Ford's new Grand C-Max could be the perfect family car
This is the best compact MPV on the market at the moment and there is bound to be a huge demand as a result. We would want the Titanium spec because it is s lovely place to be and we would want the 2.0-litre 140hp version because it is the best engine.
When: December 2010
What: Ford Grand C-Max
Occasion: Irish test drive
Inside & Out: 4.5/5
Vehicles like this live and die by their packaging and the new Grand C-Max really impresses from the off. You might consider that there was little need for this model - another seven-seater - when there is already two in the Ford range, but such is the interest we have received here at CompleteCar.ie about this car it appears there is certainly an appetite for it.
The Grand C-Max has a 140mm longer wheelbase than the five-seat C-Max and is also 58mm higher. It doesn't look in any way bulky from the outside either and you might be hard-pressed to know it was the seven-seat model if you didn't notice the sliding doors.
They have been added to provide a generous opening and they open smoothly with minimum effort, so you don't need to be a huge bloke to open the doors. An active doorstop also means that they cannot close unexpectedly. There is a clever walk-through seating concept in the Grand C-Max, which modifies the traditional 2-3-2 seating layout so that the centre seat in the second row can tuck away to allow a 'walk-though' space. The second- and third-row seats can also be folded flat to create a flat load floor. With the rearmost seats stowed, there is a decent sized boot, too.
Engine & Transmission: 4/5
We tested the 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine in the Grand C-Max, which is the highest power diesel option available in this model. The engine range consists of three diesels, a 95hp 1.6-litre with a five-speed manual gearbox, a 115hp 2.0-litre with an automatic transmission and the model we drive, which puts out 140hp.
This version performs really well and the 340Nm of torque on offer was really useful in some pretty shocking weather conditions recently. Even though this unit is pretty potent, fuel economy is impressive too using 5.3 litres/100km with CO2 emissions of 134g/km when fitted with a manual transmission. That keeps it in motor tax Band B.
Ride & Handling: 4/5
If you have driven anything built by Ford in the last few years you will know that it seldom puts a foot wrong when it comes to building a chassis and this Grand C-Max is no exception. Granted, this week we didn't have the perfect conditions for reviewing a car because the weather was so poor, but in the brief period we did have clear roads the Grand C-Max was immensely comfortable and really well planted.
I as a rule hate driving MPVs because they usually feel flawed in some way and this didn't at all. We didn't really get much chance to fling it about but it did manage to cope quite well with some really shocking ice and snow better than some so-called SUVs did.
Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: 3.5/5
Our test car was the Titanium spec model costing €31,395. It comes really well equipped at this price with 17-inch alloys; automatic headlights; dual-zone climate control; electric rear windows; cruise control with speed limiter; tyre deflation detection system; child observation mirror; power child locks; and Hill Launch Assist. This in addition to things that all versions of the C-Max get, which include Bluetooth voice control, remote radio CD, leather steering wheel and gear knob, rear parking sensors and foldable mirrors. A full list of spec is available here.
Fuel economy as I mentioned is good on even this higher-powered diesel, returning 5.3 litres/100km and it remains in Band B with emissions of less than 140g/km. However, the near €32,000 price tag puts it at the premium end of the segment. Having said that, you will need to spend almost €2,000 more for a Volkswagen Touran with a similar power output and interior spec.
CompleteCar Index: 4.5/5
This is the best compact MPV on the market at the moment and there is bound to be a huge demand as a result. We would want the Titanium spec because it is s lovely place to be and we would want the 2.0-litre 140hp version because it is the best engine, but all versions are well equipped and while the 1.6-litre diesel might feel a little weedy in this size of vehicle it will still most likely do a job.
Remember, if you want to talk to us about the new Ford Grand C-Max, you can always Ask Us Anything.
Ford Grand C-Max 2.0-litre 140hp TDCi Titanium:
•Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
•Maximum power: 140hp at 3,750rpm
•Maximum torque: 320Nm at 1,750rpm
•Acceleration (0-100km/h): 10.1 seconds
•Maximum speed: 200km/h
•Fuel economy (combined cycle): 5.3 litres/100km (53.3mpg)
•Motor tax band: B
•Annual road tax: €156
•Retail price: Official price of test car without options is €31,395