Ford Grand C-Max Review & Ratings
- 15 February 2018
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
People carrier gets updated engines, a fresh face and more advanced safety kit. Good to drive and to live with but bigger rivals aren’t that much more expensive.
WITH SLIDING DOORS and seven seats, and measuring only 16cm longer and less than lcm wider than a Ford Focus, the Grand C-Max sounds like the ideal transport for a hectic family.
This update of the model brings a new, more efficient engine range that now starts with the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol- a three-cylinder, turbocharged engine that produces either ggbhp or i24bhp.
It continues with 1.5 and 2.0-litre diesels, the latter available with a twin-clutch automatic gearbox.
Other changes include a revised interior and exterior, and improved optional safety aids.
Decent space, improved fascia The seat layout is as before with the second row comprising two full-size, sliding seats plus a narrow middle section that’s uncomfortable to sit on.
This central part can be folded and hidden away, leaving a corridor to the third row which consists of two occasional seats, each of which can be unfolded with one hand. Provided you’re not worried about squashing people in this back row, the full-size seats in the middle row slide back to create loads of room.
With five seats in place the boot is a square, 475-litre area that’s a bit smaller than the boot in a Peugeot 5008. Nonetheless it is deep and will take most bulky everyday items easily. There’s little luggage space with all seven seats in use, though.
The updated dashboard is taken from the Focus and is a real improvement. It has an 8.0in touchscreen that’s standard on mid-spec Titanium versions and upwards. This is the trim we’d go for.
Entry-level Zetec gets air-con and rear parking sensors but Titanium adds climate control, automatic lights and wipers, and cruise control. You also have to go with Titanium and beyond to get the 2.0-litre diesel engine.
There’s now some useful (optional) safety tech on offer, too, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning and an automatic parking system.
Pleasant to drive and quieter The 2.0-litre diesel is punchy at speed and will hold low revs for relaxed town driving. Body lean is well controlled and the Grand C- Max corners well. The suspension irons out the worst bumps and ruts. A light gearshift and easily modulated pedal response make it an easy car to drive smoothly in traffic, too.
Road noise is now better than it was thanks to the addition of more cabin insulation, while the 2.0-litre diesel is vocal only when you’re accelerating hard. Wind noise remains noticeable at motorway speeds, however.
Visibility is only so-so. Chunky windscreen pillars can obscure the view and there’s a fairly big blind spot over the left shoulder.
Check out bigger rivals first
The Grand C-Max is easy yet enjoyable to drive and has a versatile interior. Its running costs are competitive, particularly for company car buyers who will find it cheaper to tax than most key rivals.
Just be sure you wouldn’t be better off with a ‘proper’ seven- seater such as a Citroen Grand C4 Picasso or even the new Ford S-Max. These are more spacious and feel like a lot more car, for what could be not much more money.