New Ford B-Max is greenest compact MPV of 2012

It’s official; the new Ford B-Max is the cheapest compact MPV to run in the UK after running costs were announced this week.

The Ford B-Max, a small five-seater based on the best-selling Ford Fiesta, was always expected to be one of the more frugal new cars of 2012 but the latest figures place it below the likes of the Vauxhall Meriva and Kia Soul in terms of running costs.

Choose a 1.6-litre diesel option and the Ford B-Max returns a class-leading 70.6mpg. This is above most superminis on the market today, never mind people carriers.

There are further benefits to be had from the diesel. CO2 emissions from the engine are just 104g/km and while this is not enough to offer free road tax, it does mean exemption in the first year and just £35 per year in subsequent years.

It also, according to Ford, compares favourably to figures of around 119g/km from competing compact MPVs on the market today.

If you cannot justify spending the extra money on a diesel – and here is a handy guide to petrol vs diesel engines to help you make the choice – the superb new 1.0-litre petrol could be a good choice.

The small three-cylinder engine develops 120PS thanks to Ford’s EcoBoost technology. This is on par with a 1.6-litre petrol but with drastically reduced running costs.

The engine is so capable Ford has decided to add it to both the Ford Focus and larger Ford C-Max ranges, so it should impress in the lighter Ford B-Max.

It also delivers 114g/km of CO2 emissions. Like the diesel this is puts it into Band B of road tax, meaning it is free for the first year and £35 thereafter.

The impressive engines come with fuel-saving technology such as stop-start and Ford’s work on aerodynamic improvements also helps to cut running costs.

New Ford B-Max prices have not been revealed yet but expect them to be set somewhere in the region of £13,500.

Until then, at least buyers will be assured running costs will be low when the new Ford B-Max launch date does arrive in September.