Ford B-MAX (2012 – 2017) Review
Ford B-MAX (2012 – 2017) At A Glance
Ford enjoyed much success with its C-MAX, S-MAX and Galaxy MPVs which managed to be as practical as you would hope but not insufferably dull to drive, and the B-MAX is the brand’s attempt to shrink those attributes down to a supermini size.
Introduced in 2012, the B-MAX took a different route to practicality by adding sliding rear doors for a significant advantage over the competition, such as the Vauxhall Meriva and the Fiat 500L. Sitting on the same platform as the Fiesta, the B-MAX has a strong engine range, is good to drive and is relatively cheap to run too.
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The B-MAX is Ford's answer to small MPVs like the Vauxhall Meriva - a practical family car that blends plenty of exterior space with a compact, hatchback-like footprint.
But unlike the competition, the B-MAX has a trump card in the form of a unique door arrangement - the rear doors slide open and there is no central pillar between the front and back doors. This makes access to the back row extraordinarily easy, and means the B-MAX is easily one of the most practical small MPV you can buy.
Underneath the fancy doors, the B-MAX is based on the same platform as the Fiesta, so there’s a well-judged balance between ride comfort and nimbleness.
For those moving from a hatchback to a people carrier for the first time, the B-MAX is a sensible choice, offering a similar driving experience to its small car sibling. On the other hand, those used to MPVs might find the B-MAX provides an overly-firm ride - always try before you buy.
The engine range is broad, kicking off with a simple 90PS 1.4-litre petrol. Fine though it is, it’s worth spending a bit more time and money to find one of the other options, whether it’s the 1.6-litre TDCI diesel or the 1.0-litre Ecoboost, offered with either 100PS or 125PS.
In particular the EcoBoost units are a great example of the modern downsized petrol unit, with strong performance and low fuel consumption. Those who want an automatic are restricted to the 1.6-litre petrol with 105PS, which unfortunately isn’t particularly good when it comes to emissions.
It is better to drive than both the Vauxhall Meriva and Fiat 500L, and although the Meriva offers its own take on a more practical rear-entry system with a pair of ‘suicide’ doors, the B-MAX is also more practical than the main competition.
Despite the novel door arrangement, the B-MAX manages a five-star Euro NCAP rating, plus it offers a nicely trimmed interior and a large boot. Luggage capacity is 318 litres with the seats in place, expandable to 1386 litres if you fold them flat, something that’s easy to do.
Children or adults will fit comfortably into the back row and – of course – they will have no issue getting in and out. Fitting child seats is a doddle too.
Practicality is further enhanced by plenty of little extra touches like map nets, bottle holders, 12v sockets, big door pockets and a wide-angle mirror for checking on the rear seat passengers. Altogether the B-MAX is a great package, only let down slightly by fairly high prices, slightly gruff diesel engines and a few confusing interior buttons.