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Aug 14

Ford B-Max – Honest John Review

Based on Ford’s global B-car platform – shared with the highly successful new Fiesta – the B-MAX is slightly more than four metres in length. The B-MAX is just 11 cm longer than the Fiesta five-door, and is 32 cm shorter than the new C-MAX.

With this compact footprint, the B-MAX is ideally placed to meet the fast-growing demand for downsized cars which are better suited to congested urban conditions, but without sacrificing interior space and comfort.

With both front and rear doors open there is outstanding access to the interior, with a huge, clear aperture measuring over 1.5 metres wide. This is around twice the width offered by competitors with alternative door concepts, making it significantly easier to enter or exit the rear seats, attend to children in child seats, or load shopping.

Having folded the 60/40 split rear seats and the front passenger seat to create an extensive flat load floor, the side access is particularly convenient to load bulky items such as flat-pack furniture or even a bicycle.

With the front passenger seat folded, the interior is capable of swallowing exceptionally long loads measuring up to 2.35 metres in length.

Sitting 11cm taller than Fiesta, the B-MAX also provides extremely generous accommodation for its occupants.  Drivers benefit from a higher ‘command’ seating position, while rear seat legroom and headroom is significantly improved.

In developing the B-MAX’s unique integrated B-pillar body design for production, Ford engineers have ensured that it delivers the same outstanding levels of crash protection as Ford products with a more conventional structure.

To deliver the required performance in side impacts, the structure of both front and rear doors has been significantly strengthened – with ultra-high-strength Boron steel in key load-bearing areas – so that the door frames work together to absorb energy like a ‘virtual B pillar’.

Special safety interlocks and reinforced latch mechanisms ensure that the doors remain firmly fixed to the roof and floor structure during an impact, and enable the front and rear doors to act together to protect the occupants.

When these measures are combined with other structural enhancements to the bodyshell and the latest restraint system technologies, the result is a body design which meets the highest safety standards.

The cabin retains the dynamic, sporty feel of Ford’s small-car interiors, but introduces the more premium character and decorative elements from the larger C-MAX.

Driver controls are based on Ford’s HMI (Human Machine Interface) approach, with a large six-inch touch screen display mounted in the centre of the upper IP, above the much-acclaimed mobile-phone style integrated control panel.

The sensation of space in the interior is enhanced by a full-size panoramic glass roof, which covers the entire roof area.

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