C-MAX 2.0 TDCi Titanium
new C-MAX is offered in two
forms: a regular five-seater and the
Grand C-MAX with a longer, taller
body, sliding rear doors and seven
seats. UK buyers prefer seven-
seat MPVs, so its the Grand thats
BY FORD'S OWN ADMISSION, it was way too late to the mid-size MPV market.
Its first attempt, the 2002 C-MAX, came to the party about twenty-four hours
after everyone else had eaten all the cocktail sausages. Not only was the C-MAX
well behind the competition in terms of timing, it was also not nearly as cleverly
For instance, it was a five-seater only; its rear seats didn't come out; and
if you wanted to slide the rear seats back, it became a strict four-seater.
The C-MAX still sold 730,000 units and, for a while, was even the UK's best-selling
Ford knows it needs to do better, and with the new generation C-MAX it's trying
to make amends. Which is why they're offering the new C-MAX in two forms: a
regular five-seater and the Grand C-MAX which comes with a longer, taller body,
sliding rear doors and seven seats the preferred format for UK
buyers. The Grand's extra 130mm (5 inches) in the wheelbase over the regular
five-seater C-MAX, plus its taller roof line, frees up space for an extra two
seats in the back.
in is made much easier by twin rear sliding doors a first for
Ford. They're very reminiscent of the Mazda5's a car with which
the Ford shares significant DNA. In fact, the Grand C-MAX has purloined a lot
of what makes the Mazda5 so appealing, including its seating layout.
in is made much
easier by twin rear
sliding doors a first
for Ford. Theyre very
reminiscent of the
a car with
which the Ford shares
The seating is one of the best aspects of the Grand. Taken directly from Mazda
is the 'walk-through' system, where the middle rear seat (not the most comfortable
in the cabin) folds into the base of the seat next to it. That leaves an aisle
free to access the rearmost pair of seats without having to disturb passengers
(or child seats) in the middle row.
Compared to the five-seater C-MAX, there's a lot more leg and head room in the
Grand's centre row. However, in the very back things are rather tight for grown-ups
although fine for a couple of smaller kids.
Folding the rear seats down is a very simple, one-touch job. The load floor
created is completely flat, so you can fit a huge amount in up
to 1,742 litres with all five rear seats down. But with the rearmost seats in
place, you can all but forget about luggage just 115 litres is
To drive, the C-MAX gives us big clues about the new Focus (due in the next
few months) because it's based on the same new platform. The news is good: the
C-MAX is surprisingly nimble on the road.
Electric power steering normally feels less connected than hydraulic systems,
but Ford's all-new electric steering has plenty of feel programmed in. This
encourages you to explore the C-MAX's handling which, for the record, is well
above the average for an MPV not that you'll be likely to fine-tune
your Colin McRae rally techniques with granny and the kids in the back!
Ride comfort is much more important in this market sector and, thanks to Ford's
new 'control blade' rear suspension, the C-MAX's is impressive. Whether loaded
or unloaded, it remains compliant and almost entirely free of the pitch and
body roll from which many MPVs suffer.
for engines, most MPV buyers these days go for diesel and the
C-MAX offers a choice of two. The 113bhp 1.6 TDCi is basically the same engine
as the one you'll find powering the Peugeot 5008, CitroŽn C4 Grand Picasso and
Mazda5. It's perfectly acceptable and low on CO2 emissions but
not what you'd call lively.
138bhp 2.0 TDCi,
offers much more pep
with no loss of
loaded up with seven
people, this is the
Far better is the 138bhp 2.0 TDCi, which offers much more pep with no loss of
refinement. And frankly, if you're loaded up with seven people, this is the
engine you'll need. Ford offers its excellent Powershift automatic as an option.
Only two trim levels are offered: Zetec and Titanium. All versions have alloy
wheels, AirCon, CD and Bluetooth/USB, while the Titanium adds automatic wipers
and headlamps, dual-zone climate control, Hill Start, keyless entry, cruise
control and a premium hi-fi.
Whichever trim level you go for, you'll enjoy surprisingly high quality cabin
materials and an excellent dashboard with clear gauges and a well-placed gear
Given that the Mazda5 and Ford Grand C-MAX are so closely related, which one
should you go for? If you prefer pure function, and like a bit of performance
from your diesel engine, go for the 2.0 TDCi Ford. If you think, as I do, that
the C-MAX's design elevates function above form, the more elegant Mazda definitely
has the edge. Chris Rees
Grand C-MAX 2.0 TDCi Titanium |
Maximum speed: 124mph | 0-62mph: 10.1 seconds | Overall MPG: 53.3mpg
Power: 138bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 139g/km