What's the used Ford C-Max MPV like?
The original Ford C-Max, which was based on the Ford Focus family hatchback, caught the tide of popularity as people swam towards MPVs. So this model, which replaced it in 2011, was careful not to mess with the successful formula.
It was larger all round, because by then so was everything else, and, for those who needed even more space, there was also a stretched seven-seater version, the Grand C-Max. It was smarter, too, and more upmarket. The only fly in its ointment was that not long after it was launched, the buying public started to find favour with the SUV, and the MPV became yesterday’s hero.
Now, though, those after a five-seater of practical proportions for a modest outlay could do worse than seek out a used C-Max. There’s a reasonable range of engines to choose from: petrols kick off with an older 123bhp 1.6-litre unit and top off with two 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost units that make 99bhp and 123bhp. There are three diesel options: 1.5-litre units producing 103bhp and 117bhp and a 2.0-litre diesel with 148bhp.
Trims are kept fairly simple, too. There are three levels to choose from: Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X. The entry-level Zetec models get sport-style front seats, Ford's Quickclear heated windscreen, air conditioning, a DAB radio, hill start assist and heated door mirrors. Upgrade to Titanium and you get Ford's 8.0in Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, automatic lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry and start. Those who buy the range-topping Titantium X models get luxuries including a part-leather interior, bi-xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof and heated front seats.
On the road, it’s the 1.0-litre engines that appeal the most, and the 125bhp version in particular has enough urge to move the C-Max along nicely. It’s smooth and fairly economical, too. The diesels all have a fair amount of low-end grunt, and the 2.0 TDCi 150 is a real flyer, but there’s also a gruffness to them that the petrols don't have. In corners, the C-Max excels, with good front-end grip and well-weighted steering, so you can enjoy flinging it through a series of challenging bends. Ride comfort is good, too – it only really gets caught out on the roughest of our roads.
The interior is spacious and has a good driving position that provides excellent visibility. The dashboard design and the layout of the major and minor controls is standard Ford. There’s plenty of room up front, and rear seat passengers get plenty of head and leg room. There's even space for three abreast, at least for shorter journeys. The C-Max's layout is also flexible and practical, allowing you to fold away the middle seat to make life more comfortable for two passengers in the rear. The boot is a good size, even if the rear seats don't quie fold flat and there’s no variable-height boot floor.