If you need a bit more space than a small
hatchback but don’t want to have to contend with the driveabilty of a full blown MPV then
you may wish to consider a Ford B Max. It’s as easy to drive as a Ford Fiesta but is much
more spacious and hugely practical. We shall start with these doors because there
is no pillar here and these sliding open means it is easy to clamber in. In fact Ford claim
this layout offers double the opening space than that of rival car Vauxhall Meriva. Once
inside there is room for tall people, I don’t fall in that category at 5foot4and a half
but I assure this high roof line is very accommodating. You may be worrying about what a lack of a
door pillar does to the car’s safety.
Well you don’t need to. Ford has fitted extra strengthening
to the B Max’s frame to ensure the B-Max offers the same protection in a side impact as its
other cars. Next there is the boot, it’s a decent size
and has a secret floor. And the attention to space and design continues
all the way to the driver as well.
The controls are easy to get to, tons of storage
and plenty of adjustment in the seat – including
reach and rake on the steering wheel. I promised you it was easy to drive well it
is, the suspension is set up so it feels comfortable on the road with no alarming roll in the corners
or spine shudders over the lumps and bumps. It is however taller than a Fiesta so it will
lean a bit in the corners but this isn’t a negative, it’s to be expected. Ford are proud
of its latest in safety technology, an option you can go for with the B Max is Auto City
Stop which stops you from bumping in to the car in front. They are also proud of their low litre ecoboost
engines, which combine better efficiency with a decent amount of power. The 1.6 diesel however
returns over 70mpg which is great if you will be spending most of the time on the motorway.
If however you need an automatic you will have to go for the less frugal 1.
6 petrol. This is where the negatives starts, although
I cannot complain about the fact that even the entry level model comes with DAB digital
radio, the buttons are fussy and there’s too many! In fact the whole interior is not up
to the same standard as VW. However it’s cheap to buy and run, and all
cars come with RAC cover, although hopefully you will not need that as Ford has scored
highly in our sister titles Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. But its
best party trick is the Easy Access System you get with these doors.