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First Drive: Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.

First Drive: Ford Grand C-Max
Ford's Grand C-Max gets a fresh new look and improvements to the quality of its drive.

   



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Ford Grand C-Max

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

We're firm fans of Ford's compact MPVs, as they've always retained the driving manners of the Focus they're based on, while adding much more interior practicality. Here's the refreshed seven-seat Grand C-Max.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Ford Grand C-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium
Price: 24,495
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmission: front-wheel-drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door, seven-seat compact MPV
CO2 emissions: 119g/km
Combined economy: 61.4mpg
Top speed: 125mph
0-62mph: 9.8seconds
Power: 150hp at 3,500rpm
Torque: 370Nm at 2,000- to 2,500rpm

What's this?

Ford has given a fresh new look to its seven-seat Grand C-Max MPV in a bid to keep up with the increasing competition from a glut of newcomers. There's no mistaking from which car maker this latest MPV comes from either. As part of its new streamlined model range, the Grand C-Max has had the trapezoidal grille grafted on its front, aping what we have already seen on the new Focus and Mondeo. A new front bumper design also helps to give the car a broader stance when viewed front-on.

In comparison to the outgoing model not a great has changed in terms of proportions. The aforementioned changes to the front-end design account for much of the new look. Unlike the smaller five-seat C-Max, this model forgoes conventional rear doors in favour of a sliding door arrangement. This feature gives excellent access to the cabin for passengers.

One of the best features inside the Grand C-Max is the versatility in its five rear seats. For starters the middle row is split, allowing the seats to independently move fore and aft depending on legroom requirements. The two outer seats can also be very easily tilted and slid forward to give easy access to the third row of seats, which can fold flat into the boot area when not required. One additional feature is the possibility to fold up the middle seat of the second row and stow it away underneath the seat next to it, thus creating a walkway in the middle for even easier access. For those seated in the third row both headroom and legroom are reasonable for kids and teenagers although taller passengers might find it a little bit cramped on longer journeys.

Up front there's a whole new dashboard and centre console design that adopts. The previous model was guilty of having an overly busy centre console that wasn't very intuitive to use. Thankfully Ford has listened to its customer feedback and the changes are, on the whole, positive. Improving things further is the availability of Ford's latest SYNC 2 infotainment system. This comprises of an eight-inch colour touchscreen and improved voice recognition software that enables the user to issue commands in a more natural tone.

In the engine department there's a good range of options available, starting with the positively deceptive 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Having proved itself already in the Focus, the turbocharged three-cylinder engine performs better than many might expect. It is offered in both 100- and 125hp guises here, although the latter might be a wiser choice given the Grand C-Max's added bulk. There will also be a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit that produces 150hp. For those swayed by the lure of diesel power, two variants of the 1.5-litre TDCi engine - 95- and 120hp - will be available alongside the more powerful 150hp 2.0-litre TDCi unit tested here. Topping off the range is a 170hp model that will be available exclusively with the automatic PowerShift transmission.

How does it drive?

Ford has long been a dab hand when it comes to knocking out a well sorted chassis and things are no different in the case of the new Grand C-Max. Changes to the suspension setup in relation to damping in particular have noticeably benefitted the car's ride quality while new camber settings have helped to sharpen up the steering. The engineers have managed to strike a good balance in relation to how the steering is weighted too - it's not overly light around town but well weighted enough at higher speeds. It's worth noting that during our test drive we only had two passengers and no luggage in the car.

The 150hp 2.0-litre TDCi engine offers up a little more performance than most prospective Grand C-Max buyers are likely to need or desire. On the whole it feels and sounds refined, only sounding coarse when revved towards its redline. Not that you'll be needing to do that too often as the 370Nm of torque affords plenty of low down grunt. In terms of fuel economy the official combined figure of 61.4mpg isn't too unattainable and it is helped along by a good start-stop system. The slightly cheaper and less powerful 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine in both 95- and 120hp guises is an equally well-proven unit and is capable of offering similar levels of fuel economy, making it likely to be the more popular option amongst buyers.

Verdict

This sharpened-up Ford Grand C-Max now has the injection of style and appeal that was missing from the previous model. It continues to pack a good degree of versatility into what remains a relatively compact car. But as ever it is more of a five plus two rather than a dedicated full-time seven-seater.

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Exterior Design

3 3 3 3 3 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Powertrain


Dave Humphreys - 10 Apr 2015



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2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.

2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.



2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Grand C-Max. Image by Ford.
 






 

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