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Used Ford Grand C-Max review

Back before the world went SUV crazy, MPVs were the thing to have if you had an expanding family. And if it could carry 7 people in a manageable way, then all the better. Step forward the Ford Grand C-Max, which blends clever in-cabin tech that makes family life easier with low running costs.

Looks?

The Ford Grand C-Max is a winner because it’s a boxy, practical MPV that doesn’t look too much like a boxy, practical MPV. So, it kicks off with a wide, friendly grille with a large headlight either side before heading backwards to a huge windscreen that’s really sloped in the interests of aerodynamic efficiency. 

The glass areas after that are pretty large. And while the Grand C-Max has vertical, almost slab, sides it disguises this with a gently rising waistline that gives it a more purposeful stance that’s almost reminiscent of a 1950s American drag car. There’s also a line running from the trailing edge of the rear doors to the tail lights, and this is the runner for the all-important sliding rear doors. 

At the back, the tailgate is large and nigh-on vertical to help with practicality and houses a big rear window. It opens up a long way so there’s little chance of banging your head on it when putting stuff into the boot. 

There’s little chance of banging your head on it when putting stuff into the boot.

What’s it like to drive?

From behind the wheel, you’ll struggle to believe that the Ford Grand C-Max is a large, top-heavy MPV, because it displays a nimbleness that completely defies the looks. On top of that, the ride is perfectly comfortable too. 

The large glass areas make it pretty easy to judge the car’s corners in town, and in turn the good view out means parking brings no stress whatsoever.  

The best engine option is the higher-powered 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, which feels pretty nippy around town and isn’t fazed by faster roads. The other option is aimed at higher-mileage drivers. The 1.5-litre turbodiesel feels very strong off the mark and will travel from one end of the M6 to the other without breaking sweat – and it matters not whether all 7 seats are in use. 

The large glass areas make it pretty easy to judge the car’s corners in town, and in turn the good view out means parking brings no stress whatsoever.  

Inside?

The dashboard was designed when Ford was enjoying its edgy period, so there are angles everywhere, with a mish-mash of straight lines and curves throughout the interior.  

Ahead of the driver sits a comparatively conventional instrument binnacle with a couple of main dials supplemented by smaller items. There’s also a small central digital display through which you control various car systems. 

There aren’t actually that many buttons on the dashboard. The steering wheel makes up for this, because there’s a huge number of buttons on it, allowing you to control everything from the audio set-up to the cruise control, the telephone, and the systems mentioned in the display between the speedometer and rev counter. 

Atop the centre console sits a touchscreen, which has a few shortcut buttons in front of it, as well as the audio volume control. Below this are the controls for the air-conditioning/climate control system, plus the heated windscreen, and finally, the gear lever, which is at a perfect height for comfortable gear changes. 

Quality is generally pretty good and definitely a match for the Grand C-Max’s main rivals. So, the top of the dashboard has a dense feel and compresses nicely when pressed, and while some of the other plastics perhaps don’t feel quite as plush, they certainly feel built to last. 

All models get a DAB radio, air-conditioning and Ford’s brilliant Quickclear windscreen. Moving up the range brings dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, all-important rear parking sensors and auto lights and wipers. Top-spec cars get xenon lights and part-leather trim. 

Practicality

This is the whole raison d’etre of an MPV, and the Ford Grand C-Max is a great example. For a start, it has sliding rear doors, which make getting kids, child seats and general stuff into and out of the car much easier in tight parking spaces. There’s also no chance of kids swinging open the door against a wall. 

There’s good space up front, and plenty in the middle row too. Indeed, the central seat can be folded away and the outer seats pushed inwards to make the Grand C-Max a roomy 6-seater. 

The 2 rearmost seats can be raised using one hand, and when all of the seats are lowered they leave a perfectly flat area, turning the car into a passable van. The boot is big enough for a child’s buggy, and the load lip is level with the floor, so no problems there. 

Running costs and reliability

As you’d expect, both of the preferred engines will drink a bit more when the Grand C-Max is fully loaded with people and stuff, but they’re pretty light of thirst in normal use.  

So, you can expect the 1.0-litre petrol model to do close to its official average of 54.3mpg, while the 1.5-litre diesel will get even more, close to its official 64.2mpg. Insurance groups are low, with the 1.0 EcoBoost in group 13 and the 1.5 diesel in group 17. The most powerful, highest-spec models top out at group 26, so not too expensive. 

What cinch loves

The Ford Grand C-Max really hits the nail on the head for MPV buyers. That’s because the cabin does all the little things that make family life easier. There’s lots of space for everyone, which helps keep tensions down, and when you need to raise or lower the seats to carry more people or stuff, it’s a simple one-handed operation. 

All of this would be a waste if the Grand C-Max was a gas guzzler, but nothing could be further from the truth. Better still, it’s actually an enjoyable car to drive when you’ve dropped everyone off. 

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Verdict

Good

There are few better cars for dealing with the day-to-day grind and dramas of family life. It has the standard kit to make everyone feel comfortable and safe.And it has the flexibility to deal with whatever a weekend has to throw at it, be it a kids’football team ortrip to the tip.

This review was

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