2016 Ford B-Max 1.0 Ecoboost 140 Zetec Colour Edition review

Ford adds additional styling cues to its smallest MPV. We drive it to see if it's now the pick of the range...

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What Car? team
31 May 2016

The Ford B-Max is the firm's smallest MPV. It often goes under the radar when you think of MPVs and Ford, because its excellent S-Max and Galaxy take the headlines.

Following on from the Ka, Fiesta and Focus, the B-Max becomes the latest Ford to be offered in Colour Edition spec. It's available with three petrol engine choices: a 138bhp 1.0-litre, an 89bhp 1.4-litre and a 104bhp 1.6-litre with an automatic gearbox.

For no extra cost, you can choose from three additional external paint colours; Race Red, Frozen White and Moondust Silver.

The Colour Edition is based on the standard Zetec trim and adds more visual impact; the roof, grille, rear diffuser and parts of the front bumper are finished in black. It also gets 16in alloy wheels finished in black, a rear spoiler and rear privacy glass.

 

2016 Ford B-Max 1.0 Ecoboost 140 Zetec Colour Edition review

What’s the Ford B-Max Zetec Colour Edition like to drive?

The first thing you’ll notice (or hear) is the rather pleasant noise coming from the 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbo engine, which is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox. In a car this size, it has more than enough power, even if the 0-62mph time of 10.3secs doesn’t sound overly impressive.

The engine’s power delivery is consistent as revs rise, with peak power arriving around 4000rpm. This means you’ll want to rev it hard to get the best out of it. That said, for overtaking, a downshift is often required for swifter acceleration.

Ford is renowned for producing good handling cars that also ride well, and the B-Max is no exception. It handles impressively well for an MPV, because body lean is kept to a minimum and there’s plenty of grip.

The steering is accurate, very well weighted and the B-Max turns in keenly. But its top-trump is a comfortable ride, which deals effortlessly with speed humps and smaller road imperfections.

The interior remains quiet for much of the time, including at motorway speeds, although some suspension noise can be heard on rougher road surfaces. The gearbox and clutch are easy to use, with slick and accurate actions.

What’s the Ford B-Max Zetec Colour Edition like inside?

In truth, there is little difference inside the Colour Edition when compared to the Zetec trim.

The dashboard remains a rather busy place with lots of shapes, curves and buttons, although it’s stylish and gets black gloss trim. Some of the buttons are quite small, though, so you’ll need to concentrate on finding the one you're after.

The heating controls are simple enough, as is connecting to Bluetooth. The digital display at the top of the dash is now looking old, because newer rivals have larger screens with higher definition.

 

2016 Ford B-Max 1.0 Ecoboost 140 Zetec Colour Edition review

The B-Max's seats are comfortable and offer excellent support with plenty of driver seat adjustment. Add to that a steering wheel that's adjustable for reach and height, it's easy to find a good driving position. The steering wheel is well-sized and nice to grip, while the instruments behind are stylish and easy to read.

As you’d expect from an MPV, there’s plenty of space upfront and good levels of storage, including a central storage bin between the seats, good size door bins, a home for 4 drinks and a holder for your glasses near the rear-view mirror.

Access to the rear seats is excellent, because each rear door slides back, leaving a large unobstructed opening which make it much easier to get the kids in and out. There’s also more than enough space for adults in the back as there’s decent knee room and plenty of head and leg room.

 

2016 Ford B-Max 1.0 Ecoboost 140 Zetec Colour Edition review

A low boot lip makes it easier to get your weekly shopping in and out and the large square opening makes it less of a chore to load and unload larger or more awkward items, such as a suitcase or pushchair. Usefully, the boot floor is flat and adjustable, so it can be lowered to add more depth when needed.

The boot lid may not be electrically powered, but it is usefully light and has an easy to reach grab handle - you certainly don’t need superhuman strength to close it.

Should I buy one?

The B-Max is a very good small MPV, offering plenty of space and practicality in a petite package. It handles well, has a good ride and is nicely refined.

We like the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, however in this 138bhp spec it really starts to push the price up. That’s also the downside of the Colour Edition in general - it tips the scales at £16,345 before any added extras.

As standard, it gets air conditioning, quick-clear windscreen, electric folding mirrors and eight airbags, but unless you are particularly taken by the looks of this model, we’d recommend sticking with a lesser-powered 1.0T engine in standard Zetec trim.

You’d also be wise to take a look at the Citroen C3 Picasso before making your mind up, as it has catwalk styling, a spacious interior, lots of practicality and a keener price.

Matthew Griffiths


What Car? says...

Rated 3 out of 5


Rivals

Citroen C3 Picasso

Vauxhall Meriva


 


Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost

Engine size 1.0-litre petrol

Price from £16,345

Power 138bhp

Torque 133lb ft

0-62mph 10.3 seconds

Top speed 122mph

Fuel economy (official) 56.5mpg

CO2 output 116g/km