Just slide into the small­est park­ing

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - GOR­DON HALL

SEEMS I’ve been do­ing it wrongly for years.

Re­cently, in a shut­tle bus be­tween “here” and “there”, I over­heard a pair of youth­ful blog­gers dis­cussing how to write up car launches. It was en­light­en­ing. “First,” de­clared 19-year-old Mistress-of-craft to 20-year-old Stu­dent, “you deal with re­ally im­por­tant stuff; like the cool colours.

Then you go on to the neat things — what it does — and some tech­ni­cal de­tails — just two or three — then you de­scribe how it looks and feels.”

Editor Al­wyn Viljoen chal­lenged me to try like­wise, so here goes.

Ford’s new B-Max comes in 11 stun­ning colours — three solid and eight me­tal­lic — of which five are avail­able in even the ba­sic Am­bi­ente ver­sion.

My favourite, Deep Im­pact Blue, is rich, sexy and looks amaz­ing on the car. They’re all bril­liant, but that’s my best.

Be­cause Ford un­der­stands that we don’t all slave away in of­fices but work at the times and on the days we choose and have lives too, we need to stay con­nected 24-7. That’s why it’s fit­ted with Sync, the com­pany’s patented in-touch­ware.

It en­ables the con­nec­tion of cell­phones and mu­sic play­ers by Blue­tooth or USB, al­lows hands-free tele­phone calls and con­trols mu­sic and other func­tions with voice com­mands, while keep­ing your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

You can trans­fer con­tact in­for­ma­tion from a com­pat­i­ble Blue­tooth-con­nected phone to the ve­hi­cle, make calls or find con­tacts us­ing straight-for­ward voice com­mands, or have it read text mes­sages aloud.

Ford de­scribes B-max as a multi-ac­tiv­ity ve­hi­cle (Mav) that’s “com­pact, stylish, de­sir­able, spa­cious, prac­ti­cal, safe, sleek and dy­namic”, but its neat tricks are the doors and its al­most in­fin­itely vari­able seats.

The front doors hinge nor­mally, but the back ones slide open and shut. That’s use­ful in nar­row spa­ces. But there’s more. Ford took away the in­ter­ven­ing pil­lar so it’s eas­ier to load and un­load bulky parcels, for par­ents to mus­cle baby chairs, and for older folk to climb in and out with­out bruis­ing shoul­ders or hips.

Three mod­els with dif­fer­ent spec lev­els — Am­bi­ente, Trend and Ti­ta­nium — use the same en­gine, just in two states of tune.

It’s a 1 000 cc, three-cylin­der mo­tor with both lazy pulling power and the verve to ex­cite. That’s thanks to turbo-charg­ing that plucks po­tent power from diminu­tive size yet re­mains eco­nom­i­cal — as lit­tle as 4,9 /100 km over­all or 6,0 in the city.

Most im­por­tant, it’s re­as­sur­ingly safe, with seven air bags and all the elec­tronic aids needed to sur­vive the mod­ern jun­gle — ur­ban or free­way.

Why B-Max? B-seg­ment place­ment and Max­i­mum ver­sa­til­ity. Get it?

Prices range from R221 900 to R271 900. It will be in show­rooms from mid-Septem­ber.


Avail­able in 11 stun­ning colours, the B-Max just sips from Ford’s world-best one-litre en­gine.

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