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.
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.
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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