect from a model built on the same platform as the Ford Focus.

What are the Ford C-Max prices?

Prices for the Ford C-Max start from £17,195 for entry-level models in Zetec specification. These rise to over £20,000 for higher equipped models, particularly those with diesel engines.

The Ford Grand C-Max starts from just under £20,000 in recognition of those extra seats.