The well designed B-Max scored on practicality

The Ford B Max
The Ford B-Max is a most interesting proposition, but too often when it is being spoken about the conversation centres around ‘those doors’

The Ford B-Max is a most interesting proposition, but too often when it is being spoken about the conversation centres around ‘those doors’

The doors in question are ‘side sliders’, if we may refer to them as such. With the B-Max, Ford dispensed with the B-pillar between the front and back doors.

Instead, they created a huge 1.5-metre wide side door opening.

The doors slides open, providing easy and convenient accessibility, plus the added bonus of not being hindered getting into or out of the car every time someone parks too close to you in the supermarket car park, which appears to be an ever growing problem.

It’s a bright, promising morning, so let’s not get into that!

Some might think that the lack of a B-pillar could, in some way, compromise the structural strength of the cabin. No way!

The central pillar structure is integrated into the leading edge of the front and rear doors where they come together.

Self assembling pillar

Thus, when shut, the doors clamp together so tightly they form what is a movable, self assembling pillar. And the doors run on cleverly concealed runners so they slide easily.

Neat trick! And as the B-Max has scored high on all safety related test, there are not worries about compromise or anything like that.

So, the B-Max story! It is a well put together, well thought out and versatile supermini-MPV design. It wasn’t a car I would have looked at and said ‘yes, that would suit my needs’.

Yet, in real life experience it had a strong response to general requirements - a high up, first class driving position; good room all round for passengers; economy (Ford suggest a possible 68mpg in the 1.5-litre diesel driven, and it got close) and the annual road tax is reasonable; good load space (318 litre normal boot space can be extended to 1,386 litres with rear seats folded) and so on.

The B-Max is compact and very adaptable. It is, we are told, developed especially for the urban driver. If you don’t fit that description, don’t be put off. If you need a family car, one that drives well, is an easy drive, is easy put around and is economical, take a look.

The B-Max is available with a choice of four engines - 1.0 (100bhp) EcoBoost with auto Stop/Start; 1.4 (90bhp) Duratec; 1.6 (105bhp) Durarec and 1.5 Duratorq (75bhp) - and in two levels of trim, B-Max and Titanium.

The big thing for me about the B-Max was that it didn’t grab the attention for its splash or dash. It was for altogether more worthy and practical reasons; the sort hard pressed families have to consider every day. If offered value for your buck!


Standard features - ESP with emergency brake assist, Isofix seats, air conditioning, emergency brake warning, deflation detection system, intelligent protection system with front, side (thorax), knee and curtain airbags, remote central/double locking, electric power assisted steering, curtain, side and driver’s knee airbags, radio/CD with two line display, standard integrated control panel, external AUX connection for external music devices, driver’s seat with height adjust, adjustable load floor in luggage compartment.

control panel, external AUX connection, remote audio controls, electric windows front and back, 60/40 split and easy fold rear seat back, easy access door system, body colour electric and heated door mirrors, tyre repair kit, headlights courtesy delay.

Ford B-Max 1.5 TDCi, 5-door, 5-speed manual transmission, €20,995 (entry price); 75bhp, 190Nm torque, fuel consumption 4.1 l/100klm (combined); maximum speed 157kph; 0 to 100kph 16.5 seconds, 109g/km C02 emissions; annual road tax €190.