The B-Max is built upon a pretty solid foundation, the Ford Fiesta – Britain’s best-selling car. As you’d expect, there are a few similarities between the cars, but do the differences justify an upgrade to this more practical model?
The B-Max carries around a £2,000 price premium on the equivalent Fiesta, and all the extra weight the clever sliding doors bring adds 9g/km to the CO2 output, marginally increasing VED and BIK liability.
The main selling point of the B-Max is space, and it has bags of it. Headroom is plentiful, and rear legroom isn’t bad for what’s still a small car.
I’ve mentioned the doors before, but they really are fantastic. While a little heavy, the access gained makes getting items and people in and out really easy.
The false floor fitted as standard is also handy, making sliding boxes in easy, while the space left underneath is still usable, easily holding a camping chair, spare shoes, or books and folders.
For the driver though, the experience is slightly less glowing. You can feel that extra weight when accelerating, and fuel economy sees a real world reduction too. Despite claims of a combined 71mpg, I’ve experienced averages of 48-52mpg day-to-day, compared to 54-56 in a Fiesta with the same 1.6 diesel engine under the bonnet.
While elements of the interior are carried over, there are a few strange anomalies. There’s no armrest cubbyhole – a useful, usable space in the Fiesta. There’s also a cubby that looks like it would be perfect to store your mobile phone in, just below the heating controls, but at 2 inches deep, appears completely pointless.
The B-Max is never going to be a mainstream company car, but for those who need a little more flexibility than a small car can offer, it’s a nice compromise.