The Grand C-Max returned to our fleet in mid-December after three months with our sister magazine AM, and was immediately thrown into the deep end with a 600-mile round trip to Ireland.
Loaded up with my parents and Christmas presents for the Irish side of my family, the Grand C-Max proved an ideal vehicle for the journey, offering loads of space, refined motorway manners, a smooth automatic gearbox and plenty of power for effortless cruising.
One real boon for the motorway driving was our test car's Blind Spot Information System, which detects any vehicles in the blind spot and alerts you by illuminating an orange warning light in the relevant door mirror.
At first the lights seem like they may prove a slight distraction as they are sometimes triggered when driving past hedgerows, but in the dark with heavy traffic on the M6, it was reassuring to have a bit of extra help in knowing what was around me at all times.
The trip to Ireland also saw the Grand C-Max's seven-seat capability used. Usually the rear-most seats are folded flat into the boot floor, but a quick pull on a couple of straps sees the back seats pop up and ready for use.
It's a simple mechanism, and the car's rear sliding doors make access to them straightforward. On this occasion, the occupants of the rear-most seats were a three- and a five-year-old and there was plenty of room for them. However, space is tight and they would be uncomfortable for an adult for any length of time.