2014 Ford C-Max

The C-Max is built on the Focus platform, a good thing as this is one excellent car.

The C-Max is built on the Focus platform, a good thing as this is one excellent car.

Another benefit of that relationship is that the C-Max is blessed with the same sort of driving dynamics, making it not just a practical family transport, but also very good to drive.

The C-Max is an MPV that is a pure 5 seater, its sibling the Grand C-Max offers seven seats. Power comes via a choice of either a 1.6 or 2.0 litre tdi diesels with low emissions and as a result tax in band A4 for the manual versions.

The model I am testing this week is the 1.6 TDCI in ACTIV specification.

The new C-Max is actually a very good looking car for an MPV. Lets face it many of them are not that attractive. The new C-Max manages to cut quite a dash with good lines, some great styling details and some great (if loud) new metallic colours. My test car was finished in metallic black which looked very well.

The cabin of the C-Max is excellent and quite contemporary with sweeping lines and a definitely sporty overtone.

I like the broad centre console with large easy to use buttons for the audio and climate controls, while the instruments are equally clear and concise.

The elevated driving position is great and the level of standard equipment as we have come to expect from Ford is very good. Nice touches include plenty of oddments space, cup holders, good LED style interior lighting and fold down picnic tables mounted on the rear of the front seats. I am not going to list everything here but in addition to all the now expected safety features such as ABS, ISOFIX, multiple airbags and so on, the C-Max boasts some very interesting new technologies which merit mention.

The new C-Max can be ordered with Active City Stop, a feature which when it senses an impending impact at city traffic speeds will automatically apply the brakes to either reduce the impending impact speed or maybe avoid it altogether. This 1.6 TDCI produces 95 PS and is mated to a smooth 6-speed manual gearbox. I found it to be a good, free revving unit that also proved quite refined. With plenty of mid range get up and go the C-Max performs very well.

Furthermore it returns pretty good fuel consumption results too, burning 5.9 litres per 100km over my road test. In addition this engine falls into tax band A4 at just €200.00 for annual road tax.

Ford’s engineers have always managed to produce cars with a very good chassis and the new C-Max is no different. In fact I could go so far as to say that the C-Max is one of the best handling cars in its MPV class. The ride and handling combination is just about perfect, comfortable and smooth yet firm enough to be rewarding to drive. The steering is nicely weighted, and the powerful brakes provide reassuring stopping.

Accomadation is very good with ample head and legroom for adults both front and rear. The large rear hatch allows access to the good sized luggage area.

I really like the new Ford C-Max. It is very stylish, superbly equipped, boasts some of the very latest in automotive technologies, and provides practical and flexible family transport. So why buy it over say the 5-door Focus hatch? Well though the C-Max is still just a five seater it does offer a good bit more in terms of flexibility and practicality. Prices for the C-Max start at €25,695. The 1.6 TDCi ACTIV as tested costs €25,995.