Ford Grand C-Max Review
Competitive on the costs front, and now with an enhanced appeal the Ford Grand C-Max is cornering the family sector of the market.
- Much more attractive than ever before
- Driving the Grand C-Max, you can forget you are actually driving an MPV
- High level of equipment
- Residuals are not as good as a similar specced VW
- Rearmost seats should really be used for children
- Entering and exiting the rear-most seats can be a bit of a faff
Balancing practicality with a mix of good driving dynamics while staying relatively frugal is what the refreshed Grand C--Max aims to do. However, Ford to its credit has form for producing cars with a decent amount of practicality and good dynamics.
This new Grand C-Max has oodles of tasty kit, but is this a class-leading proposition or are rivals including Citroen’s Grand Picasso and the Renault grand Scenic better? Read on to find out…
On the Road
There are plenty of engines to choose from. Petrol units include the 1.0-litre EcoBoost with 98bhp or a higher powered 123bhp power plant. There’s also a 1.5-litre EcoBoost producing 147bhp mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto ‘box. There’s also a higher powered 1.5-litre EcoBoost, pumping out 179bhp and this is mated to a six-speed auto. The final petrol engine in the range is the 1.6 VCT and it is mated to a five speed manual ‘box and producing 123bhp.
If derv is your preference then there is also plenty of options. Ford offers three engines with numerous transmission choices and power outputs.
Deep breath… there’s a 93bhp 1.5-litre TDCi mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto gearbox. There’s also a higher powered unit of the same capacity. This variant 1of the 1.5-litre TDCi pumps out 118bhp, this too is available with the auto transmission and can also be purchased with the auto PowerShift ‘box. If that’s not enough, there’s also a 1.6-litre TDCi mated to a six-speed manual box with 113bhp. At the top end of the engine line-up, Ford also offers a 2.0-litre TDCi available with either 147bhp or 167bhp and the option of two choices of transmission including a six-speed manual or a six-speed Powershift ‘box.
The quickest petrol across the benchmark sprint is the 179bhp 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol. It can reach 62mph from a standing start in 9.5 seconds while the fastest diesel is the 2.0-litre diesel producing 167bhp. It can complete the benchmark sprint in 8.8 seconds.
Ford is renowned for making good driving cars, the Grand C-Max is no different. It is another cracking car in a host of blue Oval badged cars that are good fun. For such a large car, it is surprising how good the Grand C-max is on the twisty stuff as not much comes close to it in this sector of the market. It fells much more nimble than it looks, in fact you could be mistaken when behind the wheel for thinking you are driving a Fiesta or Focus, yes it really is that well sorted. Bodyroll is pretty much non-existent for this size of car. Turn-in is very good while the steering rack is quick. All this means that the steering on the Grand C-Max is sharp and direct. The weighting on the steering is pretty much perfect which makes driving the Grand C-Max even more enjoyable.
As you might expect, the comfort levels in the seven-seat Grand C-max is very good. When at speed, road and engine noise are minimal although the large A pillars can suffer from buffeting on windy days. However, the cabin is pleasant place to spend time in. Up front the seats are comfortable and offer a good level of bolstering for your back while there is also good side supports. There is plenty of head- and legroom for the driver and front seat passenger while there is ample space for rear passengers. The rearmost seats are best reserved for children as space is a little on the tight side back there.
In the car
Just like the first-generation Grand C-Max, this refreshed version comes with a high-driving position, which is a boon for in-town driving. It also means that visibility both in the front and back is first class. The gearshift is dash-mounted making changes child’s play.
On the inside, the materials are of a better quality, the interior may not be as plush as a Volkswagen but it is much grander than the equivalent Renault or Citroen.
Three trim levels are available on the Grand C-Max. First up is Zetec and standard equipment includes 15-inch alloys wheels, front fog lights, upper front grille with chrome surround, body colour power/heated mirrors with integrated side indicators, body colour door handles, sliding rear doors and Ford’s Easy-Fuel capless refuelling system.
Jump inside and a DAB radio with 4.2-inch colour display, SYNC with voice control (Include Bluetooth and emergency assistance), six speakers and USB connectivity, aircon, centre console with armrest and stowage, heated windscreen, electrically-operated front windows, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift knob are all standard features.
Move up to Titanium and exterior highlights include 17-inch alloys, fog lights with chrome finish surrounds, automatic headlights, halogen signature headlights with LED day running lights, rain-sensing wipers. Standard tech on the inside includes dual-zone aircon, 8-inch TFT Touchscreen DAB Radio/CD/SD with enhanced voice control (includes Bluetooth and emergency assistance), cruise control with speed limiter, Ford power starter button, upgraded seat trims, overhead console with stowage, sunglasses holder and child observation mirror.
The top of the range Titanium X adds, adaptive lighting with Bi-Xenon signature headlights and dynamic curve light, dedicated LED day running lights, automatic headlight levelling and a fixed panoramic roof.
Additional equipment on the interior includes SYNC 2 with Voice Control and 8-inch colour TFT Touchscreen, sports seats, driver’s electric height, fore/aft and backrest seat adjustment, heated front seats, armrest with premium contrast stitching and door panel with premium contrast stitching.
The family friendly layout of the Grand C-Max means it is likely to sell more models than its smaller sibling, the C-Max. The layout has a flexible arrangement of 2+3+2, although the rear most seats should be reserved for children, space is limited and clambering in and out to reach these seats can be a bit of a faff. If you want enhanced practicality without needing seven seats, you can always order the Comfort package that is offered as an option. This means that you can have six seats but offers passengers in the rear more legroom as the middle seat is folded away, increasing the useable space. If you are loading objects in the boot the load space ranges from 432 litres and expands to 1,723 litres.
Ford is one of the most competitive makers on the market when it comes to running costs. So it is no surprise to see the family friendly Grand C-Max have a claimed average economy of high fifties to mid sixties. The most frugal engine is the 1.5-litre diesel unit producing 117bhp, it has a claimed average of 64.2mpg.
Thanks to being a run-of-the-mill MPV and the fact that it comes with a Thatcham category one alarm as standard, the Grand C-Max is competitive in terms of insurance costs.
There's little to say, but that is a good thing. Ford models are usually very reliable and this means you should have few problems with your grand C-Max.
The Ford Grand C-Max is one of the safest cars in its class. It has achieved a full five stars rating for safety specialists, Euro NCAP in their renowned tests. Boasting numerous safety systems, highlights include Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Anti-lock Braking (ABS) including Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist and Corner Brake Control (CBC). That’s not it, there’s also a Traction Control System (TCS), Blind Spot Information System Active Park Assist, front airbags for driver and the front seat passenger, front to rear curtain airbags on the first and second rows and ISOFIX child safety seat attachments.