Ford C-Max MPV full 9 point review
Of the engines we've tried in the C-Max, our favourite is the 114bhp 1.6-litre diesel. It has all the strength you need, even when you're loaded up with passengers and luggage. It's so good, it renders the more powerful 2.0-litre diesels a little redundant. The 148bhp 1.6 petrol is strong, and even the 99bhp 1.0-litre is up to the job of powering the C-Max.
Ride & Handling
The steering is light enough to make low-speed manoeuvres a doddle, but it’s also quick and precise at speed. Strong grip and minimal body lean add to the C-Max’s agile feel, and the ride is impressively settled on the motorway. The car can thump a bit over urban potholes, but it quickly recovers its composure.
Some wind noise builds up around the door mirrors and front pillars at motorway speeds, but road noise is rarely an issue. The 1.0 and 1.6-litre Ecoboost petrol engines are impressively refined at a cruise, too, but the 1.6 can be boomy if you leave it in too low a gear. The diesels are a bit rattly when you rev them, but they're otherwise pretty quiet.
Buying & Owning
Prices are no better than average for the compact MPV class, and some engines are offered in range-topping trim only. Still, the C-Max should be cheap to run. The 1.6-litre diesel is economical and attracts a lowly company car tax rating. The 1.0-litre petrols helps keep tax costs down, too.
Quality & Reliability
Despite the upper dashboard being made from dense, soft-touch plastics, the C-Max's cabin doesn't feel as classy as those in many rivals. However, Ford finished ninth out of 38 manufacturers in our latest reliability survey, and owners rated the C-Max as above average for reliability.
Safety & Security
The C-Max has a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, and every model comes with electronic brakeforce distribution, stability control and front, side and curtain airbags, while a system that warns if a car is in your blindspot is available as an option. Deadlocks, marked parts and an alarm that’s been approved by insurance research body Thatcham provide protection against theft.
Behind The Wheel
You get an elevated driving position and loads of seat and steering wheel adjustment. However, thick windscreen pillars can obscure your view through bends and the rear screen is quite small. The rotary heater controls are simple to use, but some of the buttons for other systems are fiddly.
Space & Practicality
The five-seat C-Max is a tall car that’s just 140mm shorter than the seven-seat Grand model, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s loads of leg- and headroom inside. The boot is large and well shaped, and the rear seats can be tumbled forward or removed entirely. Sadly, they’re heavy to lift and folding them leaves a big step in the load area. The middle rear seat is narrow, too.
Even the cheaper Zetec cars come with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a heated windscreen and a digital radio, so they're our favourite. Upgrading to Titanium trim adds a premium Sony stereo, automatic headlights and wipers, climate control, keyless start and cruise control. Titanium X adds a glass roof, part-leather trim and a powered driver's seat, but they're expensive.