Ford C-MAX (2010 – 2019) Review

Ford C-MAX (2010 – 2019) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Mid-sized, five-seater MPV is nearly as good to drive as the Ford Focus that it’s based on, and offers plenty in the way of practicality.

+Neat styling. More practical than a Ford Focus. Fine blend of ride comfort, handling and driver enjoyment. High-quality interior.

-Not quite as versatile inside as some rivals, and cabin refinement is only middling for the class.

Insurance Groups are between 10–27
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

If you love the way the Ford Focus drives but need a more practical, roomy car for the family, Ford came up with the perfect solution with the Ford C-MAX in 2010. While many buyers were switching to SUVs, not least Ford’s own Kuga, the Ford C-MAX provided a simple, effective mid-size MPV to those who valued ease of use above more aesthetic considerations. While not quite as versatile as seven-seat rivals such as the Volkswagen Touran or big-selling Vauxhall Zafira, the Ford C-MAX is adept on the road, and you can always choose the Ford Grand C-MAX if you need the extra pair of seats. Read on for our full Ford C-MAX review.

The original Ford C-MAX was a compact MPV with a good reputation for handling and build quality, but was left behind by the competition in certain areas, not least a lack of rear-seat flexibility and the fact it only had five seats. With similarly sized people carriers such as the Vauxhall Zafira and Volkswagen Touran offering seven seats as standard, the Ford C-MAX couldn’t compete.

However, the problem was addressed by the introduction of two new versions of the Ford C-MAX in 2010. There was the seven-seat Ford Grand C-MAX which was actually seen as the successor to the previous Ford C-MAX.

And then there was the Ford C-MAX, with the standard-five seat layout which appealed to buyers who wanted more space than a regular family hatchback but who didn’t want to sacrifice good handling. The same still holds true for the Ford C-MAX as a used buy.

The Ford C-MAX and Ford Focus of the same generation share a common chassis, so it’s no surprise that the compact MPV perfectly blends ride, handling and comfort.

The Ford C-MAX range started out with petrol engines that seemed quite small in capacity at the time, but which have become commonplace since.

These 1.0-litre units came with 100PS and 125PS, and the more powerful version is the one to aim for. Ford also offered a 1.6-litre petrol when the Ford C-MAX first arrived, but we’d recommend looking for the later 1.5-litre turbo petrol as it’s smoother and easier to live with.

Diesel power is taken care of by 1.5 and 2.0-litre engines with power varying from 105 to 150PS. Give the least powerful version a swerve, as it struggles with the size of the Ford C-MAX, but the rest are good and deliver emissions as low as 99g/km coupled to 74.3mpg claimed average economy.

Ford’s Powershift automated manual gearbox is not the most reliable, though, so it’s better to stick to the manual transmission unless you really must have an auto.

Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Ford C-Max review

Ask Honest John

How often should I have my oil and filter changed?

"How often should I change the oil and filter on my 2018 Ford C-MAX diesel?"
If your C-MAX was built before 29th July 2018 the service interval is one year or 12,500 miles (whichever comes first), and if it was built after this date then the interval is two years or 20,000 miles. However, the condition of your oil is crucial to the health and longevity of your engine, and the filter plays a big part in maintaining its condition. If you plan to keep your vehicle long-term, or just want to keep it in the best condition possible, we would recommend changing it more frequently, ideally every 5000 miles for the highest level of protection.
Answered by David Ross

I need a car with a high driver's seat but not an SUV - what would you suggest?

"Can you please tell me some cars (not SUV's) that have a high drivers seat as I struggle to lower myself into a car seat?"
If you are not keen on an SUV you could look at MPVs that have a high seating position, such as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Ford C-MAX or Volkswagen Touran.
Answered by David Ross

Which hybrid cars do you recommend with a higher driving position?

"What would be a suitable hybrid car as a replacement for a 2010 Ford C-Max TDCi? I like the high driving position that a C-Max gives. I do mostly local driving and longer journeys 4-5 times a year. My budget is about £16,000. Reliability and low cost are fairly important. "
The Toyota C-HR might be worth a look, your budget will get you a car from 2018 with Toyota's 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid engine. The C-HR is a small SUV so you get a raised driving position, while its hybrid engine should return excellent fuel economy in a mixture of driving. You will notice the C-HR is tighter in the back than your C-Max, if that's an issue the Toyota Prius+ is an MPV version of its popular petrol-electric hybrid. It is more spacious than the C-HR if not as stylish. Reviews of both cars are below. C-HR: Prius+:
Answered by Russell Campbell

What automatic car do you recommend for around £5,000?

"I am looking for a practical automatic medium-sized workhorse car for around £5,000. The Ford C-Max 2.0 TDCi fits the bill, but does this model have the Powershift gearbox, or are the bigger engines fitted with something better? If it has, can you suggest something else reliable?"
The C-Max is fitted with a Powershift gearbox. I would consider the Toyota Avensis estate 2.2-litre diesel auto. It has loads of room inside and they're considered to be extremely tough, we have had few reports of issues:
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Ford C-MAX (2010 – 2019) cost?