Ford B-MAX

Ford's innovative small MPV pips its big brother – the C-MAX – to the Best Five-seat MPV award

Ford clearly knows what buyers want in this class, as it’s retained the Best Five-seat MPV award. Last year, the larger C-MAX took the honours, but it’s now been forced down the pecking order by its newer and smaller stablemate, the B-MAX.

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With its innovative door layout, which does away with the central pillar to open up the entire side of the car, the B-MAX has been able to redefine the small MPV class.

If you’ve seen the adverts showing a man diving through the open doors of a B-MAX into a swimming pool and dismissed them as a gimmick, don’t be fooled: the hinged front and sliding rear doors deliver real-world gains that any stressed-out parent will appreciate.

Whether you’re leaning across to strap a toddler in the back or hauling a heavy baby seat into the cabin, the wide openings and raised body come into their own.

Best of all, the trick doors demand only minimal styling compromises, and the B-MAX drives with the precision and enthusiasm that we’ve come to expect from modern Fords.

A cracking engine line-up, affordable running costs and versatile cabin complete the mix. And with compact exterior dimensions plus a raised driving position, the B-MAX is incredibly easy to drive and manoeuvre around town centres and into the tightest parking spaces.

Plus, if you’re worried those nifty doors won’t be so clever in a collision, think again: the B-MAX was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP and has a confidence-inspiring array of safety kit as standard, such as electronic stability control and curtain airbags. In short, it ticks every box, and a few more besides...

OUR CHOICE: 1.0T 125 EcoBoost Zetec (£16,795) Don’t be put off
by its diminutive size: the 123bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is easily up to the job of hauling the B-MAX around. And it does
it with superb character, too.

Commended

Fiat 500L

Love the Fiat 500, but need space? The 500L is the answer. Mixing the extra room and family-friendly touches of a supermini-MPV with the 500’s charm, it looks set to become a favourite.

Ford C-MAX

Last year’s winner is still a class 
act – great to drive, affordable to run, spacious and easy to live with. And the five-seat C-MAX even looks good. Only an outstanding performance by the smaller B-MAX keeps it off top spot.

Best MPV

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