The Ford B-MAX is aimed at rivals such as the Honda Jazz, Nissan Note and Vauxhall Meriva. Although it’s based on the same platform as the Fiesta, the compact MPV body is far taller and offers considerably more interior space.

A key feature separating the B-MAX from rivals is its Easy Door Access System, comprising hinged front and sliding rear doors with integrated central body pillars. This means that when both front and rear doors are opened, there’s a much larger than usual access aperture, further adding to the B-MAX’s versatility.

Thankfully this extra practicality hasn’t sacrificed on safety though, as the B-MAX uses additional strengthening in the doors and roof to compensate for the removal of the central structural pillars. As you’d expect, there’s the usual array of safety kit such as stability control, front, side, curtain and driver's knee airbags. More noteworthy though is Ford’s Active City Stop system (an option on the two higher trim specs). This is designed to help motorists avoid low speed collisions with stationary or slower moving traffic in front.

Because B-MAX is only 11cm longer than the Fiesta five-door and a full 32cm shorter than the new C-MAX, it’s perfectly placed to meet fast-growing demand for downsized cars and offers excellent interior space which is able to carry loads of up to 2.35m in length.

You’ll find it easy to get comfortable behind the wheel of the B-MAX, as the driving position is well aligned, combined with comfy seats offering ample adjustment. There are generous amounts of head and legroom – both front and back, too. Boot space isn’t quite so generous with only 318 litres (seats up), although the rear seats can be lowered completely flat, increasing the cargo area to 1386 litres.

The Dashboard is the same as a Fiesta, so the B-MAX inherits the plus and negatives of this design – there is good use of soft-touch plastics on the top of the dashboard, but lower down the plastic is a bit hard and scratchy. Also, the button layout of the Sony stereo system is fussy. On the subject of infotainment, a useful feature is Ford’s voice-activated, in-car connectivity system, which allows the driver to operate the stereo or make a call by way of voice activated commands. SYNC, with Emergency Assistance additionally assists the occupants to call for help in the event of a crash.

As far as equipment goes, base level B-MAX Studio models don’t come with much kit, but you do get essentials including four electric windows, electric door mirrors and a stereo with DAB radio and aux-in socket. Zetec strikes a good midrange balance with alloy wheels, air conditioning, a heated windscreen, USB connectivity and Bluetooth. Top-of-the-range Titanium models are well specified and include: climate control, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers and heated front seats.

B-MAX comes with  the option of four petrol engines - three-cylinder 1.0 Ecoboost units with 100 - or 125 hp, and four-cylinder 1.4 or 1.6 units. There are 1.5 and 1.6 diesel options, too. The more powerful 1.0 engine provides lively performance, unlike the 90 hp 1.4 petrol, which is a bit sluggish. The 1.6 diesel offers strong, punchy performance.

Running costs are mainly good, too - the 1.6 diesel has a claimed average in excess of 70mpg and both 1.0 Ecoboost versions claim to return more than 55mpg.

Being based on the Fiesta means that the B-MAX drives and handles far better than most rivals in this compact MPV class. True, it’s not quite as sharp as a Fiesta and there is a bit more body lean in the corners, but the fact remains that this car is a pleasure to drive and always feels surefooted and secure. Perhaps a trade-off of this dynamism and agility is that the ride could be considered by some as on the firm side. Road and wind noise are pretty well isolated from the cabin.


The Ford B-MAX is a great family-friendly compact MPV, which not only offers great practicality and versatility, but is also great fun to drive.

Tech spec

Ford B-MAX 1.0 T Ecoboost 125 Zetec
Price: £16,295
Engine: 1.0T 3-cylinder EcoBoost
Max Power: 125hp @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque: 170Nm@ 1400 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 11.2 seconds
Top speed: 117 mph (electronically limited)