Ford Make Up Well for Lost Time

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), March 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Ford Make Up Well for Lost Time


Byline: By Alistair Coull

His view:

I have always found it hard to understand why Ford, one of the largest car makers in the world, completely missed the boat when it came to midi-MPVs.

The boom started by the Renault Scenic was perpetuated by almost every other major manufacturer but passed the Blue Oval by. Until now that is. The men from Dearborn have atoned for their sins with their late addition to the sector - the Focus C-Max.

Ford originally planned to join the midi-MPV club a couple of years ago, but the project was ditched and it has taken until now for its replacement to appear.

Consequently, the C-Max is based on the next generation Focus platform, also used for other products in the Ford empire, including the new Volvo S40.

As with most Ford products, the C-Max is great to drive. But so it should be, thanks to a chassis developed for the Focus hatch and which benefits from a tweaked suspension.

However, the C-Max has an extra 25mm between the front and rear wheels over its sibling and the wheels sit 40mm further apart to give the taller car the stability Focus drivers already take for granted.

The front and rear suspension has been re-engineered - new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars - to take account of the C-Max's different role in life.

The steering is also now of the electro-hydraulically-assisted type, which means the steering wheel needs 20% less effort to turn at parking speeds. But there is no loss of feel or accuracy as speed builds. …

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