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Ford Grand C-max: Test Drive Review

Date: 29 September 2010   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Category: Mini-MPV
P11D price: £19,745
Key rival: Vauxhall Zafira

Wising up to the opportunity in big family cars, Ford has introduced its first seven-seat C-max, the Grand C-max.

Around two-thirds of this segment's buyers are now seeking seven-seat flexibility, according to Ford, which considers the Grand C-max as the 'spiritual successor' to the regular C-max, while the five-seat version to be sold alongside the Grand will appeal to a Focus owner looking for something more practical.

On sale this month, around 45% of Grand C-max and C-max sales will be to fleets. As a reflection of the desirability for more space, Ford expects the Grand to sell 11,500 in its first full year compared with 7500 for the five-seater C-max.

Both cars offer three petrol and two diesel engines, including Ford's new 1.6-litre 148hp Ecoboost petrol powerplant. The most popular fleet seller for the Grand will be the 1.6-litre TDCi 113hp in the lesser of two trims, Zetec.

Ford cars have been relatively expensive in recent years, but this model, at £19,745 with a host of options, seems more reasonable. Specification on the Zetec trim includes alloy wheels, leather steering wheels, DAB radio, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. The Titanium trim (an extra £1000) adds auto front wipers and headlamps, dual electronic automatic temperature control, hill launch assist, keyless start and cruise control.

Whole-life costs are not yet available - however, with 129g/km CO2 emissions, the Grand will undoubtedly be a popular choice in this sector with a benefit-in-kind tax band of 18%. That means £59 for a 20% taxpayer. A similar-powered Citroen Grand C4 Picasso has 140g/km, and a Vauxhall Zafira has 134g/km, but the Volkswagen Touran beats it with 121g/km.

Built on the Focus platform, the car handles corners like something much smaller, and the six-speed manual gearbox is near-faultless.

Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre 163hp diesel engine ­- which won't be sold in the UK but was the only Grand C-max made available to test by Ford - is refined. The interior is smart and comfortable but seems to lack space considering the car's overall size. Also, the central console is busy, with buttons that are difficult to control while driving, and there doesn't seem to be enough cubby holes for this sort of family vehicle.

The car features new technology such as hill assist and park assist, which will also appear in the new Focus when it goes on sale next year.

There's not much difference in upfront cost with the Grand C-max against its rivals, and if the 1.6 113hp diesel turns out to be as promising as the car we tested, the Grand C-max will be first choice for business buyers wanting seven seats.

Ford Grand C-Max 1.6 TDCi 113hp Zetec
P11D price £19,745
Model price range£18,745-£23,245
Fuel consumption57.7mpg
CO2 (tax) 129g/km/(18%)
BIK 20/40% per month£59/£118
Service interval12,000mls
Insurancegroup 16
Boot space (min/max)56/1742 litres
Engine size/power1560cc/113hp
Top speed/0-62mph112mph/12.3secs
On sale Oct 2010
VerdictSensible choice for fleets wanting small seven-seater vehicle


Sensible choice for fleets wanting small seven-seater vehicle