Ford B-MAX mini MPV
Price £13,195 - £19,445
- Wide door opening
- Cheap to buy and run
- As easy to drive as a Ford Fiesta
- No seven-seat option
- Automatic only comes with one engine
- Quality isn’t up to Volkswagen standards
At a glance
"The Ford B-MAX is a mini MPV with unique doors designed to maximise its practicality. It’s fun to drive, too."
It's rare to find a small family car that offers as much versatility as the Ford B-MAX. Though it has much in common with the best-selling Ford Fiesta, the B-MAX has a more spacious cabin and two sliding rear doors that make it very practical for families. It's also adept at carrying bulky and long items, and has a well shaped, large boot.
The most striking aspect of the B-MAX is the absence of a pillar between the front and rear doors. With all the doors open, there is a huge opening to the inside of the car with no obstructions, making getting in and out, loading, and fitting items like child seats an absolute breeze.
The B-MAX has competition from the likes of the Citroen C3 Picasso, Hyundai ix20 and Vauxhall Meriva but none of them boast this unusual configuration, making the Ford hard to beat in practicality terms.
B-MAX buyers have the choice of some impressive engines, including the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol. There are three different versions to choose from, with all of them offering decent power and economy. The best, however, is the most powerful 123bhp version. It may take a rather unimpressive 11.2 seconds to get the car from 0-62mph but on the road it feels quicker than the time suggests, and more than powerful enough for this type of car.
A 1.6-litre engine is the pick of the two diesels on offer, delivering a useful extra dose of power over the 1.5-litre diesel while still managing fuel economy of more than 70mpg.
Despite the height of the B-MAX, which ought to make it lean and roll in corners more than normal, the car handles surprisingly well; there's plenty of grip around bends and the body of the car stays relatively still. The suspension has been made quite firm to achieve this control but it doesn’t make the car uncomfortable on longer journeys.
Inside, the B-MAX boasts a quality interior. There are four trim levels to choose from, starting from entry-level Studio and moving up to more luxurious Titanium X. Though you do get a digital radio in the Studio model, equipment is quite sparse otherwise and we’d recommend moving up to the Titanium spec, which also means you can choose the best EcoBoost petrol engine. Titanium cars feature alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Ford's impressive Quickclear heated windscreen and a mirror specifically designed to allow you to watch how your children are or aren't behaving in the back.
While the lack of pillars between the doors might make you concerned about the car's structural integrity in an accident, you can rest assured that the B-MAX was awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP. Safety kit on the car includes airbags, electronic stability control, emergency braking assistance and tyre pressure monitoring.
The Ford B-MAX diesel is costly to buy, making the impressive EcoBoost petrol very appealing
Avoid the sluggish entry-level Ford B-MAX engines and you’ll be driving the most fun car in its class
The Ford B-MAX is an easy car to live with, but its dashboard feels cluttered
The Ford B-MAX has a small boot, but unique side doors and thoughtful design makes up for it
Ford isn’t performing well for customer satisfaction these days, but the Ford B-MAX is very safe