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Ford Grand C-MAX

That the C-MAX has been a success for Ford can be in no doubt. Since its launch in 2003, the compact MPV has amassed 1.2 million sales, with 210,000 of them parked on UK driveways. Not bad for what's essentially a longer, wider and taller Ford Focus.
But with the Focus being treated to a mid-life facelift, it was only a matter of time before the C-MAX received a makeover, too. So at the front you'll find the now familiar Ford trapezoidal grille, which is flanked by a pair of revised headlights, whilst around the back, Ford has smoothed the tailgate and decreased the size of the rear lights on five-seat versions. Overall, it's a job well done, but in the case of our test car - the larger, seven-seat Grand C-MAX - it's not the most aesthetically pleasing car on the road. But then sliding rear doors are designed for function, rather than form. To drive, it's very much as you were.
The Grand C-MAX corners in a manner you'd expect a taller Focus to behave, in other words there's a fair amount of body roll, but it's well controlled and there's plenty of grip. It also rides very well, smoothing out all but the most pitted of surfaces and is rarely unsettled. Combine this with some major improvements to the amount of noise entering the cabin and the Grand C-MAX presents a refined, nearpremium feel to the driving experience. Ford is offering a choice of two diesel engines this time around, a new 118bhp 1.5- litre TDCi unit and a revised and more powerful 148bhp 2.0-litre unit as tested here.
The latter is perfectly up to the job of hustling the seven-seater along and with 273lb ft of torque makes motorway driving and overtaking stress-free. But it's on the inside where the Grand C-MAX is most improved. Ford has simplified the dashboard layout and improved the quality of the trim, meaning you won't mind spending time in the cabin, even with an army of screaming children behind you. It's not perfect, especially when you look further down the dashboard and little things like the new adjustable cupholder feel cheap. But overall there's a sense that the cabin is built to last and will be able to withstand years of abuse. As before, it's very much a five seats plus two cabin, in the respect that if you want a true seven-seater, you should look elsewhere.
Access to the rearmost seats remains difficult, and once there, the amount of head, leg and knee room means all but the shortest of passengers will be screaming for mercy after just a couple of hours. It's also worth noting that UK cars will now get a mini spare wheel as standard - a victory for common sense. However, that does mean the amount of boot space with the third row of seats folded down drops to 448 litres. Press the rearmost seats into use and you're left with a tiny 65 litres of space. More positive is the amount of kit you get as standard.
All models feature a heated front windscreen, DAB digital radio, rear parking sensors, hill start assist, air conditioning and a tyre pressure monitoring system as standard. A range of safety devices are offered, too, some standard-fit, others optional, which include autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

Model tested Titanium 2.0 TDCi
Price .24,495
Made in Valencia, Spain
Configuration 5-door MPV, 7-seats, front-wheel-drive
Drivetrain 1997cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged diesel with stop-start
Transmission 6-speed manual
Power output 148bhp @ 3,500rpm
Maximum torque 273lb ft @ 2,000-2,500rpm
Top speed/0-62mph 126mph/9.8 secs
CO2 emissions (tax band) 119g/km (C) Euro 6
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) 54.3/67.2/61.4mpg
Fuel tank size/range 60 litres/810 miles
Insurance group/BIK rate tba/21%
Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,520/2,067mm
Boot space (7/5/2-seats) 65/448-520/1,715 litres
Kerb/max towing weight 1,577/1,800kg
In showrooms Summer 2015
Prices .21,495 to .27,615
Bodystyles 5-door MPV
Engines 1.5 (118bhp) 2.0 (148bhp)
Trim levels Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X
Also consider Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Ford Grand C-MAX Images

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