Ford B-MAX: Meeting people

  • Parkers’ B-MAX long-termer meets potential buyers
  • Sliding doors, equipment and space get thumbs up
  • Thick pillars and small boot appeal much less

Having recently caught up with fellow B-MAX drivers Tanya and John Wiles, I decided to introduce our EcoBoost-engined Titanium model to a variety of friends and acquaintances who were new to the small Ford.

As car buyers continue to downsize, would the B-MAX tempt them away from their current cars? Would they find the lack of central pillar great or gimmicky?

Martin Barrow, Academy Site Manager

“Even for me there’s plenty of space up front, with all the controls within easy reach. It’s not difficult to get into either as the doors are tall and the seating position’s high. Large door mirrors give a great view of the road behind.

“I’m not so keen on the sliding doors and the lack of central pillar. Don’t see what value or benefit they offer. And the blind spot they make at the front with the thick windscreen surround really isn’t good.”

  • Verdict: Not for me


Hannah Gilbey, Journalist

“Well, this is quite funky isn’t it? I like how it feels like quite an expensive car and the technology like voice activation’s really cool. Those sliding doors make it really easy to get in and out too.

“I’m not so keen on the seatbelt position though – that feels weird – and that front corner might be difficult to see out of if you’re taller. The boot’s a decent size but it’s high isn’t it?”

  • Verdict: Can see it appealing to young families


Louise Kotek, Special Educational Needs Teacher, and Nigel Hinds, Mental Health Professional

“Wow! Isn’t there a lot of space? I can just about get in behind Nigel and he’s 6 feet 5. That lack of a middle pillar makes it much easier to get in and out of and the seating position’s nice and high too.

“Oh! The boot’s a bit small. Could a young family get much in there? Not sure I like the design either – it’s a bit function over form I’d say.”

  • Verdict: More for oldies?


Karl McCartney, Member of Parliament, Cordelia McCartney, Garden Designer, with Henry and Freddie

“Well those sliding doors are great for car parks and the shelf in the boot’s useful for hiding stuff under. It even looks like there’s space to work on that tiny engine.”

“Not so keen on how heavy the doors are, they could be too difficult for younger children to use and this one’s very expensive.”

  • Verdict: Like the idea but this one’s too expensive


Glenn Moore, Maths Teacher

“Well, this feels almost as roomy as my Espace up front and the plastics and controls all feel good too. Impressive range of safety features on this one.”

“Not liking the visibility though – the pillars are really thick and the windows at the side and back seem small to me. That seatbelt might annoy me after a long drive too.”

  • Verdict: I like it – more interesting than a Fiesta


Kate Taylor, Journalist and Sociologist

“I’m surprised how much I like the interior, it feels well-made and is ergonomically laid out. This version’s well-equipped too, it seems as though you get a lot for the money.”

“What I’m less convinced about is whether the doors are of much use on a car this size and the boot’s compact for a family car.”

  • Verdict: Good but the doors would work better on a C-MAX


Abby Walters, Healthcare Professional

“It’s really spacious up front isn’t it? And I like the equipment and technology – the voice recognition and Sync is great. The split floor boot’s bigger than I expected too.”

“Really not keen on the sliding doors – I can’t say I’ve ever felt like I needed them and they’re heavy too. Where the seatbelt is would annoy me. Why doesn’t it adjust?”

  • Verdict: I like it but it’s too small for my family.

Overall the space and equipment seems to win people over but while the sliding doors and lack of central pillar are intriguing several found the trade-off with thicker pillars frustrating.

Inconclusive first impressions then, but that sums up my few months with the B-MAX too. It’s a car that appeals more as you get to know it and benefit from its features.

Total mileage: 8,681 miles Average mpg: 39.2 mpg