Ford really are at the heart of British motoring. Families cruse the cities in their Fiesta’s and S-Max, the workhorse that is the mighty Transit continues its much respected role, and the Focus ST just keeps us smiling. With this broad range of motors the question has to be asked… What is next for Ford? The answer is the B-Max, a baby MPV with a trick or two up its sleeve.
Thanks to Keith Motors in Dorset we were lucky enough to get up close and personal with the new B-Max a whole two months before it goes on sale. Seating five in comfort, the B-Max offers a well priced alternative to Vauxhall’s Meriva. Up front it is your usual Ford layout that should look familiar to those who own the brilliantly ergonomic Focus. Rear passengers are three abreast with good levels of head and leg room. But those are the boring bits and bobs we have to mention. Where the B-Max really comes into its own is how you get in and out of it. The front doors open conventionally and the rear slide allowing for easy access. “Nothing new there” I hear you cry, but take a look at the pictures and spot that one very key element of most cars is missing. The B-Max has no B pillar at all! This mean that getting in and out is effortless. You can be tall, small, fat, thin, oblong, the car just doesn’t care. If you have the ability to fall through a gap you’re in. Making its European debut in this car is Ford’s Sync system. The voice activated function can make calls, play music and even ring the emergency services on your behalf if you have an accident.
The overall exterior architecture is pleasing to the eye but much less unique than this cars little brother, the Fiesta, yet polite lines on the bonnet and wraparound lights do give it a style of its own. Its design is its function and vise versa.
Engines range from Ford’s 1.0 litre petrol, that has received no less than three global awards, to a meaty 1.6 TDCI. Entry level is the 1.4 Studio that begins at £12,995 making the B-Max a viable financial proposition.
We look forward to testing this little box of toys on the road in the coming months.