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Mirroring what the brand has already done with the facelifted Focus acting as an appetiser to the new Mondeo, the facelifted C-max/seven-seat Grand C-max duo is the starter to the main course of the all-new S-max bigger brother.
Both will arrive this summer, with the new C-max and Grand C-max inheriting the latest Ford design - that incorporates the wider grille and chiselled headlights - already seen on the facelifted Focus and Fiesta models.
Efficiency improvements are evident across the board, with the five-seat C-max dropping to a low of 105g/km for the 120hp 1.5 diesel from 124g/km, while the Grand C-max in 150hp 2.0-litre form, which was the only car available to sample at the launch event, drops from 134g/km to 120g/km. Stepping up from C-max to Grand brings a CO2 penalty of 3-10g/km, depending on model.
Interior improvements include the addition of Ford's Sync2 system with the eight-inch touchscreen, as seen on the new Mondeo, added for the Titanium and Titanium X trim levels, which removes a number of buttons from the dashboard. The hands-free tailgate opening, enacted by waving a foot under the bumper, is for the first time available as an option on the C-max range.
The extra practicality of the larger car complete with two additional rear seats costs £1600, and it also continues to offer additional middle-row practicality thanks to the central seat folding into one of the outer ones to create a walk-through gap to the third row. Although it's not spacious, for a car in this sector there's decent room in the back row.
Ford claims to have made significant refinement improvements, with thicker glass and carpet plus increased insulation around the front wheel arches and rear bumper. Although this has improved matters, it makes the wind noise around the windscreen pillars more obvious. The C-max also continues Ford's typically excellent balance of ride and handling prowess.
The Grand, which takes around a quarter of sales, is significantly less good-looking than its more curvy and resolved five-seat sibling. The square rear of the Grand, so designed to incorporate the third row of seats, gives the car a more utilitarian and less attractive stance.
Whole-life costs haven't yet been published for the C-max, but Ford is claiming a residual value uplift of around £650, and the increased efficiency will help taxation and fuel costs.
That RV improvement is countered by prices rising by £545 on like-for-like models, or by £700 on this 2.0-litre diesel that jumps by 10hp to 150hp, but we'd still expect a reduction in the overall cost per mile figure that already sees the Grand C-max as one of the most cost-efficient small seven-seaters to run.
Ford Grand C-max 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium
Model price range £18,195-£27,615
Fuel consumption 61.0mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 119g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month £86/£171
Boot space (min/max*) 728/1715 litres
Engine size/power 1997cc/150hp
88 litres with seven seats up*
Improved running costs will help keep Ford around the top of the class