Long term report: Farewell Ford B-Max


Long term report: Farewell Ford B-Max

And so it's gone. The man from Ford came, and while it would be a bit of a stretch to liken the scene to a mother being stripped of her children by a stern social worker, it's fair to say we were all a little sad to see the back of the little red MPV.

From the moment it arrived, EK62 OZA proved a hit with the AOL Cars team. Eyeing up its family friendly interior, it was James Baggott who took immediate custodianship.
> With a small child and the voluminous amount of accessories required to make it work, he immediately fell in love with the B-Max. So much so that we didn't have the heart to tell him that its boxy proportions and scarlet paintjob made him look a little bit like Postman Pat.

But first things first. The main reason we were so keen to get the B-Max on the long-term fleet was because it was the first model to be fitted with Ford's 1.0-litre Ecoboost wonder-motor.

There were concerns it may feel out of its depth in this relatively large car, but it was an ideal pairing. Quiet and economical on a cruise but thrummy and punchy when you were in the mood, it is certainly the pick of the current engine range.

One thing we certainly weren't prepared for was the sheer amount of attention the B-Max attracted, though this is largely down to Ford's high profile TV ad campaign, in which the car's innovative door system is shown to create a gap large enough for a skinny man in suspiciously tight Speedos to dive through.

It seems to have done the business, with everyone from OAPs to Subaru-coveting youths stopping to ask about our diddy people carrier.

Those doors did certainly prove a boon. By repositioning the strength-providing B-pillar to run within the door itself, it frees up a gap over one metre wide – great for slinging in the boxes, in-laws and even surfboards that got thrown at it.

Long term report: Farewell Ford B-Max

Adding to the practicality, the flat folding front passenger seats meant the B-Max was often pressed into service on the obligatory Saturday visits to Ikea.

One of the few disappointing aspects of the interior is the lack of rear passenger room and the meagre boot space with the back seats in place.

However, where the B-Max's Fiesta underpinnings detracted from its overall roominess, it did share the supermini's fresh interior, with its superb seats and high quality (though admittedly complex) stereo and multimedia connectivity setup.

And while we had a couple of gripes with the way the car drove – a lack of roll-on driveability in second gear at junctions being a particular bugbear – the old saying that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone definitely rang true.

The B-Max going to be a hard act to follow, with none of current long-term fleet able to fully replicate its combination of city nippiness, long distance comfort and no-nonsense practicality.

We never expected to get so attached to a 1.0-litre MPV.

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 this month: 500
Costs this month: £0