The Ford B-Max is based on the same under-structure as a Ford Fiesta.
Ford has enjoyed considerable success with its various MPV models, the multi-purpose vehicles with variable seat/cargo combinations such as the C-Max, S-Max and Galaxy. Now here is a more compact car on similar lines. The Ford B-Max is based on the same under-structure as a Ford Fiesta, although you would never guess it from the look of this chunky and commodious little people-carrier.
Notable for its sliding rear side doors, the B-Max is designed to be particularly convenient for easy access when parking in urban areas. This body structure is very unusual in what the motor industry terms a 'B segment' car - meaning one size up from the smallest city models. When you open both the front and rear side doors, the entire side of the car is removed, making it much easier to load small children into the back seats than it is with most other cars.
With the doors open there is no 'B' pillar half way down the side of the car. But when they are shut, special strengthening built into the hinged front door's rear edge and the sliding rear door's front edge combine to create a rigid central structure. Cleverly, these door bars are locked into place by means of locator hooks built into the car's roof and sills.
The B-Max is built in Romania and it comes in three trim levels: Studio, Zetec and Titanium. Engine options are one-litre, 1.4 or 1.6 litre petrol, and 1.5 or 1.6 TDCi diesels.
Sliding doors add weight to a car, but you don't notice any ill-effect with the B-Max. All the engines deliver decent levels of performance, and it is an engaging car to drive. With an acceleration time of almost 14 seconds in the 1.6 litre diesel model tested here, it is no ball of fire, but all versions have top speeds of over 100 mph and performance is good enough for a small family transporter. Depending on engine choose, the acceleration pace varies from 11.2 to 16.5 seconds from 0-62 mph.