Motoring review: Ford B-Max

J'adore the doors on this roomy family drive

Price: from £12,995 (£18,195 as tested)
Engine capacity: 1.0-litre Ecoboost
Power Output (PS @ rpm): 120 @ 6,000
Top Speed (mph): 117
0-60 mph (seconds): 11.2
CO2 emissions (g/km): 114

Additional options on new cars are rarely worth the money. For instance a sat-nav from Halfords will cost you less than £100 while an inbuilt version from a car manufacturer could cost 10 times as much. And if you're foolish enough to opt for fancy Alcantara seats or bling alloys, you probably have more money than sense. That's fine if you like that sort of thing and you can afford it, but there's one new option that we should all tick the box for at the dealership.

It's called Door Edge Protector and came fitted on the new Ford B-Max I've had on loan. The B-Max is the sort of car for families with children. And how many times have your children (or you) opened the car door into the side of an expensive-looking saloon or SUV in a cramped supermarket car park? It's a crime we're all guilty of (or have been the victim of) and I'm not exaggerating when I say that Door Edge Protector is our salvation. It's only a flimsy £50 piece of plastic but it flips out as soon as you open your door, quickly wraps out to protect it, before folding away as you close it.

It's a particularly useful gadget for me as the drive outside my flat is rather narrow and when the drive is full, I have to contort myself into all sorts of back-breaking positions to slide out without smashing car doors against the wall. The B-Max then was a game changer for me. It's a great a leap forward for humanity as penicillin or sliced bread. Well, perhaps not, but it is a piece of genius. It came from down the road in Britain, too, developed at Ford's Dunton research centre in Essex. Who says we don't invent things anymore?

The team at Dunton has obviously been busy on the door front as the B-Max – Ford's latest mini people-carrier – has sliding doors. These aren't an optional extra. They come as standard and because there is no fixed B-pillar (the vertical where front and rear doors normally meet) the whole side of the B-Max opens up to reveal an aperture 1.5m (5ft) wide. Why would you want this? Well, it's far easier to pack in children and their car seats (or elderly relatives). It hasn't come at the price of reduced legroom or boot space either. Sounds dangerous removing all this metal, doesn't it? Well not really. Ford has installed "crash catchers" to lock the doors to the roof and floor structures in case of an accident. And sure enough the B-Max has won a prestigious five-star Euro-NCAP rating. I had no idea that doors could be so interesting.

Unlike most new cars the B-Max isn't replacing an existing model. It's entirely new and for a company that lost £465m in Europe last year, that makes it very important. The firm's bosses will no doubt be pleased that Ford has managed to sign up 2,500 B-Max buyers before it even hits an Inchcape or Dagenham Motors forecourt.

That should hardly come as a surprise to them though. The B-Max is easy to get in and out of, has plenty of storage space, is packed with hi-tech safety, has a range of increasingly fuel- efficient engines (though I struggled to get above 40mpg) and entertainment features and is reasonably affordable. It's also, like most recent Fords, quite fun to drive. Especially when fitted with the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine which revs and puts power down smoothly. Put simply; it's an excellent family car... with very funky doors.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Java Developer - 1 year contract

    £350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

    Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

    £17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

    SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

    £450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

    Project Manager - Pensions

    £32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone