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Quick test: Ford’s Multi-Activity Vehicles

People carriers may not be as sexy as SUVs these days, but they still can’t be beaten when you need to transport multiple passengers.

Ford recently invited us to sample its Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) range, so we had a quick spin in an S-Max, B-Max, Grand C-Max and Galaxy.

The complete MAV range now boasts Ford’s corporate nose and each vehicle features new safety features and tech options.

Here’s the lowdown…

Ford B-Max

Ford B-Max Titanium 1.5-litre TDCI (£18,125)
We’ll start with the smallest of the group. I’d never driven one before, and the B-Max was a bit of a revelation. It’s quirky, practical and fun to drive (a bit like a Fiesta). And as you can see, the rear doors slide back to give a wide opening, but crucially, allowing easy access when it’s parked in a tight spot. Yes, it’s not the most attractive small car out there, but Ford deserves a pat on the back for daring to be different and I’m a big fan of this 1.5-litre diesel engine. Nice one.

Ford Galaxy

Ford Galaxy Titanium 2.0 TDCI (£30,795)
From the smallest to the biggest – the enormous Galaxy. Yes, it’s huge, but it also happens to be surprisingly rewarding to drive (controversialy in my opinion – more so the S-Max coming up). The gutsy 180PS 2.0-litre diesel is more than enough to shift this seven-seater with power to spare – and it’s very refined. It has a 308- litre boot with all seven seats in place, 1,260 litres with the third row down and a cavernous 2,325 litres with just the front two seats in place! I just wouldn’t choose black and I’d go with the automatic – the six-speed manual was a little notchy for my liking. Another thumbs up – and the list of options and safety features is enormous.

Ford Grand C-Max

Ford Grand C-Max Titanium 1.5 TDCI (£22,995)
The Ford C-Max has been with us since 2004 and the latest version has evolved into a good-looking, practical, medium-sized car. Now the C-Max had a slightly bigger brother – the Grand C-Max. It’s more spacious and, in theory, a seven-seater. The reality is that only small kids could sit in the third row. That said, the fact that a car so compact has a third row at all is pretty clever. Once again endowed with Ford’s excellent 1.5-litre TDCI engine, it handles well and it’s easy to drive.

Ford S-Max

Ford S-Max Titanium 2.0 TDCI (£27,695)
The all-new S-Max is everything you’d expect it to be and more. Over the years it’s built up a fine reputation, both as a great family car and an entertaining drive. The load space is excellent – 285 litres of bootspace with all seven seats in place, 965 litres with the third row folded and an enormous 2,020 litres with all the seats down. The third row of seats is useable, but not as spacious as you might think. The stylish S-Max has a classy feel inside, comes with loads of extras as standard and can more than hold its own in the company of other great MPVs such as the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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