It is marketed as a flexible family car and that seemed the ideal way to evaluate its versatility and performance.
It copes admirably with the whims and needs of passengers, with three full size seats in the back, wipe-clean optional leather interior, pull up sunshades in the rear door panels and a spacious cabin with plenty of head room.
It’s worth mentioning that the airline-style tables built into the back of the front seats can become targets for the feet of young passengers in the rear – not fun for the front passenger.
Perhaps in the next generation C-MAX they could be removable, so as not to provide a source of mischief?
The best toys are left for the adults up front. Our test car dispenses with the rather staid Ford standard design of knobs and dials to be replaced with a rather swish touch screen.
It’s daunting at first navigating through the maze of screens, never mind getting to grips with which of the several extra stalks around the steering wheel does what – but I think I’ve got it sussed now. Of course, not every C-MAX driver will be as privileged, but it certainly helps give the Ford an upmarket feel.
However, the best thing about our test C-MAX is the 2.0 litre TDCi engine, which provides thrilling acceleration, great cruising and a really enjoyable driving experience.
The downside of the experience is the fuel consumption. Like all our other testers I can’t even manage to break 40mpg, only managing 39.4, which is pretty poor compared to the touted 50.5 combined figure.
Perhaps, like me, the other drivers here at Fleet News have been enjoying the engine a little too much?
Model: Ford Focus C-MAX 2.0 TDCi Ghia
Price (OTR): £18,690 (£23,715 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 148M
Company car tax bill (2004/5) 22% tax-payer: £60 per month
Insurance group: 1OE
Combined mpg: 50.4
Test mpg: 39.4
CAP Monitor residual value: £6825/35%
HSBC contract hire rate: £370 per month
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles