Ford Grand C-MAX (2010-2019) Review
The Ford Grand C-Max brings some welcome driving enjoyment to the seven-seat people carrier market and is well equipped, too
Strengths & weaknesses
- Well equipped
- Seven-seat flexibility
- Good to drive
- Real-world economy ony reasonable
- Small 115-litre boot when all seven seats in use
- Basic 1.0 EcoBoost engine is underpowered
Ford Grand C-Max prices from £9,058 Finance from £216.42 per month
With car buyers increasingly favouring SUVs for their butch looks and spaciousness, what is the future of the people carrier? In the case of this Grand C-Max not much, apparently, since Ford stopped producing it in March 2019.
However, new car buyers’ loss is used car buyers’ gain since the model is better value than many SUVs, even more versatile, better equipped and better to drive.
Its rivals among other compact, seven-seat people carriers include the stylish and imaginative Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, the attractive Renault Grand Scenic and the well-built but pricier Volkswagen Touran is another.
The Grand C-Max is a longer and more practical version of the five-seat C-Max with seven seats and sliding doors that make getting in and out of it in cramped spaces even more passenger friendly.
It was launched in 2010 and a facelifted version was released in 2014. Here, we’re concentrating on the facelifted models you’ll find on BuyaCar for as little as £9,058 or £216.42 per month.
There's a range of petrol and diesel engines. The petrols are interesting because they’re members of Ford’s current generation of 1.0 and 1.5-litre EcoBoost engines that are turbocharged for more power and better economy. They’re certainly powerful for their size but they can get through the fuel if you’re not careful. Our choice is the mid-power 1.0 EcoBoost 125.
And then there are the diesels. The 120hp 1.5 TDCi is the most economical engine in the range but for performance and economy you really want to go for the 2.0 TDCi.
Regardless of which engine you choose you’ll find the Grand C-Max a delight to drive thanks to its agile handling combined with soft but comfortable suspension.
The first two rows of seats are roomy but the rearmost pair are cramped and suitable only for children. Still, that’s the price you pay for a car that’s reasonably compact in relation to the Ford Galaxy. Having more seats does eat into your luggage space too, with all seven seats in use there’s only 115 litres of luggage space, so a roof box will probably be a wise investment.
The interior is rugged but a little unimaginative (the Grand C4 Picasso takes top honours here), but if you go for Titanium trim you do get an eight-inch touchscreen as part of its Sync 2 voice control media system.
There are three trims, kicking off with Zetec, which is well equipped and enough for most people. Then there’s Titanium, which sprinkles on a few extra niceties. The highlight of Titanium X is its panoramic sunroof but it’s expensive.
It’s good to know that, as a family car, the Grand C-Max is a safe one. It was awarded the full five star crash rating by Euro NCAP and all versions have emergency city brake as well as a host of airbags. Blind spot assist is an option worth seeking out.
|£145 in the first year on cars registered from 1 April 2017
Best Ford Grand C-MAX for...
Best for Economy – Ford Grand C-Max, 1.5 TDCi Zetec
According to the new, tougher WLTP test this version returns a range-best 45.6mpg, or around 12mpg more than the petrol 1.5 EcoBoost and 6mpg more than the petrol 1.0 EcoBoost.
Best for Families – Ford Grand C-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium
In the real world, this version returns around 40mpg which is not great but it does pack a punch sufficient to comfortably haul a fully laden Grand C-Max. Titanium trim brings a raft of useful features without going over the top.
Best for Performance – Ford Grand C-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium X
This most powerful diesel engine is powerful right where you need it – when overtaking and cruising on the motorway. It’s a great choice whether you’re travelling solo or with a car full of passengers.
One to Avoid – Ford Grand C-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 100 Titanium
This lowest-powered petrol engine struggles to pull a lightly laden Grand C-Max, never mind one with seven people on board. As a consequence, fuel economy suffers if you work it too hard. Meanwhile, the money you spend upgrading to Titanium trim would be better spent on a more powerful 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Zetec.
2010: Model launched with choice of three 1.6-litre petrol engines, and 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel engines.
2014: Model facelifted. It gains Sync 2 voice-activated technology, hands-free tailgate operation and optional parking assist.
2015: Engine range revised in response to Euro 6 emissions regs with 1.6 TDCi replaced by 1.5 TDCi.
2018: 2.0 TDCi dropped.
2019: New WLTP economy figures released for 1.0 EcoBoost and 1.5 TDCi before Grand C Max model range dropped in April.
Understanding Ford Grand C-MAX names
Engine 1.5 EcoBoost
The first figure, in this example is 1.5. It tells you the size of the engine in litres while EcoBoost tells you it’s from Ford’s family of turbocharged petrol engines and TDCi, its diesel engines.
Trim Titanium X
These refer to a specific model’s level of luxury. In this example, Titanium X is the most expensive and best equipped of the three trims offered.
The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual but the 1.5 petrol and diesel engines, and 2.0-litre diesel are also available with Ford’s six-speed Powershift automatic gearbox.
Ford Grand C-MAX Engines
Petrol 1.0 EcoBoost, 1.5 EcoBoost
Diesel 1.5 TDCI & 2.0 TDCI
The Grand C-Max was launched with a choice of 1.6 petrol and diesel engines but these eventually gave way to Ford’s new line-up of 1.0 and 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engines and a 1.5 TDCi diesel. The 2.0 TDCi was dropped in 2018.The 1.6 petrol and diesel engines are too old to feature on BuyaCar so this section covers the later engines only.
The EcoBoost petrols are turbocharged for extra power. The 1.0-litre engines come in 100hp and 125hp outputs, and the 1.5-litre produces 150hp. Ford promotes the EcoBoost engines on their economy but they need a very light foot to achieve what is claimed. In terms of price and performance, the 125hp engine is the best.
The 1.5 TDCI diesel is reasonably economical but lacks the punch of the larger 2.0-litre engine. Note that the economy figure we quote for this one is based on the old economy cycle which was less accurate than the latest WLTP figures we quote for the other engines.
56.5-61.4mpg (pre-WLTP figure)
0-62mph: 9.8 - 10.7s
Ford Grand C-MAX Trims
Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X
With just three trims available, choosing a Grand C-Max is easy.
Entry-level Zetec has most of the essentials including alloy wheels, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, heated windscreen, air con and a digital radio.
Mid-spec Titanium adds larger alloys, a touchscreen with Sync 2 voice control, and dual-zone climate control for a more complete experience.
Moving up to top-spec Titanium X brings a panoramic sunroof and part-leather seats.
Ford Grand C-MAX Reliability and warranty
The C-Max, the Grand C-Max’s five-seat sister car, ranked 62nd in the Auto Express Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of 2014, behind the Renault Scenic at 53. Like the C-Max, the Grand C-Max is also based on the Focus. This is generally a sturdy and reliable car, so we’d not expect it be especially troublesome.
As this was written, models registered in 2017 will, assuming the service schedule has been followed, still have one year of their original three-year warranty remaining.
Used Ford Grand C-MAX
There are few such well-priced and equipped seven-seat people carriers at this money that are also pleasant to drive. And even our pick of the range, a 2018-registered 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Titanium Navigation with 5000 miles, is only around £15,000.