A week after test driving Ford’s new scorching hot hatch, the Focus ST, I took delivery of Ford’s new B-MAX. Going from 250hp to just 100hp might lead you to believe you’ll be in for a pretty dull drive, thankfully that’s far from the truth. In reality they’re two very different cars, aimed at two very different markets and motorists.
Personally, one of the B-MAX’s best features is its engine. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is a revelation, its punches far above its weight in terms of cubic capacity. It first made an appearance earlier this year in the Ford Focus and is just as suited to the B-MAX’s platform. There’s also a 1.4-litre offering 90hp and a 1.6-litre petrol variant with 105hp available, as well as a 1.5-litre diesel unit with 75hp. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit offers sufficient power for the vast majority of drives, it’s economical too, capable of achieving a combined fuel consumption of 5.1l/100km (55.4mpg). With 119g/km of CO2 emitted, it benefits from tax band A placement. At no time over the duration of my week’s drive did I find myself looking for more power, even with passengers on board the B-MAX moved along at a swift rate. As with previous Fords the car handles competently on all surfaces, it’s not the type of car that you’d push on, but if the need arises there’s a stable chassis beneath you offering a composed and reassuring ride.
The most talked about feature of the new B-MAX is its easy access door system. Unlike a conventional car, the B-MAX doesn’t have B pillars, (the post between the front and rear doors) the front doors are hinged as per normal with rear sliding doors. This results in a large opening (1.5m wide) when the two side doors are opened, allowing unobstructed entry and exit for passengers. Aside from the revolutionary easy access doors, the B-MAX is the first European Ford model to offer their new SYNC system. SYNC is an advanced voice control, device integration and connectivity interface. Using this system you can make hands-free telephone calls and select music tracks to play. We tried it out during our test drives and found it particularly useful for reading out text messages received, as you don’t need to touch your mobile phone whilst driving. It’s a great development in safety and something worthwhile opting for.
Irish motorists can purchase a B-MAX across two trim specifications, B-MAX and B-MAX Titanium. The entry-level variant comes adequately equipped with items such as all colour-coded mirrors and door handles, air conditioning, fold flat passenger and rear seats, ESP, deflation detection system and remote central locking included. The Titanium model benefits from additional equipment which includes, 15” alloys, front fog lights, LED daytime running lights, a heated windscreen, child observation mirror and a trip computer. Prices for the B-MAX commence from €19,170 for the 1.4-litre 90hp model. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost variant is priced from €21,600.
The Ford B-MAX ticks all the boxes for offering practical family motoring, it’s also cost effective to run, especially if you opt for the three-cylinder engine which we found to be extremely frugal.[table “93” not found /]