The pillars of a car are quite important. After all, they provide strength, rigidity and somewhere to attach the doors. So it is quite a feat that Ford managed to remove the B-pillar, that’s the one between the front and rear doors, on the B-MAX.
The front doors of the B-Max are the standard size and the back doors slide back on rails. The result is a car that opens up quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. In fact, I managed to load a mountain bike through the side entrance. Granted, it was a little unnecessary but it proves the point. For new moms and dads, the B-MAX could be the perfect car. The giant side opening makes fitting and removing a child seat a breeze and the impressive range of seat folding options (even the front passenger seat folds down!) makes loading just about anything possible.
The interior is properly plush for a car in this segment and Ford’s Sync system, although it looks dated and has far too many buttons plastered across the dash, works brilliantly. It scans your phone for music and contacts, allowing you to simply say a name or album title to initiate a call or playback. It seems to be very good at handling a South African accent.
The B-MAX is only available with Ford’s now ubiquitous 1.0 litre turbo petrol engine, which I found to be its Achilles heel. Ford claims exceptional economy figures but I found it to be quite thirsty.
Model: Ford B-MAX 1.0T Titanium
Engine: 1.0 litre inline-three turbo petrol
Combined fuel consumption: 4.9 litres/100km
CO2: 114 g/km
Luggage compartment: 304 litres (1 372 litres with seats down)
Price: R274 900
Find out more at ford.co.za.
Read about two other slick compact cars on the market – the VW Up! and the Mazda MX-5 – in our small cars feature on pg 32 of our March 2016 issue.