The Ford C-Max is one of the best cars in its class and is also surprisingly nice to drive for a family-focused people carrier. Before choosing the C-Max it’s worth taking a close look at some of the competition out there, not least the Citroen C4 Picasso, VW Touran and Renault Scenic.
Looking somewhat like a bulging family hatchback, the Ford C-Max actually offers bags of practicality and plentiful space for four adults. Carrying on with the theme, the driver of a C-Max could be forgiven for thinking they had actually purchased a Focus, were it not for the increased headroom. From the air vents to the dials and the switches, you will be very sure you’re in a Ford – though maybe slightly less sure which one.
The stand-out feature of the C-Max is the ride quality. Though a great drive is now expected from all Fords it is still a little surprising to have such a feel from a mid-sized multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). We tested the C-Max in 2015 and were impressed by its incredibly comfortable ride – when driving you feel very well isolated from any bumps in the road, making it ideal for keeping sleeping kids asleep on long journeys.
The C-Max doesn't feel like people carrier – it's comfortable and even fun to drive
The engine line-up is quite broad and covers everything from a highly-advanced and lively 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol to a 2.0-litre diesel with bags of pulling power.
Ford has positioned the C-Max between the multi-award-winning Focus and its namesake big brother the Grand C-Max. The latter offering sliding rear doors and a larger, seven-seat interior for those that need it.
Available in three iterations, even the entry C-Max Zetec offers 16-inch alloys wheels, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and a heated front windscreen.
Overall, the new C-Max is stylish, though maybe not quite as stylish as the Citroen C4 Picasso. It’s fairly economical, too, but doesn’t lead the class in either emissions or fuel use.
But – and it’s a big but – it’s the best car to drive in the class, and by some margin. We lived with a C-Max for a week and would rate it as one of the best cars out there for family duties. It’s comfortable, reasonably spacious and won’t break the bank.