The side exterior of a blue Ford B-Max

Ford B-Max review

A great compact people carrier, the Ford B-MAX is easy to drive and park. With loads of interior space and a large boot, it also features sliding doors so back seat passengers can get in and out easily.

Pros

  • Roomy and well designed interior
  • Useful sliding rear doors
  • Fun to drive

Cons

  • Smallish boot but lots of space elsewhere
  • There’s a lot of hard plastics used throughout the interior
  • Infotainment system is a little dated

Summary

“With practical sliding rear doors and a versatile interior, the Ford B-MAX is a useful car for small families.”

The B-MAX is a small yet sensible and practical used buy that’s inexpensive to run. The sliding rear doors offer easy access to an interior that’s surprisingly spacious and packed with useful storage.

It’s good to drive, thanks to its agility and compact dimensions. The suspension is supple and deals well with bumps, while the noise levels inside the car are impressively low. 

There’s also plenty of equipment, with all versions featuring air con and Bluetooth. 

Ford stopped making the B-MAX in 2017, but you should be able to find a used option to suit you.

The rear exterior of a blue Ford B-Max

What’s the interior like?

“Given its small exterior dimensions, the Ford B-MAX is impressively roomy and has lots of standard equipment.”

Getting into the B-MAX is extremely easy with its sliding rear doors which creates a huge opening. 

There’s plenty of head and legroom in the back, plus there are numerous handy storage space and cup holders. 

The boot is a little on the small side at 318 litres, but it does feature a false floor which is great for hiding valuable items. It’s also pretty versatile as you can fold both the back seats and front passenger seat down for extra long loads.

The dashboard is full of infotainment buttons which can take a bit of getting used to and the quality of the plastics isn’t the best. The sat nav doesn’t have the best graphics but there is mobile phone Bluetooth connectivity.

The interior of a Ford B-Max with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What’s it like to drive?

“The B-MAX is fun to drive and it handles bumps in the road well.”

Despite being a sensible family-friendly people carrier, the Ford B-MAX is a pleasure to drive. Comfortable with good visibility, its slick steering and agility make it fun to drive down a twisting road. Its small size makes it easy to navigate through crowded city streets, while a smooth ride makes long journeys feel relaxing. 

The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrols are the best options, offering brisk performance. Both of these options come as standard with a precise five-speed manual gearbox.

If you’re looking for an automatic, the twin-clutch six-speed Durashift offers fast and smooth changes for an enjoyable ride. The downside is that it’s only available with a less economical 1.6-litre petrol engine.

Wheel shot of the Ford B-Max

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“It wasn’t the cheapest model when new, but it offers good value as a used buy.”

The 1.0-litre petrols promise a very good 55.4 mpg, thanks to its stop/start technology that automatically cuts the engine when you come to a halt. The 1.5-litre diesels manage 74.3 mpg, but you really need to be driving more than 12,000 miles a year to make the diesels worth having. 

Ford dealers offer decent value on servicing, but the B-MAX uses many familiar Ford parts so most independent garages will carry out maintenance for even less. Insurance costs are reasonable, while tax bills will also be minimal.

The front exterior of a silver Ford B-Max

How reliable and safe is it?

“There are some reliability issues, but the B-MAX features all the safety kit you need.”

Customer satisfaction surveys show that the B-MAX isn’t a trouble-free car, with owners reporting both electrical and mechanical issues. However, that doesn’t put them off, as the car’s driving dynamics and practicality help to make up for any issues. 

When it was tested in 2012, the B-MAX earned a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, thanks to its strong structure and electronic stability control. However, autonomous emergency braking never came as standard, so it’s worth seeking out a car with this extra added.

Badge shot of the Ford B-Max

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.5 TDCi 120

Best for families - 1.0 EcoBoost 100

Best for fun - 1.0 EcoBoost 125

When launched, the B-MAX was available in Studio, Zetec and Titanium trim levels. The Zetec was the best seller and probably offers the greatest value, with Bluetooth and air con fitted as standard. It’s particularly well-suited to the 1.0-litre petrol engine.

In 2017, there was a slight refresh of the range and some new names, with the new Zetec Navigator, Titanium Navigator and Titanium X Navigator replacing the old versions. All versions feature sat nav as standard.

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