Review

Ford B-MAX mini MPV

Price  £13,095 - £19,325

Ford B-MAX mini MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Wide door opening
  • Cheap to buy and run
  • As easy to drive as a Ford Fiesta
Cons
  • No seven-seat option
  • Automatic only comes with one engine
  • Quality isn’t up to Volkswagen standards

At a glance

The greenest
1.5 TDCi 95PS Titanium 5dr £18,125
The cheapest
1.4 90PS Studio 5dr £13,095
The fastest
1.0T 125PS EcoBoost s/s Titanium 5dr £17,295
Top of the range
1.5 TDCi 95PS Titanium X 5dr £19,325

"The Ford B-MAX is a mini MPV with unique doors designed to maximise its practicality. It’s fun to drive, too."

There are few compact family cars as versatile as the Ford B-MAX. It's closely related to the small Ford Fiesta, but it has a tall and roomy cabin with two sliding rear doors – so it's easy to get in and out of – and a folding front passenger seat that enables you to fit long loads inside. The boot is big and well shaped, too, as well as having a false floor that can be raised to make a flat surface or lowered to increase space.

However, the B-MAX's most distinctive feature is its pillarless doors. Push back the sliding doors (they actually move very easily) and you’re greeted by a wide, open space with no beams or pillars to obstruct access – making fitting child seats very easy.

All this means the B-MAX's more traditionally styled rivals, such as the Vauxhall Meriva, Citroen C3 Picasso and Hyundai ix20, have their work cut out beating the Ford for family-friendly practicality.

The B-MAX's engines are equally enticing – at least some of them. The star of the line-up is the punchy yet economical 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol. It's available in two power outputs, but our pick is the most powerful 123bhp version – even if 0-62mph takes a rather slow 11.2 seconds. However, through the gears and when overtaking, it feels much quicker.

There are two diesel engines to choose from, but they’re more expensive than the petrols. The best is the 1.6-litre, which is usefully more powerful than the 1.5-litre and can still manage over 70mpg fuel economy.

The B-MAX is a tall car, but it handles and grips well, with little body lean in corners. The price of all that control is a firm, although not uncomfortable, ride.

Cabin quality is excellent and there are four trim levels, ranging from Studio to Titanium X. The Studio is cheap but quite basic – although it does have DAB digital radio – so we’d go for mid-range Zetec with the most powerful EcoBoost petrol engine. For your money you get alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Ford's excellent Quickclear heated windscreen and an all-important child observation mirror.

Although it lacks central door pillars, the B-MAX is a safe car. Euro NCAP awarded it the full five stars in its crash tests and standard safety equipment includes a full set of airbags, electronic stability control, emergency braking assistance and tyre pressure monitoring.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.6 / 5

The Ford B-MAX diesel is costly to buy, making the impressive EcoBoost petrol very appealing

Engines, drive & performance

4.1 / 5

Avoid the sluggish entry-level Ford B-MAX engines and you’ll be driving the most fun car in its class

Interior & comfort

3.9 / 5

The Ford B-MAX is an easy car to live with, but its dashboard feels cluttered

Practicality & boot space

4.6 / 5

The Ford B-MAX has a small boot, but unique side doors and thoughtful design makes up for it

Reliability & safety

3.5 / 5

Ford isn’t performing well for customer satisfaction these days, but the Ford B-MAX is very safe

What the others say

4.2 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
The Ford B-MAX supermini MPV gives a great drive and sliding-door flexibility. It's based on the excellent Fiesta but features a taller roof, innovative sliding doors and versatile five-seater interior. The lack of B-pillars means it is incredibly practical, while loading kids and kit into the back is a doddle.
5 / 5
Don’t go thinking the B-Max is just a bloated Fiesta, though, it's far more clever than that. The B-Max comes with sliding rear doors and no central pillar, an arrangement that is designed to provide easy access.
3.5 / 5
In some respects it's the perfect compromise: its compact dimensions might well appeal to the city dwellers that want something that's easy to park in tight spots and its clever use of space could prove irresistible to young families where spaciousness is a top priority.
What owners say 
3.58
3.6 /5 based on 15 reviews
67%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
24 Jun 2015
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