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Ford Grand C-Max

Ford Grand C-Max Review

The seven-seat Ford Grand C-Max is a fine family car, but its rearmost seats are really only suitable for children and you can buy similar cars for less

7/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Fun to drive
  • Smart looks
  • Good engine range

What's not so good

  • Small third-row seats
  • Fiddly to fold seats
  • Noisy at high speed

What do you want to read about Ford Grand C-Max?

Overall verdict

The seven-seat Ford Grand C-Max is a fine family car, but its rearmost seats are really only suitable for children and you can buy similar cars for less

The Ford Grand C-Max is the smallest of the three seven-seat MPVs that Ford sells. So, whereas the larger S-Max and Galaxy are alternatives to the likes of the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, the Grand C-Max is an alternative to the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer, the Volkswagen Touran and the Renault Grand Scenic.

As the word ‘Grand’ implies, this is simply a larger version of the five-seat C-Max. The Grand has a little more space inside than the regular car, and the big difference is that there’s enough room for two child-size seats in the back, taking the total capacity to seven.

This all helps to make the Grand C-Max well suited to the demands of family life. There is plenty of headroom for passengers, but if you need that third row of seats to take passengers any larger than children, you’ll be better off with an S-Max or Galaxy.

On the other hand, if the Grand C-Max is big enough, you’ll find that the sliding side doors are a big help getting in and out of the car in tight spots. Overall, in fact, this is a practical car.

Cubby holes are littered everywhere – even in the roof – and each door compartment can hold a 1.5-litre bottle. Admittedly, boot space is pretty tight with all seats up; but, when you fold down the rearmost seats, you have up to 432 litres, making the Grand C-Max slightly more sensible as a five-seater than the C-Max or the Focus.

If you think you’ll only use seven-seats occasionally, then the Ford Grand C-Max is definitely worth a look

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Cubby holes are littered everywhere – even in the roof – and each door compartment can hold a 1.5-litre bottle. Admittedly, boot space is pretty tight with all seats up; but, when you fold down the rearmost seats, you have up to 432 litres, making the Grand C-Max slightly more sensible as a five-seater than the C-Max or the Focus.

Some more modern Fords are a little smarter inside than the Grand C-Max, but the materials used throughout are generally high-quality. More of an issue is that some of the controls are fiddly and oddly placed, but on the whole it’s cleverly designed.

What makes the Grand C-Max really stand out from the alternatives is how good it is to drive. There’s lots of grip, the steering is accurate and the overall feel is that of agility, rather than the driving-a-boat-like-feeling you get in some seven-seaters.

The downside is that the suspension is set up a little firmer than in some of those alternatives, so you may feel more bumps. But, it’s a small price to pay for how enjoyable this car is to drive. 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. And, the only major criticism is the excessive amount of wind noise in the cabin at speed.

If you’re doing lots of long journeys or just want the most economical Grand C-Max, you should go for one of the diesel engines, all of which combine decent performance and good economy. The petrols are smooth and quiet, but only make sense if you do most of your driving around town.

The other advantage of the petrol engines is that they’re cheaper to buy; and, that’s particularly good news because the Ford Grand C-Max costs a bit more than some rivals. Then again, even the basic Zetec models come with everything you need for family life and the Titanium X makes the car quite luxurious. In between, the regular Titanium adds some premium kit without bumping up the price too much.

No matter which trim you choose, you’ll end up with a car that scored a full five stars for safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2010. The usual range of stability and traction control programs are present, along with a number of airbags and ISOFIX mounts on all of the rear seats. Among the optional safety systems are emergency city braking, blind spot assist, lane assist as well as traffic sign recognition.

In some ways, the Ford Grand C-Max is a car that lets you have your cake and eat it. It’s great for taking your kids and their friends out and about; and, once you’ve dropped them off, it’s a lot of fun to drive back. It’s a recommended family car, but you can get a similar car elsewhere for less money.

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