If asked what sort of MPV we'd recommend, we'd normally ask ""do you like driving?"" and if the answer came back positive, the answer has tended to be a Ford C-MAX - or the 7-seat 'Grand' version if you need the extra space. It seems simple but that right there is the big draw card of the Grand C-MAX. It's a car that operates in the distress purchase sector of the market, where it's needed rather than wanted, but still manages to bring an element of surprise and delight. The sheer joy of realising that MPV ownership needn't be boring is something to behold.
This time round with this improved MK1 model, Ford has paid particular attention to improving refinement. Noise, vibration and harshness have been improved through the use of thicker side glass and more absorbent seals around the tailgate and rear view mirror. The engine bay heat shield has been filled with acoustic damping material to reduce powertrain noise and diesel cars are equipped with extra acoustic seals to further reduce noise intrusion. A retuned dual mass flywheel helps to reduce shaking forces when the engine is under load, while revised engine mounts offer improved refinement during Auto-Start-Stop operation. The star of the engine line-up is the 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine, seen for the first time in the C-MAX, replacing the old 1.6-litre unit. Power goes up by five per cent while emissions drop by six points. There are also the multi-award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engines, offered once again in 100 and 125PS outputs. The big banger in the range is a revised 2.0-litre diesel.