Many new vehicles are getting bigger and stronger. This is also the case with the Ford B-Max, which succeeded the rather unpopular Ford Fusion in 2013. The B-Max is also based on the platform of the small car Fiesta, but offers significantly more. More space. More ideas. More space is clearly visible, the high roof is responsible for it. More ideas? You can tell when you open the doors for the first time. Instead of conventional doors attached to the B-pillars, the little Cologne-based model has two sliding doors that promise particularly easy access to the rear seats. We wanted to try out whether this is just a design gag or is actually useful in everyday life with children and the family.
Test: Ford B-Max 1.0 Ecoboost
Get in 1-2-3
Probably no other mini-van is so easy to get into. And there is probably no other mini-van in which it is so easy to strap the children onto the child seat as in the new Ford B-Max: the rear door is pushed back firmly, the child is lifted and put in the seat. This is a nuisance no B-pillar. And this feat is easy to achieve even in tight parking spaces. If you need more space than the feasible 1.5 meters through the sliding doors, you can also open the front door and push the seat forward. It couldn't be easier, even if the seat belts seem a bit too short for some baby seats. Especially when shopping in the city and in tight parking spaces, the sliding doors are simply a stunner. Those who frequently want to transport particularly bulky goods in the back seat can also look forward to this exceptionally wide access to the rear. Okay, that one too Opel Meriva has two opposing doors, but also solid B-pillars. The B-Max is clearly cleverer solved. However, it remains to be seen how stable the passenger compartment will be after five or ten years, because the B-pillar usually ensures sufficient rigidity of the body. Another disadvantage: The seat belts for the front seats are integrated into the seats and can not be adjusted in height. Anyone who loves a high tuned belt will feel restricted in Cologne. For all others, the disadvantage becomes an advantage. The belt is easy to get and designed accordingly easily.
What strikes and confuses you the first time you get in is the many small buttons for the radio and control system. Although you get used to it over time, but less would be more here. Especially as Ford at the premiere of the new models (z.Bsp. Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo) has shown that you can do it better yourself. A slightly larger monitor in the middle of the dashboard would suit the Cologne-based company better, even if the navigation device is only available from Ford as an external device. A look at the new Ford models shows, however, that it is only due to the facelift - as soon as the B-Max is “freshly made”, the new operating concept will also move in there!
No titanium, only titanium
As usual with small cars, the leg rests on the front seats are quite short. This is useful if you get in and out often, but on longer journeys you would like three to five centimeters more support for your thighs. The chairs of the B-Max offer firm and comfortable cushions, a high seating position and a very good all-round view.
In the interior, the little Ford looks astonishingly grown-up: Good workmanship, very high-quality materials and new safety and comfort features in the higher-quality variants. From the "Titanium" level, the air conditioning is included as standard. Our test car came to the test as a 1.0 EcoBoost with this equipment variant and - if it is properly equipped - it is quickly approaching the 20.000 euro mark. For this, details such as a rear parking aid, start-stop system, a heated windscreen, an audio system from Sony, air conditioning and rain and light sensors are included and raise the mini-van to the level of the compact car class.
The 4,08 meter long Ford is a small car, which its owner notices at the latest when loading. Even if the B-Max is intended for the small city family, it is difficult to get a decent stroller into the trunk. Because the volume is 304 liters, 30 liters smaller than the previous Fusion. At least a double bottom makes it easier to load water boxes. The 60:40 division of the rear seat bench remains for the large strollers. This means that the loading of bulky goods also works.
Who has the stroller time behind, who will probably be pleased about the folding passenger seat. This can then stow up to 2.35 meter long boards in the interior.
We drove the B-Max with Ford's all-purpose weapon: 1.0 EcoBoost, three-cylinder with turbocharging and 100 hp. The multi-award-winning small turbo gasoline engine is ideal for the practical mini-van. As a transmission, Ford offers a 5-speed transmission. The small turbo engine has enough pressure to cope with the 5 gears. A sixth would probably have made another positive impression on long-haul fuel consumption.
We drove the cute mini van a lot over long distances. Consumption in full load operation - our mode: sales representatives - level off just below the 9 liter mark. In everyday life, 6.5 liters are realistic. Ford specifies a standard consumption of 4.9 liters. We did not achieve that even in gentle cycle.
At the end...
The rather tightly tuned chassis of the mini-van has enough reserves even when fully loaded and when driving briskly. The B-Max impresses with agility, driving fun and balanced driving behavior. The practical and variable interior scores points for young families and people with an emphasis on practicality. With the B-Max, the Cologne-based company offers a city van that can convince with a solid mix of variability, reason, nimble and comfort.
Photos in the article and cover picture: Ford Presse