HARD ON the heels of the newly revealed S-Max, Ford has unmasked an updated version of its smaller, Focus-based sibling, the C-Max people carrier.
Sporting the car maker’s new One Ford global look (inverted trapezoidal grille, wider haunches, and waistline and bonnet creases) the refreshed model has a sportier appearance but retains the familiar C-Max profile.
As before, it’s available in five-seat C-Max and seven-seat Grand C-Max forms, this last with twin sliding rear doors. However, both models now have Ford’s hands-free tailgate opening system, first seen on the Kuga, that allows the driver to kick their foot below the rear bumper to remotely activate the rear hatch.
Power is provided by a choice of two engines: a 1.0T EcoBoost petrol producing 121bhp, and a 1.5-litre TDCi developing 116bhp. With a torque output of 199 lb ft for smoother, more effortless cruising, and expected good fuel economy (precise figures have still to be revealed by Ford), this last engine is likely to be the best seller. As before, drive will be to the front wheels via a choice of six-speed manual and semi-auto Powershift transmissions.
Being on the same platform as the revised Focus, steering, ride and handling, and noise suppression are likely to have received the same attention, so expect a slightly quieter drive, more absorbent ride and sharper steering.
In line with the facelifted Focus and just-revealed S-Max, the interior has been given a makeover, highlights being a more practical centre console, a so-called swing-bin glovebox offering easier access and a larger top-fascia storage box.
In addition, the fascia has been simplified, primarily owing to the fact that it features the 8in touchscreen first seen on the revised Focus. This incorporates many of the functions that on the previous-generation C-Max were operated via a sea of buttons and switches. That said, the entry-level Style version, only, of the C-Max suffers the indignity of having the smaller screen found in top-spec versions of the old model. It is not touch sensitive so the fascia is once again home to those same buttons and switches.
Prices of the new C-Max and Grand C-Max haven’t been announced but are likely to range from £18,000 for the 1.0T EcoBoost Style to £25,000 for the Grand C-Max Titanium X 1.5 TDCi Powershift. The new model goes on sale in early 2015.