- Fun to drive
- Good build quality
- Excellent safety record
- Not most eco-friendly
- Average space
- Not most efficient
Ford’s medium size MPV is as fun to drive as it is practical
After its first introduction in 2003, the Ford C-Max has proved to be a hugely popular choice with family buyers in the UK. Since the most recent update in 2010, the C-Max offers a comfortable, practical environment for five people to travel comfortably. In direct competition with its bitter rivals, the Citroen C4 Picasso, and the Renault Scenic, the C-Max offers equal levels of practicality, but with an engaging driving experience tied-in, that keeps mums and dads happy, as well as catering for the kids. Available with a wide range of engines, and in various trims, there is a C-Max for every family's needs.
High-quality finish with lots of practical space
In the Cabin
One area that the C-Max shines is in its cabin. Based loosely on the Ford Focus, the C-Max adds plush, solid plastics that give the interior a feeling of real quality. There’s also a fairly minimal amount of buttons, so finding your way around the dashboard is a fairly simple task. It still doesn’t quite compare to a VW Golf SV, but compared to the Renault Scenic, this is a cut above.
The boot of the C-Max is fairly sizeable 432 litres. Whilst this falls short of the Citroen C4 Picasso, there’s still plenty of room for a buggy, the weekly shop, and there’s even enough room for the golf clubs on the weekend. There’s the option of a hands-free electric boot on some of the models further up the range, though we’re not sure how necessary this actually is. Inside, there’s ample room for four adults to sit in comfort, with five being to fit in at a push. The Grand C-Max adds even more practicality with an extra two seats, which could come in handy for the larger family.
Spec-wise the C-Max comes fairly well-equipped. Whilst it isn’t quite as well stocked as some rivals, there’s enough here for most people. The standard Zetec trim comes with alloy wheels, air-con, DAB digital radio, USB input, a heated windscreen, and heated door mirrors. That’s quite a lot of spec for a base model. On more expensive versions there’s a 8” colour touchscreen and sat-nav, both of which are relatively easy to use.
The inside of the C-Max seems to tick all of the boxes for family buyers. Though it might not be the market leader in any of the individual sections, Ford has managed to put together a quality, well-rounded package that is a tempting prospect for those looking to purchase a medium-sized MPV.
One of the few mid-sized MPVs that’s fun to drive
Suspension and Chassis
The C-Max follows in the footsteps of the Ford Focus chassis it’s based on by offering an incredibly rewarding driving experience. It far outdoes any of its rivals. With lots of front-end grip to glue you to the road, you can throw it into the B-road bends without too much worry. This makes the weekend trip to the seaside a whole lot more fun than it would be in rival MPVs. As the car is quite high up, there is a little bit of body roll, but not enough to cause the kids to get carsick, and far less than in a Renault Scenic.
In terms of gearbox options, Ford offers three options. Coming with the 1.6-litre petrol engine is a 5-speed manual. The rest of the range either gets an impressive 6-speed manual, that’s perfect for both motorways, and around town, and a 6-speed dual-clutch Powershift semi-automatic available on both the 1.5-litre TDCi, and the 2.0-litre TDCi diesels. We’d personally avoid the 5-speed, which can be a little bit revvy on the motorways. Other than that, whichever gearbox is fitted to your C-Max, you can be assured that it’ll only add to the driving experience.
A good range of engine options: Petrol and Diesel feature heavily
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your C-Max, you’ve got the usual two candidates: petrol, or diesel. With everything from a 1.0-litre petrol turbo to fuel efficient diesels, there’s sure to be an engine in the C-Max range that’s right for you.
As most people don’t particularly want race car speed when they’re shopping for an MPV, Ford doesn’t offer a hot version of the C-Max. The most powerful model in the range is the 1.6-litre EcoBoost Titanium X, which packs 182bhp. That’ll get you from 0-62 mph in less than nine seconds. Whilst this isn’t blisteringly quick, it’s more than enough to please the petrolhead in the family.
The most eco-friendly engine in the C-Max range is the 1.5-litre diesel driven TDCi Titanium. Producing 113g/km of CO2, it’s not the greenest car out there at the moment, but it’s not overtly damaging. There’s also plans for a hybrid version of the C-Max in the UK soon, which should cater for the environmentally conscious. This 1.5-litre diesel is also the cheapest to run, though the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine runs it close. Producing 54.3mpg, this lightweight engine is a great choice if you want to save yourself some pennies, without going diesel.
Whichever engine choice you go for to power your C-Max, you’re going to get a power base that’s packing enough punch, without emptying your pockets.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with good standard safety equipment
Like most of the cars in its class, the C-Max scored the highest five-star NCAP safety rating. In addition, all C-Max cars come with six airbags, traction control, and stability control as standard. Whilst six airbags is a little below the norm for a car this size, the NCAP ratings don’t lie. There’s also the optional extras of automatic emergency braking, blind spot assist, lane assist, automatic parking, tiredness warning, and traffic sign recognition for those who don’t mind paying a little bit more for that extra peace of mind.
There’s good value to be had here, especially with diesel models
Like most cars in the Ford range, the C-Max represents decent value for money. It may not be the best in its class when it comes to fuel efficiency or road tax costs, but it’s still pretty good, depending on which model you go for. Most cars have fairly standard levels of CO2 emissions, without being spectacular, and fuel consumption is above average. Models that come with the 1.5-litre TDCi engine are the ones to go for if you want ultimate value for money.
In terms of insurance costs, the C-Max sits pretty much flush with its main rivals. Insurance groups range from 10 for the 1.0-litre EcoBoost Zetec, up to group 27 for the range-topping 2.0-litre TDCi Titanium X. Whilst these might not be significantly cheaper than anything else out there, they’re in line with all of its key competitors.
Depreciation is a factor to consider with the Ford C-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.
The Ford C-Max is one of the best-selling mid-size MPVs for good reason. With a high-quality interior, a good range of quality engines, and a driving experience unmatched in this class, the C-Max is one of the most complete mid-size MPVs on the market. Add in a top class safety record, and you’ve got a family car that’s fun, practical, and safe for the family.
Buying a used Ford C-Max online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Ford C-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 C-Max. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Ford C-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 C-Max? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used C-Max, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Ford C-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%.