Ford B-MAX: Not-so-big day out

  • Our Ford B-MAX EcoBoost has its first outing as a family car
  • Sliding doors and ride comfort are popular with the small Joneses
  • Lack of storage spaces and dark interior trim count against it

My kids aren’t into cars. At all. This despite them being exposed to over 200 different test models over the past couple of years. Whenever I ask “what do you think?” I’m greeted with two stock responses and their first encounter with the B-MAX was no exception.

Them: “Does the roof come down?”

Me: “No.”

Them: “Does it go fast?”

Me: “Erm, no… But the back doors slide open.”

Fin, aged 10 and middle child of three, decided this was ‘cool’. I gingerly trod into dangerous territory and asked him why they were cool. I’d hoped for a worthy answer about them being more convenient in car parks or even something fun like them reminding him of the door to a superhero’s secret lair. “Because it’s like being in the back of a van” was his reply. The minds of children.

I’d taken the B-MAX for the weekend as I wanted to put it through paces more aligned with its designers’ intentions – as a compact, practical family car. The designated task was a day trip to London with the three Jones juniors occupying the rear bench.

For reasons I won’t bore you extensively with, having accompanied Mrs J to A&E until the early hours, departing Lincoln for the big smoke at 6:00am, on just three hours sleep, was a non-starter. She’s well again now. Thanks for asking.

So, as an alternative to a day exploring the sights and sounds of the capital, we instead headed to that other well-known tourist hotspot, (former) RAF Metheringham. My foresight was sadly in need of a visit to the opticians as, upon arrival, the museum was shut.

Ever resourceful, I decided the kids could tell me more about what they liked about the B-MAX.

Jack, who’s 12 going on 32, immediately highlighted the convex interior mirror mounted at the top of the windscreen. “It’s like having eyes in the back of your head,” he said, sounding worryingly like me. But he’s right, it gives the driver a view of the back seat without being in your immediate eye-line, so it doesn’t distract from the road ahead.

 

Lily, seven years old with the mood swings of a girl at least twice her age, was in a usefully cordial frame of mind. She took her time finding anything that stood especially out for her before finally deciding the shape of the interior plastic moulding where the back seat meets the door opening was “like an armchair”.

I see what she means, the outline being reminiscent of a Dickensian wing-back chair, but with a lack of sufficient padding, let alone antique leather upholstery, there the similarity ends.

Not winning any fans were the dark seat trim (beige is an option but not with the Race Red paintwork), absence of a glass roof (a £550 option) and a general lack of neat storage areas in the back.

As we headed back home across the strips of road bisecting the flat Lincolnshire countryside, the three of them were complimentary about the ride quality. Fin helpfully pointed out that he doubted he’d feel sick on a longer journey in the B-MAX. If any car manufacturers are reading this, as a measure of ride comfort, the Finlay Jones Nauseometer is available for rent at a reasonable rate.

They were also EcoBoost converts learning that the tiny three-cylinder engine would fit into a small suitcase. Jack’s query about whether it was a diesel said much about the engine’s low-speed noise though.

Overall, the kids gave it the thumbs up but it still faces the challenge of a multiple hour ordeal of three arguing pre-teens on the back seat.

Total mileage: 6,665 miles Average mpg: 36.9 mpg