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Ford Grand C-Max Titanium 1.6 150PS EcoBoost

Click to view picture gallery“Ford may well be the brand for the
  ‘man in the street
but that doesn’t
  mean you get bread-and-butter
  specifications. The Grand C-Max 1.6
  EcoBoost Titanium people-mover
  reviewed here costs 21,445 — but
s just the start of it...”

THE ACTUAL ON-THE-ROAD PRICE for my test car was considerably more due to the host of extra-cost items fitted. Items such as the brilliant burnt orange Mars Red metallic paint (an extra 495); an Appearance Pack with roof rails and privacy glass added another 275; a Convenience Pack with active park assist and front and rear parking sensors another 270; and the Titanium X Pack that includes leather trim, heated front seats, power driver
's seat, panoramic glass roof and Xenon headlights, bumped up the overall price by a further 2,000.

And we're not finished yet: the Towing Pack costs 750; the excellent Sony DAB navigation system with rear-view camera another 750; the Family Pack (includes power lift for the tailgate and rear sun-blinds) adds 525 and the larger 18-inch alloy wheels weighed in at an extra 400. Total extras? 5,465 for a total purchase price of close to 27K.

“Where the Grand C-Max
excels is in its ride
comfort and handling
refinement — Ford is
very good at developing
platform and suspension
combinations ideally
suited for what
customers really want
Now most customers will not add each and every one of these admittedly tempting items to their Grand C-Max, not even company car drivers because for them it means their Benefit-in-Kind tax bill will be even higher, but the optional kit fitted does demonstrate just how bespoke even a volume-produced Ford can be these days.

What do you get if you specify the Titanium trim? Everything but the kitchen sink! Well, certainly most of the major popular items needed for family or business transport such as 16-inch alloy wheels, electrically-heated front screen, front fogs, leather-wrapped steering wheel, front and rear electric windows, alarm, keyless entry, Sony DAB radio and CD system, Bluetooth, remote/power childproof locks, luggage cover, front seatback tables, rear parking sensors, power mirrors, auto lights and wipers, cruise control, hill launch assist, keyless start button and Ford's EATC safety system.

As for engine options, there are two 1.6 petrol and two 1.6/2.0 diesels for the Grand C-Max their power outputs range from 103 to 147bhp and there's a new PowerShift automatic transmission option paired with the 2.0-litre 138bhp turbodiesel. CO2 emissions run from 119 to 159g/km and the Combined Cycle fuel economy from 40.9 to 57.7mpg.

Due to today's much higher cost of diesel fuel it's now estimated that drivers covering less than 15,000 miles a year are better opting for petrol power. However, sales to date show the 1.6 TDCi 113bhp diesel unit to be the most popular powerplant with buyers.

To that I'd say that the large and heavy Grand C-Max is marginally more responsive to drive with the 2.0-litre 138bhp/236lb ft diesel whereas the non-Grand five-seater C-Max is best with the new direct injection EcoBoost 1.6 147bhp/177lb ft petrol unit.

As it turned out, my Grand C-Max test car was equipped with the 1.6-litre 147bhp EcoBoost direct injection turbocharged petrol unit which serves up 177lb ft of torque from under 2,000rpm and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. Officially this model will return 40.9mpg and my real-life figure for all types of driving worked out to 34.3mpg. With CO2 emissions of 159g/km, road tax is 165 a year and company car tax 21%.

Where both C-Max versions excel (the seven-seat Grand C-Max and the smaller five-seat C-Max range) is in their ride comfort and handling refinement. Ford is very good at developing platform and suspension combinations ideally suited for what customers really want.

The handling, even for
such a substantial
vehicle, is needle-sharp,
as is the steering.
And there’s lots of
front-end grip during
cornering and, bearing
in mind it
s a
genuine people-carrier,
there’s commendably
little body roll...”
The Grand C-Max's handling, even for such a substantial vehicle, is needle-sharp, as is the steering. And there's lots of front-end grip during cornering and, bearing in mind it's a genuine people-carrier, there's commendably little body roll.

The Grand's large sliding rear side doors are light and easy to use and come in handy in the snug parking spaces we now find in many car parks as vehicles are shoehorned ever closer together.

The Grand C-Max carries up to seven passengers in three rows of seats but, realistically, look on the third row seats as being only of use for short journeys and for those passengers with shorter legs. The width of the centre seat in the second row is also a 'snug' fit.

Used in seven-seat mode, the boot space is virtually nil okay, a meagre 56 litres (115 if you load to the roof). Lose passengers '6' and '7' and fold down the two rearmost seats and this improves dramatically to 755 litres; ideal for family holiday luggage. If you need pure load space then folding down the second and third rows provides up to 1,742 litres for cargo.

What these figures show is just how versatile the Grand C-Max is whether it's used as the family 'bus' on the school run or for carrying business goods or for active singles and couples with bulky leisure or sporting equipment to transport. And despite its body length of 4.5 metres and its 1.68-metre height, the Grand C-Max is easy to drive and park thanks to its light controls and large glass areas.

Against? Options add significant extra costs, not the most versatile in the use of variable seating positions, very limited rear row legroom, tight width for second row middle seat, and extremely small load space if all seven seats are used.

On the other hand it's enjoyable and easy to drive with capable handling, is comfortable and well built, has a great new-generation British-built petrol engine with cost-effective running costs and a flat loadbay floor with the rear seats folded down. And even the most nervous of drivers will not be put off by its bulk because it really is very easy to handle and sympathetic to drive. David Miles

Ford Grand C-Max Titanium 1.6 150PS EcoBoost | 21,445
Maximum speed: 126mph | 0-62mph: 9.9 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 34.3mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 177lb ft | CO2 159g/km