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Ford Grand C-Max in the test: seven-seater van with sliding doors

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Ford Grand C-Max in the test
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F ord has it with the grand C-Max out for them - families big and small, downhill couples, model airplane collectors, mountaineers and wine salesmen. The brand is now building four vans to provide them with plenty of space on four wheels. Yes, four: S-Max (4.77 meters long) and Galaxy (4.82 meters) as well as the new C-Max (4.38 meters) and its elongated brother Ford Grand C-Max (4.52 meters). The latter, in particular, arouses curiosity because - apart from the US model Windstar once offered here - it is the first in Ford's history to lure with sliding rear doors.

Zssssshhhhh - the rear gates open easily and quietly without giving the neighboring parker expensive sheet metal scars. Built on the new Focus platform, the Ford Grand C-Max with its protruding hips (door guide) may initially irritate some - in terms of ease of entry, it shines in our test without any weaknesses. Just like its competitor, the Mazda 5.

Third row of seats in the Ford Grand C-Max

Two C-Maxs? The difference can be seen in the first name: Grand stands for 14 centimeters more wheelbase and outer length, which is even enough for a third row of seats. If desired. But please do not misunderstand: The two emergency spaces in the Ford Grand C-Max for an extra 700 euros are only fun for small children. Those who drive more than seven are better off in the Dacia Logan MCV, for example. The reason for this are the backrests that are too low at the very back of the Ford, which ideally snap into place in the trunk floor and form a flat loading area. The trunk of the Ford Grand C-Max holds between 475 and 1,742 liters, depending on the position of the rear rows of seats, which doesn't seem like much compared to the classic Touran: The rear compartment of the VW is not only higher, but also wider and takes around 250 liters more luggage than that of the Ford Grand C-Max.

The 700 euros in the Ford Grand C-Max are sensible for conversion options in the second row: Then there are longitudinally movable individual seats with adjustable backrests and, as a whipped cream, a folding trick of the middle chair. Without a lot of muscle strength, the seat folds up in the test and then disappears under the upholstery of the neighboring chair on the right. Extremely helpful if, for example, you want to load three pairs of skis without having to forego the two comfortable rear seats.

Ford Grand C-Max with Blind Spot Assistant on request

RelaxedTraveling is clearly one of the advantages of this van. Thanks to the well-contoured and adjustable seats, even longer journeys in the Ford Grand C-Max end without back pain, the test editors state. However, at some point the nerves can be on edge - at least if the driver has not looked up the functions of all the buttons on the center console. This operation is not intuitive in the Ford Grand C-Max.

As deep and extensive as the crackle-free dashboard is, the central screen (five inches) for infotainment and navigation is so tiny. It could not have been because of the place. For 1,400 euros (titanium equipment), the Ford Grand C-Max has a reversing camera that is not absolutely necessary and a 4.2-inch display for the on-board computer, which sits between the two easy-to-read clocks. Its functions are called up via steering wheel buttons. On request, the Ford can monitor both of its blind spots: As soon as a vehicle enters the shadow of the C-pillar on the right or left, a yellow warning light appears in the respective exterior mirror. A reliable, helpful system that is recommended with 600 euros in the package (cruise control, rear parking beeper).

The most powerful diesel in the Ford Grand C-Max costs at least 26,600 euros

Not just one Question of price: the most powerful two-liter diesel with 163 hp. If you want it, you have to spend at least 26,600 euros for the Ford Grand C-Max and turn down your demands on smooth running. The four-cylinder hums, vibrates and lets you always feel that it is working. And how: thanks to early turbocharging, there are already 340 Newton meters of torque shortly after takeoff. A modern ESP with torque distribution filters most of the drive influences from the steering. In the test, the Ford Grand C-Max, which weighs 1,671 kilograms (curb weight), scurries nimbly and precisely through bends and understeers with too much courage.

Ford Grand C-Max sprints to 100 km /h in 10.5 seconds

It is chassis settings like this that strengthen Ford's reputation and put a smile on drivers' faces - that does not get lost even in the event of an emergency braking. Because four disc brakes bring the van to a standstill after 38.2 meters, even with a full load (629 kilograms). Conversely, the speed is 100 after 10.5 seconds, and the thrust does not end until 204 km /h. Ford does not currently provide a start-stop system for the Grand C-Max, otherwise the acceptable consumption of eight liters on average would certainly be even lower. The 140-horsepower diesel is likely to be more economical, and it is 1000 euros cheaper on top of that.

Ford Grand C-Max significantly cheaper than a Touran

Whether you should invest in the Powershift automatic transmission is a matter of taste, our testers found. It is only recommended to those who do not monitor the switching processes with a stopwatch. The double clutch box (1,750 euros surcharge) rather mimes the good converter insteadon ultra-fast gear shifters.

One last, important comparison is very clear - the price advantage compared to the largest competitor VW Touran. The tested Grand C-Max in the 3,500-euro luxury titanium version with six-speed box costs 28,600 euros - a comparable VW van is around 5,000 euros higher.

Fully-fledged socket in the Grand C-Max - useful, but expensive

You rarely get what you need. For example a 230 volt socket in the car. It is extremely helpful because it allows all possible batteries (cell phone, laptop, camera) to be charged without an additional adapter. This luxury is available in the Ford Grand C-Max - but only in a package with an electrically opening tailgate and sun blinds in the rear doors. Surcharge: 510 euros; but only for the most expensive version Titanium. The two simpler equipment lines Ambiente and Trend are left behind. Too bad. Also for Ford, where you give away a big plus.


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