Ford B-Max (2012-present)

The Ford B-Max is a superb small family car with a unique and clever ‘pillarless’ door set-up

Strengths & Weaknesses


Unique pillarless door system
Generally low running costs
Small and easy to drive


Seven seats not available
Owners report poor reliability
Automatic gearbox with one engine only

Manufacturers frequently claim their latest model offers something ‘completely new’, but only rarely is that actually the case. Launched in 2012, the Ford B-Max is small family MPV based on the Ford Fiesta, with a unique door arrangement. When they are open, there's no pillar between the front and the rear doors, making it simple to strap children into the back seat. The rear door slides as well, making it even easier to access. The system is something that you won't find on any of the Ford B-Max’s rivals, which include the Vauxhall Meriva, Honda Jazz, Nissan Note, Kia Venga, Hyundai ix20 and Citroen C3 Picasso.

Unlike some MPVs, the B-Max has a large boot, even with all its seats in place. And if you lower the rear seats to free up more luggage space, the huge door opening makes getting large and bulky items in the back a breeze, too. Under the bonnet, the B-Max benefits from Ford’s latest EcoBoost turbocharged petrol and efficient TDCi diesel engines, so running costs will be very reasonable, too.

On the road, the B-Max has inherited some of the Fiesta’s agile handling characteristics, though obviously the extra weight means it isn’t quite as much fun on a twisty back road. It’s great around town, though, with well judged suspension to soak up bumps and compact dimensions that make it easy to manoeuvre in traffic or into a tight parking space. And those sliding rear doors mean you don’t have to worry about kids banging the door against the car parked next to you, either.

Reasonable interior quality and generous standard equipment are other highlights, while if you’re worried the lack of reinforcing pillar between the doors makes the B-Max less safe than other cars, don’t be: it received the maximum five-star crash-test rating from the experts at Euro NCAP and is packed with advanced safety kit to protect you and your family.

Last Updated 

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 15:45

Key facts 

Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
318 litres
Tax (min to max): 
£0 to £145

Best Ford B-Max for... 

Ford B-Max 1.5 TDCi 95 Zetec
The sole diesel B-Max is the one to go for if you want maximum fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions. The latter are low enough to be exempt from road tax, while careful driving should see you hit the claimed 74mpg fuel-economy figure. The 74 and 94bhp versions have identical fuel economy, so you may as well get the more powerful one.
Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Titanium
Titanium is generally the best version of any Ford to go for if you want a good compromise between price and standard kit. On the B-Max, that means useful kit such as automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, DAB digital radio and cruise control to take some of the stress out of family motoring. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is a decent performer, too.
Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 140 Zetec Red/Silver/White edition
In late 2015, Ford added a more powerful 138bhp version of its 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine to the B-Max range, available only in the special Zetec Red Edition, Zetec Silver Edition and Zetec White Edition models. It gets the car from 0-62mph in a little over 10 seconds and ensures strong acceleration when overtaking or pulling away from lights.
Ford B-Max 1.4 Studio
The price is temptingly low, but we wouldn’t recommend the entry-level Ford B-Max. Its 1.4-litre petrol engine is outdated and inefficient compared to the EcoBoosts and the Studio trim level lacks the alloy wheels, heated windscreen and air-conditioning of the Zetec.

Ford B-Max History 

April 2012: Fiesta-based Ford B-Max supermini-MPV goes on sale in UK
December 2015: Powerful 138bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine added to range

Understanding Ford B-Max car names 

  • B-Max
  • Engine
  • Trim
    Titanium X
  • Gearbox
  • Engine
    The petrol line-up comprises 1.4 and 1.6-litre non-turbos (the latter available only with an automatic gearbox), plus the 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo in several different power outputs. There’s one diesel – a 1.5-litre TDCi with 74 or 94bhp.
  • Trim
    Studio, Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X are the core trim levels – or versions – of the B-Max. Zetec Red, Zetec White and Zetec Black models arrived in 2015.
  • Gearbox
    Ford’s Powershift automatic gearbox paired with a 1.6-litre petrol engine is offered on every trim level except Studio. All the other engines are manual-only.

Ford B-Max Engines 

Engines: 1.4 Duratec, 1.6 Duratec, 1.0T EcoBoost (petrol); 1.5 TDCi (diesel)

As with every other Ford, it’s the turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engines that stand out if you’re looking at a B-Max. They’re all 1.0-litres, making 99, 123 and 138bhp respectively.

The middle one is definitely the pick of the range. For starters, it’s faster than the 99bhp version, shaving a whole two seconds off the B-Max’s 0-62mph time. But because the 123bhp engine has stop-start technology that the 99bhp doesn’t, it’s more economical as well. This system switches the engine off automatically when you stop in traffic and restarts it automatically when you go to set off again, thus saving fuel.

The 138bhp EcoBoost engine is a more recent arrival to the B-Max range, coming in with the Zetec Red, Zetec White and Zetec Black special editions of the car. This is the fastest B-Max yet, although it’s still not exactly what you’d call a hot hatchback, taking just over 10 seconds to get from 0-62mph. This engine is probably a bit unnecessary for most buyers.

The other petrols in the range are a basic 1.4-litre Duratec and more powerful 1.6-litre. The former is the only engine you can get in the entry-level B-Max Studio (but is also offered in Zetec trim), yet as it’s both slower and less efficient than the EcoBoosts, we don’t think it represents good value for money. The 1.6-litre engine is paired with Ford’s Powershift automatic gearbox and available in every B-Max except the Studio. It’s not a brilliant performer, but you could do a lot worse if you’re limited to driving automatics.

Two diesels are offered, both more suited to high-mileage motorway drivers than the petrols. Both claim the same 74.3mpg fuel economy, so there’s no need to put yourself through the misery of the 74bhp version’s 15-second 0-62mph time – get the quicker 94bhp one instead.




0 - 62mph

top speed

1.4 Duratec






1.6 Duratec






1.0T EcoBoost






1.0T EcoBoost






1.0T EcoBoost






1.5 TDCi






1.5 TDCi







Ford B-Max Trims 

Trims: Studio, Zetec, Zetec Red/White/Black, Titanium, Titanium X

Like other Fords, the B-Max has a rather basic Studio version to appeal to cash buyers and those on a tight budget. It’s not very appealing, though, with plastic wheel covers rather than alloys, no air-conditioning and just a single lacklustre petrol engine on offer.

Zetec is a much better starting point, offering the full range of engines, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, foglamps, a heated windscreen for fast demisting, power-operated door mirrors, Ford’s SYNC voice-control system, USB connectivity, air-conditioning, a leather steering wheel, a leather gearknob and – importantly for family buyers – a second rear-view mirror that lets you keep an eye on kids in the back. The special Red, White and Black versions of the Zetec come in those respective colours and with black alloy wheels, as well as the option of the 138bhp EcoBoost engine.

Titanium adds a dash of luxury, with bigger alloy wheels, an eight-speaker stereo, climate control and a central armrest for the back seats. It also has more practical kit, such as automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding door mirrors and cruise control. Topping the B-Max range is the Titanium X, which brings its own design of 16-inch alloy wheel, privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof with a sunblind and heated leather seats.

Ford B-Max Reliability and warranty 

Ford cars sell by the bucketload in the the UK and the company has a huge number of dealerships nationwide. So if something does go wrong with your B-Max, chances are it’s happened before to someone else and there’ll be a dealer local to you where you can get it repaired. Despite the fact this car has never been recalled, owners aren’t particularly impressed with its dependability, ranking it 174th and 147th respectively for reliability and build quality in Auto Express magazine’s 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Its warranty cover is only average, as well: 60,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first.

Used Ford B-Max 

The Ford B-Max loses a big chunk of its initial value in the first chunk of its life – the diesels more so than the petrols. This is normally very bad news for buyers of brand-new examples, but fortunately dealers have responded and deep discounts of nearly 20% on new Ford B-Max models on BuyaCar.

A one-year-old used example is still a great buy, however, particularly as it’ll still have two years of its warranty left as long as the mileage doesn’t go over 60,000. After the initial first-year price correction, the B-Max loses value much more gently, so there isn’t quite as good value to be found in two and three-year-old cars. If shopping for a secondhand B-Max, avoid the old 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine, which was discontinued in favour of the more modern and more efficient 1.5-litre. Also avoid poorly-equipped Studio cars; go for a Zetec at least but ideally a well equipped Titanium.

Prices below show typical BuyaCar discounts for our pick of new and used models. Scroll down further for the very latest new Ford B-Max deals or search for all new and used Ford B-Max offers.

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 140 Zetec Red/Silver/White edition 












Best for families

Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium












Best for economy

Ford B-Max 1.5 TDCi 95 Zetec