1.0 EcoBoost 100PS Zetec
first of the new Ford B-Max
compact people carrier or multi-
activity models, with useful rear side
sliding doors for very easy in/out
access are already in the hands of
a 1,000 UK customers with 3,000
more already ordered out of an
annual UK 16,000
PRICED FROM AN ATTRACTIVE £12,900 to a not-quite-so-appealing £18,895, the
clever B-Max is based on the Fiesta platform and replaces the previous Fusion
In addition to the normal array of 1.4 and 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol and
diesel engines, the B-Max range also uses the award-winning new-generation 1.0-litre
three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with two levels of power output: the
best selling 98bhp (100PS) unit, and a 118bhp version.
Depending on which engine is chosen, trim-wise you have the choice of the entry-level
Studio, the best-selling Zetec or the top-spec Titanium. For those motorists
who prefer an automatic transmission, one is available with the 103bhp 1.6-litre
main feature of this new model is the easy-in, easy-out four-door system that
sees the B-Max's hinged front door and sliding rear side door combination doing
away with the conventional fixed B-pillar essential between front and rear hinged
This new design
allows for wide (1.5m)
through the side doors
and its great
for loading people or
This new design allows for wide (1.5m) hassle-free access through the side doors
and it's great for loading people or long items.
By comparison a conventional B-segment car has door openings of 700-800mm wide
only half of what the B-Max offers. And supported by the wide-opening
rear tailgate, it makes an ideal vehicle for
both young adventurers and older empty-nesters and it also does a fine
job as a family bus.
The rear sliding doors make getting in or out of the vehicle, particularly in
today's cramped side-by-side parking spaces, very easy. And with the upright,
higher positioned seats, loading children is also less trouble; and people with
mobility issues will also find it much easier to get in and out. With a relatively
low waistline and a high roofline, the windows are deep so visibility from inside
the vehicle is first class in all directions.
With supportive seating for four adults (or two adults and up to three children)
there's 318 litres of boot space; fold down the rear seats and you have a completely
flat load floor and
a loadbay capable of taking 1,386 litres. At the other end of the cabin, fold
down the front passenger seat and you have 2.3 metres for carrying long items.
A lack of B-pillars has not prevented the B-Max gaining the all-important NCAP
five-star Euro NCAP safety rating because the frames of both doors and the interlocking
sections of the B-pillars incorporated in the doors are all manufactured from
Once the doors are locked in the closed position the torsional strength and
integrity of the vehicle is preserved, and the handling remains as taut and
as sharp as that of the Fiesta hatchbacks.
only untidy detail of this design and its application is the flexible electric
cable trunking leading from the main bodyshell of the car to the bottom of the
carries the electric cables for the windows and central door locking, and is
exposed when the door is open. It looks a cheap solution and, potentially, might
be snagged by feet or items being loaded or unloaded.
three-pot engine is
flexible at low speeds
and responsive to drive,
but in fact is not
really much quicker
than the cheaper-to-buy
The front interior design and ergonomics of the instruments and controls are
very much the same as the Fiesta.
Standard equipment for the base-level Studio version includes electrically-operated
front and rear windows and door mirrors, central locking, radio/CD player, front,
side and curtain airbags, 15-inch steel wheels with covers, Easy-Fuel capless
refuelling function, daytime running lights, an electronic stability programme
and ISOFIX child seat mounting points.
The Studio specification is only available with the 88bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine.
It's a bit tardy for performance (top speed is 106mph; zero to 62mph takes 13.8
seconds) and, officially, it returns 47.1mpg
only 39.3mpg on my 70mph motorway test drive.
With CO2 emissions of 139g/km, road tax is £120. But the big advantage of this
88bhp 1.4-litre B-Max is its purchase price: a
very attractive £12,995. For UK customers on a budget this model makes the most
economical sense. The saving in purchase price this version offers can buy lots
of fuel, and easily covers the more expensive road tax compared to the much
publicised 1.0-litre petrol three-cylinder EcoBoost unit.
The B-Max with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost 98bhp petrol engine in Zetec spec is expected
to be the best selling model, but it costs £16,195. Unfortunately this engine
is not available with the cheaper Studio spec.
For the record, this EcoBoost unit officially returns 55.4mpg although my country
roads test drive produced a real-life figure of 43.5mpg. The maximum speed is
109mph and zero to 62mph takes 13.2 seconds. Low CO2 emissions means road tax
is £0 for the first year then only £30 for the second year onwards.
distinctive throaty-sounding turboed three-pot engine is flexible at low speeds
and responsive to drive, but in fact is not really much quicker than the cheaper-to-buy
four-cylinder 1.4 petrol engine.
Zetec kit includes additions over the Studio level such as 15-inch alloy wheels,
brightwork trim finishes inside and out, front fog lights, heated windscreen,
AirCon, leather-wrapped steering wheel, extra interior lighting functions and
a trip and fuel computer.
SYNC system for Bluetooth and connecting mobile phones and music players also
reads text messages, and in the event of an accident automatically connects
to the emergency services and provides a GPs location. It's fitted as standard
to the Titanium models, and is available for Studio and Zetec versions as a
SYNC system for
Bluetooth and connecting
mobile phones and
music players also reads
and in the event of an
connects to the
emergency services and
provides a GPS
I also had a quick outing in the 93bhp 1.6-litre TDCi turbodiesel B-Max priced
at £18,895 and only available with the top Titanium spec.
This model makes no financial sense for retail customers and only high-mileage
business or fleet buyers might choose this version. Its CO2 emissions are 104g/km
so first year road tax is £0 and then £20 each year after that. Officially this
diesel unit will return 70.6mpg (only 51.3mpg on my test drive). Top speed is
108mph, and zero to 62mph takes 13.9 seconds.
Interestingly, the heavier the engines the better and less choppy the B-Max's
ride was over our poor and rippled road surfaces. The lightweight 1.0-litre
petrol unit was the least composed; the 1.4-litre petrol unit was better; and
the 1.6-litre TDCi diesel better still.
It appears that unlike most other manufactures Ford, under their 'One Ford'
global vehicle policy, do not make specification changes (such as suspension
settings) for each country, so we get the 'Universal' settings which are clearly
Against: No Studio spec option with the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine
make no financial sense for most retail customers, untidy wiring loom link from
the main bodyshell to the sliding doors, top models expensive to buy, and suspension
settings not tuned for UK roads.
For: Good to drive, practical to use, easy loading and unloading of passengers
and luggage, nimble handling, easy to park, good visibility.
Undoubtedly these compact B-Max people carriers offer a lot in terms of carrying
people and load space. Available with a wide choice of engine options, today's
financially hard pressed motorists must be clear on which version suits them
best and, in particular, which best suits their motoring budget.
Sometimes less specification and a less technically advanced engine is more
appropriate, so I would suggest the 1.4-litre petrol Studio version could be
a better buy and, at £12,995, a bit of a bargain for some families.
Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS Zetec | £16,195
Maximum speed: 109mph | 0-62mph: 13.2 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 43.5mpg
Power: 98bhp | Torque: 125lb ft | CO2 119g/km