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In-depth reviews

Ford B-MAX review - Reliability and Safety

Parts are shared with Fiesta, while B-MAX earned a five-star Euro NCAP score, but City Safety is optional

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Reliability and Safety Rating

4.2 out of 5

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The Ford B-MAX is one of the safest cars in its class, and it earned a full five-star score in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests in 2012. It scored 92 per cent for adult occupant protection, while child safety was rated at 84 per cent, and the safety assist category saw a 71 per cent score. In comparison, the Hyundai ix20 had an 89 per cent adult score, 64 per cent child rating, and a tech score of 71 per cent.

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Every Ford B-MAX model comes with electronic stability control and traction control fitted as standard, as well as driver, passenger, curtain, side and driver’s knee airbags. The front and rear doors overlap when they are closed to add strength to the car's frame, although unlike other pillarless door arrangements, you don't need to open the front doors to open the rears. Other clever safety tech includes brake lights that flash under heavy braking. Zetec models and above can also be specified with autonomous emergency braking for an extra £200.

Ford, as a volume manufacturer, has always had a relatively poor showing in the Driver Power customer satisfaction survey - it finished 25th out of a possible 32 places in 2015. The B-MAX, placed 128th in the model survey, some 76 places behind the Fiesta on which it's based. That car earned high scores for handling, reliability and low running costs, while the B-MAX should improve on the Fiesta's low score for practicality.

Warranty

The B-MAX comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is fairly standard, but rivals the Hyundai ix20 and Kia Venga have five and seven-year warranty cover. You only get one year's roadside assistance to go with it, too.

Servicing

You can drive the B-MAX for 12,500 miles or a year before you need to get it serviced, and services vary between minor and major. Petrol and diesel engines are subject to the same regime, while Ford offers fixed-price maintenance covering two or three years. However, while this takes the sting out of service costs - and you can add the service plan to your monthly payments if you're buying on finance - Ford's service plans aren't as good value as some rival schemes.

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