Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The C-Max is competitively priced but isn’t as well equipped as some rivals, particularly the Citroën C4 Picasso. Zetec trim is our favourite option; it’s the entry-level model but still comes with alloy wheels, air-con, digital radio, a USB input, heated windscreen and door mirrors. Add the 8.0in colour touchscreen with sat-nav and rear parking sensors and you’ve got a fairly well equipped car for substantially less than what you’d pay for the Titanium model.
Having said that, plenty of buyers will still opt for Titanium, because it is better equipped, coming with the touchscreen (although sat-nav is an option), cruise control (not even an option on Zetec), electric windows in the front and back, dual-zone climate control and auto lights and wipers. You’ll still have to pay to add rear parking sensors, but for those who value their comforts, Titanium is the one to go for.
PCP finance deals tend to be competitive and company car buyers will find tax costs very reasonable, albeit not as good as they are on the C4 Picasso.
Real-world fuel economy is pretty good on the 1.5 diesel. If our economy tests in the Focus are anything to go by, you can expect to return more than 50mpg, but the 1.0 Ecoboost does tend to be a long way off its claimed figure and is more likely to be nearer the high-30s to low-40s.
All C-Max models get six airbags, and the full suite of traction control, stability control and automatic emergency braking is standard. However, lane and blindspot assist, automatic parking, tiredness warning and traffic sign recognition are all options.
Euro NCAP awarded the very similar Grand C-Max three stars for safety. It scored lower marks in the adult, child and pedestrian protection categories than the C4 Picasso and Volkswagen Golf SV, although it's worth pointing out that those two cars were tested several years earlier, when the testing procedure was less stringent than it is now.
A three-year, 60,000-mile warranty is standard, which is on a par with most rivals but isn’t the class best. The C-Max did well in our latest reliability survey, gaining second place (along with its Grand C-Max sibling) in the MPV category, while Ford as a brand came an impressive nineth out of 32 manufacturers.
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