Ford C-MAX (2003 – 2010) Review

Ford C-MAX (2003 – 2010) At A Glance


+Best entry and egress of any car anywhere. Excellent front seat comfort.

-Not so practical as an MPV with odd sliding rear seat arrangement.

On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure

"Surprise and delight" was an old marketing term for showroom appeal. The last thing I expected was to be surprised and delighted by the handling of an MPV. I suppose I should have paid a bit more attention to what everyone else has been writing about the C-Max.

This is the first launched but actually the third car I have driven on Ford-Volvo-Mazda's C1 chassis, itself an updated reworking of the original, excellent Focus platform which even set the class standard VW sought to emulate with new Golf.

Ford C-MAX 1.8i Zetec 2004 Road Test

Ford C-MAX 2.0 TDCi Zetec 2006 Long Term Test


Real MPG average for a Ford C-MAX (2003 – 2010)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

21–65 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

I want to replace my Ford C-Max soon - what Estate do you suggest?

"I'm thinking of replacing my Ford C-Max next year. The contenders are a Volvo V50, Skoda Octavia Estate or VW Passat Estate? What are the pitfalls of purchasing a high mileage vehicle (75,000+ miles and around 10 years old.) I need an estate with enough room for a large dog crate and comfortable enough for someone with a bad back."
Provided they've been serviced regularly, you'd probably be better buying a high-mileage diesel than a low-mileage one. Diesels are best suited to regular motorway driving to clear the diesel particulate filter. I'd be worried about buying one with low miles that's mainly been used for local journeys around town. Bear in mind that a 10-year-old car with 75k on the clock will only have covered 7500 miles a year, which is pretty low. Out of your shortlist, the Octavia represents the best value for money.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What used car could I get that's spacious, cheap to run and reliable?

"I need to upgrade my car for something bigger as my wife is heavily pregnant with our second child. I want a used car and can spend £8000 - £10,000. It needs to be reliable, relatively low cost to run and big enough without being massive. I'm confused for choice, do you have any suggestions? "
Cheap, your best bet is an original shape Ford C-Max 1.8 petrol with a handbrake rather than electromechanical parking brake. It's very spacious in the front, very easy to load kids and childseats into the rear, lots of room for pushchairs in the back, avoids diesel problems:
Answered by Honest John

Why is there water ingress in the boot of my Ford C-MAX?

"I have water ingress in the boot of my 2008 Ford C-MAX. I've removed the boot carpet so I can monitor where water seeps in and it appears on drivers side only. It's only a small amount of water but enough to leave moisture on windows which is annoying. Has there ever been a fix for this problem? "
I'd guess that the one-way vent flaps in the lower load area sides have failed, allowing water splashed up into the wheelarches into the car.
Answered by Honest John

Excessive road noise on Ford C-MAX

"I have had a Ford C-MAX 1.8 TDI. It now has 62,000 miles on the clock and recently I have noticed excessive road noise from the front tyres. My local Ford dealer says that the "alloy wheels may be slightly distorted". Tyres also wear exceptionally fast on the inner edges. Ford state that this is "normal", but I think its a design fault and wonder if there are any known "fixes"?"
A 1.8TDCI is now an old car (pre-2010), so there could be a number of problems. Would be a good idea to try the back wheels on the front (same sides) and see if that cures it. Inner edge wear is caused by straddling speed blister humps.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Ford C-MAX (2003 – 2010) cost?