Read our first drive review of the Ford B-Max and watch all our car launch videos from the Geneva Motor Show 2012.
A small MPV set to replace the aging Fusion, the Ford B-Max features sliding side doors to aid access to the rear seats.
B-Max sliding doors
The production debut of the Ford B-Max comes a year after the concept was first shown at Geneva 2011. As well as looking very similar, the real thing has kept the concept’s most interesting feature, its clever sliding rear doors.
Sliding doors are not new as such, but what’s different about the B-Max is that they incorporate the B-pillar, creating a much larger opening to aid the installation of child car seats – and making passenger access to the rear seats considerably easier. The feature is likely to be especially helpful in tight parking spaces.
According to Ford, the design does not compromise safety levels. By utilising high-strength steel in key areas, it says the new mini-MPV provides the same levels of protection as more conventional designs.
Ford B-Max interior
According to Ford CEO, Alan Mullaly, the rationale behind the B-Max was to ‘respond to the needs of an increasing number of customers who want much more from their small cars’.
To this end, the B-Max sports a flexible seating arrangement with 60/40 split-folding rear seats that retract to create a flat load area. At only 11cm longer than the Ford Fiesta five-door, and 32cm shorter than the Ford C-Max MPV, the B-Max’s main strength is its promised ability to combine a small footprint with a spacious interior.
1.0-litre Ecoboost engine
The B-Max will be available with Ford’s new 123bhp 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, which recently debuted in the Focus five-door hatchback.
The new unit is a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol, and on paper delivers all the performance of a regular 1.6-litre engine with claimed fuel economy of 58.9mpg.
The B-Max will also come with Ford’s more conventional Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engines, plus further petrol choices are to be confirmed.
The 2012 Ford B-Max goes on sale in the UK in September. Pricing and specification is yet to be announced, but we should learn more when the car is unveiled in Geneva next month.