Long term report: Ford B-Max

Long term report: Ford B-Max

I was convinced it was a prang. The way the old chap and his wife were inspecting the back end of my B-Max in the Ikea car park surely meant only one thing – reversing fail after too many (horse) meat balls.

But as I got closer, I realised Dave and Maureen (yes, I even found out their names), weren't looking for a bent bumper at all, they were simply checking our baby Ford out for size.
"This is the one you can dive through, isn't it?' asked Dave, as I approached. Yes, if you feel so inclined, you can put the B-Max on its side, dangle it above a swimming pool, and dive through it in your budgie smugglers Dave if that's what you really fancy. It's far better to drive though...

Dave didn't see the funny side. He was far more interested in what the B-Max is like to live with.

Well, Dave, it's bleeding brilliant. I'm very conscious that I already sound like an extremely grateful journalist who has been loaned a car for six months – I would say good things, wouldn't I?

Well, the problem is, even when I try not to be gushing about the B-Max I end up unleashing praise anyway.

Dave and Maureen were looking to replace their aging Ford Mondeo for something smaller. I told them the B-Max would be ideal. They were shocked when I explained that all it had under the bonnet was a 1.0-litre engine, too.

The EcoBoost engine is one of the best things to come out of Ford since the Fiesta XR2 (that's a good thing, I've got one). It's extremely economical, surprisingly nippy and entertaining to drive and makes a brilliant noise.

Dave and Maureen were impressed and promised to go and try one. I really should be on commission.

Being stopped by passers-by about a Ford may sound unusual, but it's happened three times this month. Every one of them wanted to know if it's any good – and all crack a joke about diving. Funny.

I've also found myself becoming inappropriately enthusiastic about our baby Blue Oval. I so very nearly waved at the driver of a white one coming the other way in a "You're-In-My-Club" style this week. Sad, I know, but I can't help myself.

Problem is, the little Ford is very lovable. We've just moved offices and the amount of tat it managed to swallow was Man vs Food impressive. The real handy thing is the lack of B pillars.

Those sliding rear doors make packing boxes into the back of it really easy. It even managed to transport a desk back from Ikea and we all know how awkward their packaging is. I'm pretty sure their designers take as much pride in making all boxes just that little bit too big for your boot as they do in coming up with weird names for their creations.

I'm not the only one with a crush on the B-Max either. Most of the team love it too. The Sync entertainment system gets rave reviews, everyone thinks it's comfortable even over long distances and no one denies it's great fun to drive.

But it's not all gravy – one of the team stole the keys for the weekend and reported back saying the engine was 'too sporty'. He was, of course, talking absolute rubbish. It's a brilliant match.

With 117bhp and 200Nm of torque it feels far quicker than its 11.2s to 60mph time suggests.

So, with another few thousand miles on the clock, is there anything that's starting to grate? Well, I still find the fact there's no way to remotely lock the doors or open them without getting the key out of your pocket a pain. It would certainly help when you've got your arms full of kids and shopping.

And while I'm moaning, I'm not a huge fan of the heated windscreen as, although it's very useful, it makes oncoming headlights starburst and my eyes go funny.

But apart from that, it's all good in Camp B-Max – and it's even helping me make a few new friends too.

Right, must dash, got a dinner date with Dave and Maureen. Ikea meatballs I think...

The Knowledge

Model: Ford B-Max Titanium
Price: £18,720 (as tested)
Engine: 1.0-litre EcoBoost, three cylinder
Power: 117bhp, 200Nm
Max speed: 117mph 0-60mph: 11.2s
Emissions: 114g/km
Mileage: 5,125
Costs this month: £0
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