Early in 2016 Ford gave potential B-MAX customers some extra choice by introducing what are known as the Colour Editions. In the UK there are nine of these, painted in red, blue or, as here, Moondust Silver with contrasting black wheels roof and door mirror covers, and with an 89bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine, a 104bhp 1.6 diesel (with PowerShift automatic transmission) or the most technically advanced of them all, the one-litre EcoBoost.
Like all the other little three-cylinder turbo engines which have cascaded on to the market in the last five years, the EcoBoost is impressively quiet. In the case of the Silver (and Red and Blue) Edition, this is misleading. Every other EcoBoost B-MAX has a power output of either 99bhp or 124bhp, but Ford has given these models the significantly stronger 138bhp version.
That doesn’t make this is particularly quick car, though a 0-62mph time of just over ten seconds isn’t at all bad, and you’re unlikely to find yourself complaining that a quicker B-MAX would be more suitable. It gets through petrol at a reasonable rate, too. I averaged about 44mpg without giving economy much thought, which I thought was okay for something that’s an aerodynamic disaster area compared with its close relative, the Fiesta.
Ride and handling are acceptable too, and that was a surprise. I have never driven an EcoBoost Fiesta which I didn’t think could have been improved with another week’s work on the suspension, but the B-MAX gave me no cause for complaint even when I drove it for nearly 500 miles in a single day.
I’m aware, however, that most of the above will be irrelevant to people who are interested in this sort of car. Interior space, and access to that space, are the crucial factors here, and the B-MAX scores well in each case. Four and a quarter inches longer than the Fiesta, it has plenty of space for passengers in the front and back, and is very well served by its sliding rear side doors. They take a little more effort to use than conventional hinged ones, but it’s worth it.
With the rear seats up there’s 318 litres of luggage space, 28 more than in the Fiesta, and with them down the volume increases to a very useful 1386 litres. The load sill is very low, so heaving stuff in there is easy. Folding the seats is easy enough, with the slight complication that you have to be careful not to trap the belts when you unfold them again.
Since every B-MAX is like this, you might be as well to spend the bare minimum on the most basic version. The Silver Edition’s colour scheme makes it look quite expensive, but since it’s based on the lowest trim level, called Zetec (Titanium and Titanium X are also available), it’s quite reasonably priced.
Still, it would be worth spending a little more on some of the optional extras. Active City Stop at £200 is probably the most sensible, though I can see why you might want to choose the satellite navigation, DAB digital radio and Ford SYNC bundle, since that costs only £400. I couldn’t pair my Android phone, but since this is the only time I’ve ever been unable to do this in any Ford with SYNC I assume it was a specific problem with the test car and could have been fixed (at, I hope, no cost) by a dealer if I were a buyer rather than a reviewer.
Engine size 999cc
Top speed 122mph
0-62mph 10.3 seconds
Fuel economy 56.5mpg combined
CO2 emissions 116g/km
Towing capacity 750kg (braked)
Euro NCAP (2012) Overall 5 stars Adult occupant 92% Child occupant 84% Pedestrian 67% Safety assist 71%
Information correct at publication date