Downsizing taken to B-Max
Published 06/03/2011 | 05:00
I CAME late to the Opel Meriva but while I found it very capable and satisfactory, it was unfortunate that its personality was no more than what was defined by its rear doors, which open the opposite way to normal -- in other words, opening to the back rather than the front. This is far better for families as it gives a more secure environment for loading the car.
One of the stars at the present Geneva show after we have discounted the electric Rolls Royce and the brilliant Celica/Supra replacement for Toyota is the Ford B-Max. A real family car for downsizers that takes a lot of the advantages of the lovely S-Max and downsizes it to much the same size as a Fiesta. It looks absolutely beautiful and I predict will be a real winner when it arrives early next year.
With both front and rear doors open, there is great access to the interior, around twice the width offered by competitors with alternative door concepts, making it significantly easier to get in and out of rear seats, attend to children in child seats, or load shopping.
Having folded the 60/40 split rear seats and the front passenger seat to create an extensive flat load floor, the side access is particularly convenient for loading bulky items such as flat-pack furniture or -- more importantly -- a bicycle.
Sitting 11cm taller than Fiesta, the B-Max also provides generous accommodation for its occupants. Drivers benefit from a higher 'command' seating position, while rear-seat legroom and headroom is significantly improved. The sensation of space in the interior is enhanced by a full-size panoramic glass roof, which covers the entire roof area.
The B-Max is powered by an ultra-low-CO2 powertrain, featuring a state-of-the-art three-cylinder 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine equipped with the Ford Auto-Start-Stop system.
I am looking forward to it and loading up my bike.