Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
This is one area where the C-Max excels. There’s good front-end grip, so you can enjoy slinging it in to corners with more vigour than you would in any of its rivals, and the steering weights up well to give you a decent sense of connection. Having said that, the steering also self-centres a little too keenly and there is a noticeable amount of body lean through bends, so while it’s very good by class standards it’s not perfect.
Ride comfort is very good. The damping softens even the worst bumps and ruts, and keeps the tyres firmly in contact with the road even over fast mid-corner intrusions.
It is worth finding the reasonable amount of extra cash required to get the more powerful 124bhp 1.0 Ecoboost over the 99bhp, because it does feel noticeably more peppy. It revs smoothly and pulls well even from low revs.
However, if you’re likely to carry a full load of people and luggage regularly, or if you do a lot of mileage and want the best fuel economy, the 1.5 diesel is likely to be a better bet. It isn't the most refined engine of its type, but its better low-down pulls and added flexibility will come in useful when you've got a full car.