Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - Tall Boy

(slightly longer version of an 'ask HJ' question - sorry if that's not allowed). First post after being a long-time lurker, so be gentle!

We’re on the lookout for a second car to keep for the next 8-10 years, but with low running costs. In years to come it will probably also be used as a learner car for our children (currently 13 & 10 yo). Whilst most of its work will be local, it should be capable of the occasional 100-mile motorway run. We’re all quite tall in the family (3 of us over 6 feet), so whilst we’re looking for a small car, it can’t be too small!

A Ford dealer that we’re thinking of buying another vehicle from has offered us a good deal price-wise (according to the HJ checker), on a 15 plate Ford B-Max Ecoboost 1.0. On the surface this seems to tick a lot of boxes:

- A fairly economical engine, that has performance when needed

- No DPF, Powershift auto etc. to worry about

- The taller body and sliding doors are better for tall people

- Cheap VED

- Decent reviews

However, it has been on his forecourt for 6 months, after he took it in part-ex. He’s quite candid about it not attracting much interest, and has reduced the price accordingly, but with it having largely done nothing for 6 months, should I be concerned?

I’m aware of some of the Ecoboost’s issues, but later models seem to be better in this regard. (It has about 8 months Ford warranty left, and I normally take out an extended one until the car is 5-6 years old). Likewise I’m aware that the B-Max has been discontinued, which means that resale prices might soften, but given the length of time we’re likely to keep it, and the state it might well be in by then, this isn’t a major factor.

Any thoughts – am I making a big mistake here, and what other models should I be looking at?

Edited by Tall Boy on 15/12/2017 at 10:12

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - SLO76
It’s not a car I’d buy with longterm ownership in mind. So far the 1.0 Ecoboost isn’t proving durable and although later versions were updated and should be better I’m not overly optimistic they’re truely sorted plus the damage is already being done regarding resale values as dealers are bidding them well below book now due to the high liklihood of issues and the fear of warranty firms putting a higher premium on them. Don’t let your Ford dealer sweet talk you, these engines are fundamentally flawed.

If you want to keep it for such a longterm then I’d aim for normally asperated petrol driven motors referably of Japanese design. The Ford Focus with the Yamaha designed 1.6 petrol is always good, Honda Civic 1.8, Toyota Auris 1.6, Toyota Verso 1.8 and Mazda 3 2.0 are all robust and long lived.

You can however get the B-Max with the 1400 Yamaha designed petrol. It’s a bit slow but will again be robust and reliable. Auto Trader:

You can also get the Ford C-Max with the Yamaha 1600 petrol which would be a good compromise. A bit bigger than the B-Max but takes up no more road than a Focus and has loads of room inside. There’s no reason why one of these won’t run for 15yrs onwards. Yes it’ll cost a bit more to tax every year but you won’t need that extended warranty and there’s very little risk of major failure. Think longterm.

Auto Trader:

Edited by SLO76 on 15/12/2017 at 10:29

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - argybargy

I suggest you have a browse on here, Tall Boy:

And also this thread on the Ford Owners Club forum, which although it refers the turbo pipes of Ecoboost engines on Fiestas, is the same unit as fitted to the Ecoboost B Max.

So, rusted turbo pipes is something else to look out for if buying an Ecoboost.

There was a recall on earlier engines due to a problem with degas pipes rupturing, dumping the coolant and wrecking the engines, but a 15 plate should have had this addressed.

Edited by argybargy on 15/12/2017 at 10:50

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - bazza

My parents owned one, a 1.4 petrol for a year or so. Bought on the basis it was a more practical alternative to a normal Fiesta for older folk. In practice, yes, very easy to enter and exit the rear especially. Boot size not very much different to the Fiesta, with a high lip. But those sliding doors are very heavy, very difficult to open if parked on a downward slope, eventually becoming the reason to sell and go back to a normal Fiesta. The 1.4 was fine to drive, the 1.0 ( in rhe later Fiesta they have) is quicker through the gears and pulls impressively provide you are in the right gear. Catch it napping with the revs off boost and it bogs down with no torque at all, something the smaller 1.4 won't do The 1.4 unit is therefore slower but a much more flexible unit at low revs. Economy wise there's nothing in it. The B max drives like any other Ford, beautifully set up balance of ride, handling and road-holding. Overall though, I'd take note of SLO's comments regarding the fragility of the 1.0 Ecoboost and steer clear unless it's extraordinarily good value and you're happy with the deal.

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - John F
..... Don’t let your Ford dealer sweet talk you, these engines are fundamentally flawed. .....

Apart from the now sorted degas pipe problem, is the 'fundamental flaw' the cylinder head design? I have seen a post from a Hull engine repairer reporting cracks - not just a failed gasket. Has this been confirmed? Does anyone know if there is news from Ford about this and any cylinder head redesign? These engines must be churned out in vast numbers so the very occasional undetected casting problem can be expected, I suppose.

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - Tall Boy

Thanks for the answers so far - some definite food for thought there...

@SLO76: I'd ruled out the 1400 B-Max based on online reviews about the slowness, although I guess the car isn't really being bought for top-end performance anyway. The price is a little cheaper than I've been offered for the 1.0, too.

The C-Max is a good tip, as it would also seem to tick most of the boxes, and has some similarities in terms of internal flexibility to our outgoing motor (a VW Touran; we love the removable 2nd row seats). It's a bit more expensive than the B-Max I've seen, although I can see I'm getting a bit more car for my money too. Never quite sure about Evans Halshaw as a dealer, mind, based on the experiences of some friends and colleagues.

If I do go for the 1.0, rest assured I'll be looking at the relevant pipes and giving the pulling power a test :-) (Annoyingly it is rather a good deal; in addition to the good price, and an oil-change service before collection (it has FSH anyway), he'll include the 3-year service and MOT when they fall due later in 2018).

Edited by Tall Boy on 15/12/2017 at 16:13

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - Hojo_81

I wouldn't touch the 1.0 eco, they have a poor record, too high a risk hence the "good deal" but it's really not. Steer clear

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - madf

Trouble with the 1.0 is that often they fail AFTER being repaired...Either because repairs were done on the cheap or any overheating means the headgasket is on its way out.

You cannot detect any of these inherent faults - easily. And repairs can be £1000s.

Not a gamble I would take buying a car.

Ford B-MAX - 1.0 Ecoboost B-Max as a second car - thoughts? - Tall Boy

So - as it was a bit warmer today we managed to go and look at some cars, and it's all change!

Sadly the B-Max, C-Max and 'normal' Focus are all too small for our needs. By the time I get comfy in the drivers seat, my tall kids can't sit behind me.

We also tried a VW Polo and Golf (both 2014 models), and whilst they are acceptable, the 'VW premium' puts us off buying them as a second car.

However we decided to stop by the Vauxhall dealers on the way home, and after trying a Corsa and Astra (the Astra was OK size-wise), the salesman showed us a 2015 Meriva - and we all fitted in fine! Maybe it's not the most exciting car in the world (daughter instantly said 'this is a granny mobile!), but it seems to tick a lot of the boxes I outlined in my original post. The seemingly-obligatory turbo petrol engine makes an appearance, but it looks like there is an NA version too.

So it looks like the choice is between a Meriva, or spending some money on the Touran and keeping it going - not sure how that will enjoy being relegated to short-haul work (although it's old enough not to have a DPF, so that's something). I'll probably start a separate theread, to keep things 'clean'.


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