Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

There's a strong choice of both petrol and diesel engines in the C-MAX. The entry-level 1.6-litre (98bhp) and 1.8-litre (123bhp) models give decent performance and most families will find either more than adequate - although the smaller engine struggles with a full load. The 2.0-litre - with 142bhp is the most powerful petrol engine in the line-up and has plenty of overtaking punch plus, thanks to a six-speed gearbox, cruises effortlessly.

The modern diesels are understandably popular among buyers and it's easy to see why. The 1.6-litre TDCi is available with 90 or 110bhp and it's frugal too - thanks to it's blend of decent performance and economy, the 110bhp version is our pick of the engine range. There is a 1.8 TDCi with 115bhp available but with similar power to the smaller 110bhp 1.6-litre there seems little point in choosing it.

The 134bhp 2.0-litre TDCi is the C-MAX's most powerful engine and capable of 0-60mph in 9.3 seconds and a top speed of 124mph. If you can afford the extra, it's a great engine to go for.

The C-MAX was the first people carrier that was genuinely good to drive. It comes as no surprise as it's based on the Focus, itself one of the best handling hatchbacks around. It's pleasant to potter around town in, smooth on the motorway and has a good turn of speed on backroads. It also feels very agile, despite it's height, with excellent steering, good body control (it doesn't roll about through corners) and responsive controls.

It's a tidy and well-mannered drive - only the 2.0 TDCi comes close to being a little unruly in the wet but the ESP system keeps power to the front wheels under control.