FORD B- MAX 1,0T TREND
Can the Blue Oval do any wrong? Ford’s new-model onslaught continues to bolster the company’s rise as the firm challenges segment leaders across the market and consumers are taking note. Its first foray into the baby MPV market sees the B-max step up to the likes of Honda’s Mobilio, Suzuki’s Ertiga and the Toyota Avanza.
There’s only one problem though: surely the 7-seat rivals have the 5-seat B-max’s number? I’m going to stick my neck out and say not exactly. When last have you watched a young family in a tight parking spot at the mall get into a seven-seat vehicle? It’s not exactly the most graceful thing and, depending on the vehicle, access to that third row isn’t easy and the last bench often swallows up previous cargo room.
There’s a lot more to the B-max than looking like a Fiesta with a taller roof, because Ford believes that it has solved the problem of the compact MAV (multi activity vehicle) by fitting the B-max with traditionally hinged front doors, eliminating the B-pillars entirely, and fitting sliding doors to the rear. It’s definitely an industry first, and my concerns (along with many others, I suspect) had mostly to do with the B-max’s structural integrity. Ford has assured the world, however, that all’s in order. The engineers beefed up the front and rear doors with high-strength boron steel to absorb more impact in the event of a side collision, while 58 per cent of the B-max body consists of high-strength and ultra high-strength steel.
The little newcomer scored a full five out of five stars in the stringent Euro NCAP crash test rating system, by the way, notching up 92 per cent for adult occupants and 84 per cent for children. So that takes care of the safety aspect.
Once your head is wrapped around that, then move on to actually using the new doors, and you might not look back.
If I can use a phrase to describe the process, then it would have to be “unparallelled access”. Bulky child seats and oddly shaped cargo disappear easily when there’s no B-pillar getting in the way and the doors don’t have to be opened and closed in a specific sequence either.
The B-max is powered by Ford’s multiple award- winning 1,0-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder powerplant, which provides more than adequate grunt for this segment, and brilliant fuel consumption. The added weight does negatively affect the B-max, though you’d only notice if you’ve experienced the Ecoboost motor in another of the Blue Oval’s products.
NEED TO KNOW
PRICE: R261 900 ENGINE: 1,0 three-cylinder turbopetrol CO2: 114 g/km EFFICIENCY: 4,9 litres/100 km POWER/TORQUE: 92 kw/170 N.m TRANSMISSION: five-speed manual 0-100 KM/H: 11,2 seconds AFTER-SALES: 4 year/60 000 km service plan