- Dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions makes the C-Max great value for company car drivers
- Introduction of SYNC 2 system means the C-Max family is ahead of rivals with in-car connectivity
- The C-Max also boosts family friendly credentials and looks better than ever
Ford has announced the updated C-Max and Grand C-Max, promising superior level of comfort and refinement along with engaging driving dynamics. Ford has also clearly taken on board the needs of company car drivers with its refreshed family of people-carriers, with the range now offering economical engines and appealing technology.
In particular, Ford has reduced the CO2 emissions of its 1-litre Ecoboost petrol engine to just 99g/km, putting it into a Benefit-in-Kind tax band of 12 percent for 2014/15. While P11D values aren't set in stone just yet, that means relatively low company car tax is assured.
The other powerplant offerings are similarly frugal; with Ford announcing new 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines, capable of over 50mpg. Ford clearly hopes this, along with other new features of the C-Max family will prove a winning combination with company car drivers.
A key part of this combination will be the introduction of Ford’s SYNC 2 system on the C-Max and Grand C-Max. The system first debuted early in September on the new Focus, and will certainly appeal to company car drivers. A USB connection point for charging and linking your mobile phone is included as standard, and will be appreciated by drivers constantly on the move. In addition, SYNC 2 allows users to call and text their contacts with voice commands; of course the success of system depends on how well it performs, but the days of poor voice recognition are hopefully over given Ford is making such a fuss about it.
The system also lets owners pre-heat or cool the car in time for their commute, a feature usually found on more expensive cars in the class such as the new Mercedes B-Class. The options list on the car has also been upgraded, with a heated steering wheel and load net fixing points now available.
The exterior of the C-Max family has been updated in line with Ford’s commitment to a global design language, and is a definite improvement on the outgoing incarnation. A new welding technique has resulted in a much smoother, sculpted car with the design far less fussy than it was previously. The grille has also been updated, to standardise it across the Ford range.
Inside the car, the focus of the update has been on ensuring the car is as family friendly as possible; essential in this sector. New innovative storage from deeper dashboard pockets and 1-litre bottle holders all make the C-Max a very practical proposition. The Grand C-Max still lacks three abreast seating in the very back, but realistically seven seats will be all that’s required for most. The middle seat in the second row remains cramped, and not suitable for adults on long journeys. It’s important to remember that without a major chassis overhaul, addressing these niggles would have been difficult for Ford.
A handfree tailgate is a world-first in this sector, according to Ford.
Overall, the C-Max family has received a positive update with plenty of practical features set to appeal to company car drivers and their families alike.
Pricing information and some more details of specifications will be announced soon, the car set to hit UK showrooms early in 2015.