Ford C-Max 16 Photos Zoom

Ford C-Max in the road test: First drive in the optimised compact van

While brand new Galaxy and S-Max will be introduced to the market in Autumn, the Ford C-Max, having recently undergone a facelift, must make do with its old platform. Freshly packaged and spruced up inside, it will be with dealers from May. The road test report clarifies whether it still be as much fun.

So – it has now also arrived with the Max family: the powerful trapezoidal grille with its chromed struts. And yes – we can confirm: it fits really well with Ford's medium-sized van. But alongside the new visual appearance, Ford has also spruced up the interior considerably. No longer any sign of the mass of buttons and small monitors with poor map presentation. The new Sync2 infotainment system is here – and Sync2 can be simply operated via a 20.3-centimetre touchscreen with a sharp image and simple menu structure. The second advantage of the system already known from the new Focus: the significant reduction in the number of buttons and the resulting handsome-looking centre console. In addition to this, Ford has also managed to dig out and rubber coat such a deep compartment beneath the armrest that even litre bottles can be stored upright.

Fortunately Ford has changed little when it comes to drive behaviour. New damper valves, more rigid bushings - and nothing more. As a result, the setup remains firm, without irritating with jolts, and the steering is direct and precise. Those familiar with the brand will be familiar with the result: again in this Ford C-Max you can scurry quickly through corners without much lateral inclination - a small van that is a lot of fun.

Ten Euro-6 engines are available to choose from

Yes, yes, yes – those who actually want to acquire the visually more elegant C-Max have a lot of decisions to make. Five petrol engines and six diesel engines feature on the price list, as well as four different transmission systems. Among them a dual clutch transmission. New here, and a good choice if you can afford it: the new 1.5-litre Ecoboost four-cylinder with 148 HP. Very quiet and with low vibration levels, the four-cylinder pushes forward without delay and fits best with the cleanly shifting six-speed gearbox.

Also among the engines are the well-known Ecoboost three-cylinder engines with 99 and 123 HP New at the diesel end: three sophisticated four-cylinders with 94, 104 and 118 HP, whereby the middle engine with an NEFZ consumptio of 3.8 l/100 km is resplendent. The power two-litre TDCI has also been reworked and now emits up to 20 percent less carbon dioxide.

Unchanged, on the other hand: the still available "Grand" variants for an additional 1,500 Euros. A lot of money, and for it you get 14 centimetres more sheet metal, two practical sliding doors, boot space of up to 1,867 litres (rather than 1,723 litres) and the option of a third row of seats (760 Euros). For couldn't do anything to change the sense of space itself - it is correspondingly tight in the back. The bench is only practical for small passengers – especially since to reach the back you have to wriggle through the seats in the second row.

Ford C-Max with optimised assistance systems

Alongside the engines and cockpit, the developers have also adopted the safety systems. As such the van, with up to 180 HP now has adaptive cruise control, the emergency braking and parking assistants are now more thorough and, for the first time, adaptive xenon headlights including a cornering light are now available (from 1,040 Euros). Meanwhile Ford are holding firm with regard to prices and equipment lines. The price of the cheapest C-Max in the Ambiente version is unchanged at 17,850 Euros, while the appealing 148 HP petrol version costs at least 23,100 Euros (Trend). For a Titanium derivative, very popular according to Ford, you'll have to hand over an extra 2,150 Euros. The successful Sync2 is then already on board. Incidentally, always as standard: the grille.


Hans-Dieter Seufert


14 July 2015
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