New Ford Grand C-Max Review

A seven-seater people carrier that's fun to drive

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Fun to drive
  • Smart looks
  • Good engine range
  • Small third-row seats
  • Fiddly to fold seats
  • Noisy at high speed

£23,895 - £30,795 Price range

7 Seats

35 - 57 MPG


The Ford Grand C-Max is a mid-size seven-seater MPV that is great to drive and has some nice engine choices. Its closest rivals are the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer, the Volkswagen Touran and the Renault Grand Scenic.

There aren’t a lot of differences between this and the regular C-Max except for the two added seats in the boot and the increased passenger space. The dashboard is high quality, although the quantity of buttons can be confusing. There is plenty of headroom for passengers, but the rearmost seats are best left for children.

Out on the road, the Ford Grand C-Max is one of the best MPVs to drive in its class – there’s lots of grip, the steering is accurate and the overall feel is that of agility, rather than the boat-like-feeling you get in some seven-seaters.

Those who are looking for the most frugal Ford Grand C-Max should consider either of the diesel options – the 1.5-litre if you mostly drive the kids or the 2.0-litre if you constantly use all seven seats or carry lots of luggage. The petrols are smooth and quiet, but only make sense if you do most of your driving around town.

The Ford Grand C-Max may cost a bit more than some rivals but even the basic Zetec models come with everything necessary for family life and the Titanium X makes it quite luxurious. Pick the regular Titanium for added premium kit without bumping the price too much.

The Ford Grand C-Max uses high-quality materials throughout the cabin. Some of the controls are fiddly and oddly placed, but on the whole it’s cleverly designed and well suited for family life. Cubby holes are littered everywhere – even in the roof – and each door compartment can hold a 1.5-litre bottle.

Grand C-Max passenger space

The Ford Grand C-Max has a little more space inside than the regular car, liberating room for two child-size seats at the back, taking the total to seven. Sliding rear doors help access in car parks.

Grand C-Max Boot space

However, with the rearmost seats up there’s only 115 litres of boot space. Fold them away and you’re up to 432 litres, making the Grand C-Max slightly more sensible as a five seater than the C-Max or the Focus.

Testers find the Ford Grand C-Max slightly softer than the regular version, so the ride is ever so slightly better, but it’s still stiffer than some rivals – particularly French ones. Where it scores well is the driving enjoyment, and it’s a great deal more fun to drive around corners than any MPV has any right to be, with little body roll, well weighted steering and surprising agility. The Ford Grand C-Max is for the parent who wants to have fun when the kids aren’t in the car.

Only major criticism from reviewers is the excessive amount of wind noise in the cabin at speed.

There’s plenty of choice here, both petrol and diesel. Ford’s EcoBoost range of petrol engines is represented by the 1.0 (100hp, 125hp), and there’s a selection of turbodiesels in 1.5-litre (120hp) and 2.0-litre (150hp) forms.

Grand C-Max petrol engines

If shorter journeys are your thing, then it’s worth considering the petrol options because they’re cheaper to buy than diesel models. All units are smooth and refined, though the 100hp version may labour a bit with all seats occupied.

Grand C-Max diesel engines

The combination of performance and economy from the diesels somewhat eclipses the petrol units, so unless you’re doing lots of short journeys you should focus on the diesels. The 120hp 1.5-litre diesel offers the best fuel-sipping performance at 60.1mpg combined, while the 2.0-litre in top tune leaps off the line to 60mph in 9.2 seconds while still showing 55mpg.

There’s only one review for the Grand C-Max 1.6 125, and it’s not overly positive.

A small, naturally-aspirated engine in a heavy-ish car seems a bit old-school these days, but it presents an affordable point of entry for customers who want an occasional seven-seater. You sacrifice performance by taking this route - 0-60mph takes over 12 seconds - and economy isn’t as impressive as the diesel options either, at 40.9mpg on average.

The single review says that you need to work the engine hard to make progress, and this can harm economy further. It could be worth spending an extra grand or so not only to get better economy with the 1.6 TDCi, but also more relaxed progress, belied by the bare numbers.

The reviews of the Grand C-Max 1.6 Ecoboost 150 agree that it’s a good engine. Power delivery is smooth, it’s responsive and the fuel economy is impressive, though not quite as good as the diesel engines can offer. The big downside is that it’s currently only available in Titanium spec, which is expensive.

For those who feel the regular 1.6 Grand C-Max is a little underpowered, an extra 25 turbocharged horsepower should suffice. You also get a few extra miles per gallon, and two seconds chopped from the arbitrary 0-60mph time. Good news for all those frustrated Jenson Buttons out there.

Reviews are positive - there’s very little turbo lag, the engine is smooth, has plenty of low-down torque (good for hauling a car full of people about) and a good gearshift. Testers also comment on the good refinement - this is one quiet turbocharged engine. If there's one other downside, it’s that you can get the equally quick, but more economical 2.0 TDCi diesel for the same money.

Reviews of the Grand C-Max 1.6 TDCi say that it’s a frugal engine that doesn’t compromise too much in terms of power and responsiveness. It’s not particularly fast but the general consensus is that it’s a fine all-rounder which will suit most owner’s needs.

The lowest-capacity diesel in the C-Max range doesn’t have a lot of power, but still matches the basic 1.6 petrol on performance. Combine that with 57.7mpg economy, and you can see the attraction.

The relative lack of performance over some of the bigger-engined C-Max models doesn’t seem to hinder it in reviews, either. Testers comment on its refinement, which is ahead of rivals, and although not quick it still avoids feeling too sluggish. The engine also settles into a relaxed gait on the motorway, so you should be able to appreciate that impressive economy on longer journeys.

The reviews of the Grand C-Max 2.0 TDCi 140 all agree that this a good engine that suits the car well. It’s smooth, remarkably quiet and has plenty of power.

If you regularly carry a full complement of passengers, the 2.0 TDCi 140 could be the model you need. It comfortably out-performs the smaller diesel, and matches the 1.6 turbo EcoBoost while bettering its economy - managing 53.3mpg.

Reviews are positive too. Power is sent through either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, both of which make use of an engine that’s very refined. It almost matches the refinement of petrol variants, in fact. There’s a tiny bit of turbo lag but once past it the engine is responsive and pulls well. Testers say that the engine is quite flexible, once you’re moving.

There’s only one review so far of the Grand C-Max with the 2.0 TDCi 160 engine. This engine isn't currently on sale but the review says it’s a smooth engine with more than enough power. There are more economical engines to choose from though.

There’s only one review of the top-end TDCi at the moment, but it’s a positive one. Performance approaches what you might describe as genuinely fast, with 60mph achievable from rest in only 8.6 seconds, top speed is 130mph, and you won’t even be sacrificing much in the way of economy. Ford claims an average of 55.4mpg.

As for how the engine responds, it’s fairly similar to the less-powerful 2.0 TDCi. Refinement is class-leading, and the engine is always smooth. The extra power and torque of the 160 has little trouble moving the car and its contents down the road.

These are general, non-engine specific reviews. They give a nice overview of what the car is like, without focusing on just one engine/version.

Tested by Euro NCAP on launch in 2010, the Grand C-Max scored the full five stars without a hitch. The pedestrian safety rating was a little on the questionable side, but otherwise the rating was good.

The usual range of stability and traction control programs are present along with a number of airbags. All of the rear seats have Isofix mounting points and come with seat belt reminders.

Optional safety systems include emergency city braking, blind spot assist, lane assist as well as traffic sign recognition.

Ford is no longer a maker of cheap cars, and the Ford Grand C-Max isn’t the cheapest car in this class.

However, the extra money buys you more standard equipment. The basic Zetec model has air-conditioning, electric sliding rear doors, adjustable driver’s seat, heated windscreen as well as a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever.

The top of the range Titanium X adds quite a bit of luxury and comes with a panoramic roof, Bi-Xenon headlights, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with mobile phone connectivity, electrically adjustable driver’s seat as well as partial-leather heated seats. However, it makes the Ford Grand C-Max quite expensive, so we’d go for the middle-of-the-line Titanium trim.

Grand C-Max Titanium

The Titanium trim level costs around £2,000 more than the basic Zetec and for that you get bigger alloy wheels, automatic headlights, air-conditioning with separate temperature controls for the driver and passenger, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control as well as an eight-inch touchscreen for the infotainment. The clever roof-mounted storage areas and the child observation mirror are also part of the Titanium trim.


Largely everything that you can say about the C-Max can be applied equally to the Ford Grand C-Max. There are little differences in the experience that spring about from the longer wheelbase, but they’re not remarkable different cars.

The Ford Grand C-Max is great for taking your kids and their friends out and about and, once you’ve dropped them off, a lot of fun to drive back. It’s a very good car but as some of the reviews point out you can get similar elsewhere, including from Ford themselves, for less money. It’s still a recommended family car.

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