- Impressive handling for an MPV
- Sliding doors - ideal for families
- Money-saving diesel engine
- Interior finish not classiest
- Older petrol engines not very efficient
- Styling isn’t the most inspired
Ford’s new entry into the mini-MPV market is safe and practical
Ford’s latest entry into the mini-MPV market, the B-Max, is a huge improvement over its disappointing predecessor, the Fusion. Introduced in 2012, the B-Max has become a mainstay in what is now a very crowded market. Based loosely on the platform of the Ford Fiesta, the B-Max is as fun to drive as it is practical. With a range of engines, the B-Max is a great option for the small family buyer.
Enough room for four with unique, practical, rear-sliding doors
In the Cabin
The cabin of the B-Max is decent, without being exceptional. The dashboard is based around that found in a Ford Fiesta, but adds funky styling touches that make it both easy to use, and practical. Plastics are unfortunately not of the highest standard, and they feel a little cheap in places, but they have a nice solid feel to them that most families will welcome. Whilst the quality here is not enough to trouble more expensive cars, it is at least as good as the Vauxhall Meriva, and better than the Kia Venga.
Where the B-Max really comes into its own is in its space. There’s enough room for four full-sized adults to be comfortable even on long journeys, and the boot is a reasonable size, packing in 318 litres of space. What’s exceptionally practical is the twin sliding rear doors, and the deletion of the B-pillar. For those who have ever tried getting the kids out the back doors in a full car park, these are going to be both a prang, and a life-saver. With this addition, the B-Max has the versatility only found in much bigger cars, and this is going to be a huge plus point for a lot of families.
Standard equipment levels on the B-Max are pretty much what you’ve come to expect. Even the most basic Studio trim comes with four electric windows, electric mirrors, and a DAB radio. The most popular trim level in the range, the Zetec, adds alloy wheels, air conditioning, heated windscreen, USB connectivity, and Bluetooth.
The Ford B-Max is on the inside an incredibly practical car for families. Whilst the quality of materials on show isn’t of the highest standard, it still feels like a solid family car. And whilst standard spec isn’t the highest on entry-level models, the most common Zetec trim, found on most used B-Maxs, is more than enough for most.
For a compact MPV, the B-Max is surprisingly fun to drive
Suspension and Chassis
Unlike a lot of small MPVs, the driving experience in the B-Max isn’t entirely dull. The B-Max still manages to retain some of the Ford DNA that we’ve come to love. Based on the excellent chassis of the Ford Fiesta, the B-Max at first can appear to be a little stiff. What this does is reduce body-roll, which is far more likely to make the kids car sick than a little bump here and there. Because of this, it does mean that motorway drives can get a little jumpy. Steering is sharp though, especially for a family car, and for those who want family practicality without dull handling the B-Max is a great option.
In the B-Max range, there are two transmission options. All cars come with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, that while decent, lacks the sixth gear that makes motorway driving more manageable. There’s also the option of a six-speed Powershift semi-automatic gearbox, but only with the inefficient 1.6-litre petrol engine.
Decent line-up of petrol and diesel engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your B-Max, you’ve got the usual two suspects: petrol, and diesel. There’s some pretty interesting technology going on in the 1.0-litre petrol engine, and the diesel is both economical, and good for the environment.
When people are shopping for a family MPV, most aren’t going to be too interested in racing through country lanes. There is, however, a very interesting 1.0-litre turbo-powered EcoBoost petrol engine available in the B-Max, that whilst not exactly mind-bogglingly quick, packs a fair amount of welly. Producing 125bhp, the tiny 1.0-litre block will get you from 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds. You’re not going to be drag racing Ferrari’s anytime soon, but it has enough punch to keep keen drivers happy.
For the environmentally friendly family, the 1.5 TDCi diesel engine is the one to go for. Producing just 98g/km of CO2 emissions, this will help towards saving the planet. And with the zero road tax cost that comes with it, you’ll have more money to spend on the weekly shop. As with most eco-friendly cars, this model is incredibly efficient as well. Fuel consumption is 74.3mpg, so with the money saved on road tax, and the money saved on fuel, you’ll be able to treat yourself a little bit more.
There's also a 1.4-litre, and a 1.6-litre petrol engine that are a little less impressive. Both are more fuel thirsty, and not particularly quick. Most people are going to want to go for the 1.0-litre petrol or the 1.5-litre diesel, and both of these are fantastic options to power your B-Max.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with good standard kit
Like most cars in its class, the B-Max achieved a 5 star NCAP safety rating. This is particularly impressive considering the sliding door mechanisms and Ford has strengthened the doors and roof of the car to considerably improve safety. There’s also stability control as standard, and five strategically placed airbags. Add in the Active City Stop option that senses accidents and stops the car accordingly, and you’ve got a very safe compact MPV on your hands.
Efficient diesel engine makes the B-Max excellent value for money
The B-Max that represents the best value for money in terms of running costs is undoubtedly the 1.5-litre diesel engine. Achieving 74.3 mpg, and producing just 98 g/km of CO2, this version of the B-Max is tax-free, and cheap to run. Even the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol model runs at 57.7mpg, and coughs out a surprisingly low 114 g/km of C02. The other petrol models in the range are a little more expensive, especially when it comes to tax. The 1.4-litre petrol produces nearly 140 g/km of C02, making it a poor option for the penny pinchers out there.
In terms of insurance, the B-Max is pleasantly surprising. The cheapest model in the range is the 1.4-litre Studio which sits in insurance group 7. But even the most expensive model in the lineup isn’t exactly what you’d call extortionate. The most powerful 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125 Zetec is only in insurance group 13. So, whichever spec you go for, with your B-Max you’re not going to be too much out of pocket.
Depreciation is a factor to consider with the Ford B-Max, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as high as ever, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
Ford’s foray into the mini-compact MPV market has undoubtedly been a success. The B-Max is one of the best options available to small families. With a hugely practical interior, a good range of eco, and pocket-friendly engines, and an impeccable safety record, the B-Max is a great all-round family package.
Buying a used Ford B-Max online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Ford B-Max for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Ford B-Max. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Ford B-Max online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Ford B-Max? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used B-Max, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Ford B-Max, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Ford to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.