Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

C-Max's Big Ad-Van-Tage

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

C-Max's Big Ad-Van-Tage

Article excerpt

Byline: By Val Jessop

Ford might be late in the day delivering its contender for battle in the midi MPV arena, but the delay has been advantageous.

Firstly, the Focus C-Max doesn't look like a delivery van. Secondly, it doesn't drive like one.

This is the most car-like MPV in its segment. In other words, it does not display van-like tendencies often reflected in rivals.

Bodyroll is well contained and occupants aren't tossed around, especially those in the rear seats. Nor do they suffer from the gravitational lurch associated with travel in some midi, mini and full-blown MPVs negotiating even the gentlest angle.

Such decorum is achieved from a new set of underpinnings, much of these shared with the new Mazda 3, which greatly enhance body rigidity.

But it's not just the dignified, spacious and comfortable travel afforded to five occupants that makes the C-Max a worthy contender.

The biggest reward as far as the two-litre TD C-Max test vehicle is concerned is the keen and athletic diesel unit which thumps out an impressive 136bhp, while delivering a chunky 235lb-ft of torque.

It comes courtesy of the PSA-Peugeot-Citroen union and is considered one of the best diesel engines of its class. It feels muscular, flexible and far more capable than its 124mph ultimate.

Apart from initial start-up, when the unit does seem a little raucous, the engine settles down to a suppressed drone once it warms up. Even when made to toil, noise pollution is subdued and there isn't undue wind noise or tyre or road thrum.

The C-Max, which began its life as a concept car, is very clean-looking, sharp as a city suit - and every bit the modern MPV. …

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