The safest small MPV on the market, the Ford B-MAX won Best Five-Seat MPV of 2013 at the Auto Express awards. This clever five-seater, based on the Ford Fiesta, stands out with its ingenious design. There are no central B pillars, so when you open the conventional front doors and sliding rear doors you’re faced with a huge opening. Access to the interior is really easy, which will appeal to parents needing to fit child seats, for example. It’s rumoured that this design feature could be applied to the new Ford S-Max due in 2014.
The brilliant Ford B-MAX is proof that small people carriers can be just as flexible. Fold the rear seats - a simple process that can be done with one hand only - and the boot size increases from 318 litres to 1,386 litres, and it’s a useful square shape. Plus, the tall body means excellent headroom throughout the well-equipped interior.
The clever doors demand no compromises on safety, as the B-MAX scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests and has ESP and plenty of airbags. Plus, as it’s based on the Fiesta, the car is good to drive and cheap to run. The award-winning 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol engines are punchy, fun and efficient. You can expect a Ford B-MAX mpg of over 55mpg, but the 1.6 TDCi diesel is the greenest choice with 70.6mpg and 104g/km, meaning £20 a year road tax. A low insurance group further adds to the appeal.