Which? reviews the latest Ford Grand C-MaxPlus our top 10 tips for buying a used car

12 February 2016

Ford Grand C-Max

The latest version of the seven-seat people carrier, the Ford Grand C-Max, has been through our comprehensive lab tests. Is it a Best Buy?

People carriers (or MPVs – multi-purpose vehicles) can be fantastic cars if you have a large or growing family.

But a bad people carrier will drink lots of fuel, can be difficult to manoeuvre thanks to factors like a wide turning circle and poor visibility, or just feel underpowered, leaving you to struggle uphill with a car full of people, luggage or both.

Which? members can go straight to the updated Ford Grand C-Max review to find out whether this people carrier has what it takes to be a Best Buy. Not a member yet? Sign up for a £1 trial and discover the benefits of having over 700 car reviews at your fingertips.

Grand C-Max (2010-) seven-seat MPV - facelift

The Ford Grand C-Max is a seven-seat people carrier with sliding rear doors.

The current generation launched in 2010 but has since benefited from a comprehensive mid-life facelift. In keeping with current Ford styling, among the updates to the exterior is a new grill, which we think looks a little bit Aston Martin-esque – certainly no bad thing.

The insides have also been revamped and now feature a more intuitive and cohesive dashboard design, which should make it easier to use.

There's a greater range of standard equipment, too. All cars come with alloy wheels, air conditioning, a DAB radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, heated windscreen and voice control. But some recent additions worth highlighting include tyre pressure monitoring and 'MyKey'.

What’s MyKey? Well it allows you to take a second car key and programme it – setting speed limits, maximum stereo volume, when you get low fuel warnings and more. Potentially a very helpful feature if your children are learning to drive and you want to ‘encourage’ good driving habits.

The engine line has also been revised. Both petrol and diesel power have been updated and boast decent fuel efficiency and low CO2 ratings (which means low car tax).

This all sounds very promising, but how does the car actually feel to drive, what mpg does it get in real life and is it as practical as it sounds? Get the answers to these questions and more by reading our Ford Grand C-Max review.

Top 10 tips for buying a used car

Buying a used car

Buying a car used is an affordable way to get your hands on the car you want. But buying any car is no simple thing. Is it best to go to a franchised dealer, private seller or auction? How does the badge and the fuel affect the sale value? What information can I use to haggle for a better price?

Here are two example tips from our guide:

Dealer or private?

An ‘approved used’ car from a manufacturer's franchised dealer is usually the most expensive option, but the car should have been checked thoroughly, and it will come with a warranty.

Independent dealers generally offer lower prices and more choice, as they’re not tied to a particular marque. However, any warranty offered may be limited.

Buying from a private seller is usually cheapest, although most cars are ‘sold as seen’, so you will have very little legal comeback if things go wrong. You may also have to arrange your own insurance cover to legally test drive a car offered by a private seller, whereas most dealerships will have a policy that covers test drives.

Finally, a car auction could be cheaper still. Auctions are fast-paced, though, so make sure you set a budget and stick to it. Attend a sale first to learn the ropes before you decide to bid.

Do a history and finance check

A used car history or vehicle provenance check will show if a car has outstanding finance, or has previously been stolen or written off by an insurance company. We recommend checking any potential purchases in this way, particularly if offered by a private seller.

Those are just two of our top 10 tips - head over to our free advice guide on how to buy a used car to view them all.

More on this…