Ford B-MAX review - Interior, design and technology
Sharp lines and familiar Ford styling cues break up the B-MAX's otherwise ordinary one-box shape
Ford has decided to go radical with the design of the B-MAX and has removed the structural door pillars that strengthen the middle car. Instead, Ford has integrated them into the sliding doors themselves, which creates a vast opening that doesn't compromise the body’s integrity or crash protection. Apart from the door runners cut into the rear wing panels, Ford hasn't compromised the styling of the B-MAX, either.
The overall design is a mixture of the Fiesta on which it's based and the larger C-MAX, and features swooping headlights and wraparound rear light clusters. It's not as appealing to look at as the Ford Fiesta, but the B-MAX still has the edge over the Vauxhall Meriva and Kia Venga – although the car looks a little slab-sided on smaller 15-inch wheels.
Ford offers the B-MAX in four specifications - entry-level Studio, mid-range Zetec and the flagship B-MAX Titanium and Titanium X models.
The entry-level Studio is sparsely equipped, but Zetec versions get loads of kit and accessories, including Ford's MyKey system, which lets you limit the volume of the radio or the car's top speed when the driver uses the spare key. Other kit includes 15-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights and air-conditioning.
Move up to the B-MAX Titanium, and you get desirable additions such as 16-inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, heated seats, a starter button instead of key ignition, climate control and cruise control. Options include a City Pack, which features parking sensors and power-folding door mirrors, while the Titanium X Pack gets part-leather seats, heated front seats and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the Ford B-MAX has a rather cluttered dashboard, with a lot of buttons on the centre console and a central display that's set well back on top of the dash. Still, it's built to a higher standard than the Kia Venga and Hyundai ix20. Zetec models and above benefit from gloss black trim for the centre console and classy metal trim for the air-conditioning and infotainment controls.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Navigation is an option on Zetec and Titanium cars, although the small 4.2-inch screen is rather small. Ford's SYNC voice activation is available across the range. This recognises voice commands and is meant to help the driver keep his hands on the wheel, rather than fumbling around for the relevant dashboard button or dial. Titanium cars can also be upgraded with a premium Sony sound system, which adds eight speakers to the cabin.
In this review
- 1Ford B-MAX reviewThe Ford B-MAX brings sliding doors and the verve of the Fiesta supermini to the small MPV sector
- 2Engines, performance and driveB-MAX is fun to drive, yet is also comfortable and easy to park, too.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsNew 1.5 TDCi diesel is clean, but you'll struggle to match EcoBoost petrol's claimed MPG figures
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingSharp lines and familiar Ford styling cues break up the B-MAX's otherwise ordinary one-box shape
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceSliding doors are a highlight, while passenger and boot space are great for a car of this size.
- 6Reliability and SafetyParts are shared with Fiesta, while B-MAX earned a five-star Euro NCAP score, but City Safety is optional