Made in Romania, this would be the main party piece of the Ford B Max. Or maybe it’s the best Romanian car nobody has heard of. Too bad.

Ford B Max is obviously the successor of Ford Fusion and its most logical successor can only be Ford EcoSport. And I was laughing at the Seat Toledo as an experimental model. But most importantly the Ford B Max was built in Craiova and was supposed to be a smaller C Max or a car for young families. Basically, it’s a Ford Fiesta with sliding doors and not just a simple van with windows.

On the sales side, the B Max sold as well as the solar powered flashlights. I don’t know what the Americans were thinking when they made the B Max cost as much as the Ford Fusion, i.e. far too much for what it offers, but the issues don’t stop there.

First, we have the purchase price of the new one, which we’ve already talked about. The Ford B Max was supposed to appeal to young families, just starting out. A very good idea, but to charge €18,000 in today’s money as a starting price is aspirational but far too expensive for reality. Plus the reality in Europe is that young families can’t afford new cars, let alone the 16-20,000 euros which the Americans charge for a B Max.

Then you have the issue of space. First-time-parents in general go crazy when they have their first child and usually buy an Opel Zafira or a Ford S Max or a Touran, and by the second child they already go into the Ford Galaxy zone and some even go beyond and nick Leopard 2’s from the army bases. That’s why the Meriva didn’t catch on with the public either, because family cars have to be as big as possible. 


Then why buy a Ford B Max?

If the question is to buy it new, yes, then the question is as legitimate as 1% of Henry the VIII’s children. But if you want to buy a used Ford B Max, then things degenerate violently and the perspective changes completely. In the unlikely event that you find one for sale (at the time I barfed these words there were only 4 ads on marketplace), then you’ll see that you get quite a lot of car for your money. A Ford B Max costs between 5000 and 6000 euros, which is not bad considering it came out in 2012. Moreover, at 6500 euros you can even buy a Euro 6 model and it’s one of the few cars that can say that.


And it’s not just the price that helps the Ford B Max. Yes, it’s a Fiesta but it’s a much more practical Fiesta. It’s taller and it’s got sliding rear doors. It’s got a slightly bigger boot than the Fiesta. And in most of Europe Ford only sells Titanium trim because we only buy “almost full”, “full without leather” and “extra full”. No longer the wheelbarrow with a steering wheel instead of handlebars which was the Ford Fusion, the Ford B Max actually comes ready for action.


Ford B Max Engines


  • 1.0 EcoBoost of 100, 120, and 125 horsepower – By 2013 this was the international engine of the universe, that’s how good it was presented and praised. And indeed it was a big step forward this 1.0 turbo launched around the same time as the Play Station 4 and HTC One, but subsequent issues on the cooling side leave me cold too. Plus it’s way too small for the Ford B Max that’s theoretically supposed to constantly carry a young family.
  • 1.4 MPI of 90 horsepower – The same tarmac-busting 1.4 carried over from the Ford Fiesta IV, this Yamaha engine has no specific issues and is the only real rival to the 1.0 EcoBoost. It’s an older, more inefficient, leaner engine but also much more reliable. Now it’s up to you what you prefer because you’ll have plenty of time to think while driving either of these two engines anyway.
  • 1.6 MPI of 105 horsepower – The same Yamaha 1.6 that’s essentially the same 1.4 only longer. The only specific issue is the rarity of the Ford B Max because no one looks at a B Max and says “mmm, yeah, motorsport”.


  • 1.5 TDCI 75 and 95 horsepower – Nothing gets preserved, everything gets recycled. Or does it transform? And that applies everywhere: garbage, music, arthritis, and the 1.4 TDCI from Ford. Widen to 1.5 TDCI and brought up to Euro 5 standards, it will still vaccum your money away via injectors, water pump, and dual mass flywheel.
  • 1.6 TDCI 105 horsepower  – Yes, there were serious reliability issues for the 1.6 HDi trash, but in 2012 Guess Who launched in France, and the song that resonated with the French the most was “The Second Time” and they promised themselves they wouldn’t do it a second time since. So the 1.6 diesel is more reliable than the 1.5 but the question is whether you really need a B Max diesel because it’s supposed to be a city car.



Ford B Max General Issues

  • I’ll start quickly with the famous PowerShift automatic transmission and which you should avoid. That is unless you have some bizarre fetish with changing clutches and gearboxes altogether and want to seduce the mechanic but don’t know how and are still thinking of spending more time with him.
  • Lots of electrical concerns due to water infiltration. That’s because firstly Ford these days has been very bad at seals and it rains through the doors (see Focus and Mondeo) and water seeps through the electronics. And secondly a lot of wiring is completely exposed to water because Ford. In either scenario, the combination of water and electronics will never be happy. In Romania where it’s being built it might be ok, but here in UK where it rains constantly, it’s no fun at all.
  • The sliding doors are quite heavy and go all the way. This is a great idea through car parks and for general accessibility, but it means you can’t reverse park on a slope, car front facing up.


Ford B Max Verdict

According to the stats, it’s the most reliable compact MPV of its time, which is very odd for Ford. Sure, when it was new it cost way too much to be worth it, but if you find a used one then you definitely need to take a look and possibly a test drive. It’s a versatile city car, and those sliding doors are a godsend in cramped parking lots. The Ford B Max is a cool car full-stop.

What engines do you recommend? For gasoline, clearly 1.4 MPI 90 horsepower, and for diesel 1.6 TDCI 105 horsepower. But then again, the B Max is a city car, it shouldn’t have anything to do with diesel power.