Best Five-Seat MPV: Ford C-MAX
The C-MAX has emerged from the shadow of the big-selling Ford Focus, and it deserves to take centre stage.
Why it won...
The C-MAX has emerged from the shadow of the big-selling Ford Focus, and it deserves to take centre stage. In five-seat form, the high-riding MPV looks as smart and drives almost as well as its hatchback cousin, and it’s much more family-friendly, with extra rear space, a brighter cabin and a much bigger boot.
Lift the tailgate, and the C-MAX comes into its own, as its 432-litre boot comprehensively outguns the meagre 316 litres provided by the Focus, helping to make the compact MPV a brilliant family car.
The range includes a choice of five smooth and efficient engines, but the diesel models make the most sense and the 113bhp 1.6-litre TDCi engine is the most appealing of the lot, due to its efficiency and performance.
As with most Fords, the C-MAX drives rings around rivals thanks to its entertaining chassis, precise steering and agile handling, and the really clever bit is that its suspension still absorbs bumps brilliantly, so the Ford is both refined and comfortable.
If we have a criticism, it’s that much of the advanced safety kit available on the new Focus isn’t on offer – but this wasn’t enough to put off our judges.
The question now is whether or not the C-MAX will be able to make it two in a row at next year’s Awards. With the company’s innovative new B-MAX waiting in the wings, its biggest rival could be another car from within the Ford family.
Our choice: 1.6 TDCi Zetec
The C-MAX doesn’t have the biggest model range in the business, but it doesn’t need it – because there’s not a bad choice in the line-up. The 113bhp 1.6-litre TDCi is the best thanks to its low running costs and CO2 emissions of 119g/km.
The Jazz has evolved into a fantastic supermini-MPV, with brilliant build quality, tidy handling and smart looks. Factor in its superb packaging and innovative ‘Magic’ rear seats and you have a terrific car for young families – but avoid the overpriced and flawed Hybrid.
Hyundai is on a roll and the ix20 is one of the models that helped to get it moving. Its cars are competitively priced and well equipped, but the ix20 is stylish, good to drive and spacious, too. A five-year unlimited mileage warranty cements its status as an extremely sensible buy.
Read our latest run down of the best MPVs
- 1IntroductionThe awards everyone wants to win are back as we name the finest models in 18 categories and crown our Car of the Year for 2012
- 2Best City Car
- 3Best SuperminiPeugeot has rediscovered its touch. The RCZ coupe has been winning awards and turning heads for the last couple of years
- 4Best Compact Family CarIt was always going to take something special to beat the Volkswagen Golf, and the new BMW 1 Series is exactly that.
- 5Best Family Car
- 6Best Five-Seat MPV - currently readingThe C-MAX has emerged from the shadow of the big-selling Ford Focus, and it deserves to take centre stage.
- 7Best Seven-Seat MPVThe SEAT Alhambra has made the MPV sector its own and after scooping the top prize last year, nothing in the past 12 months has been able to dislodge it from the top of the class
- 8Best Estate CarThe Skoda Superb Estate has scored a hat-trick of wins in the Estate Car category at our annual awards, and it’s going to take something seriously talented to knock it off the top step of the podium next time around.
- 9Best Crossover
- 10Best Compact SUV
- 11Best Large SUVIf the Discovery carries on at this rate, it will deserve an outstanding achievement award at our next New Car Awards.
- 12Best Hot HatchA fast Ford is back on top of the hot hatch pile, and having met the people behind the new Focus ST, we’re not surprised.
- 13Best ConvertibleThe best convertibles need to be as good with their roofs up as they are with them folded, and the Golf Cabriolet is exactly that.
- 14Best CoupePeugeot is back with a bang this year – although it never really went away.
- 15Best Roadster