Ford has unveiled its small SUV, the B-Max – which is built on the Fiesta platform so that must be very small!
The firm says it has a ‘break-through’ concept when it comes to the doors because they have done away with the B-pillar. I’m not so sure (and I’m racking my brains about a previous road test when I mentioned this!). Still it gives users unrivalled access to the back seats.
The Ford Easy Access Door System was developed following an innovation project in which engineers “went undercover” to observe drivers in their daily routine – going shopping or picking up their children from school – to understand exactly what customers wanted in a compact car.
This is similar to what Lexus did before they even launched – and I could have saved Ford a fortune if they were looking at easier ways to get a car seat into a vehicle. It also has sliding doors to make getting in and out easier.
The B-Max is also the first European Ford to offer the company’s acclaimed SYNC system which is an advanced voice control, device integration and connectivity interface. It enables users to connect mobile phones and music players by Bluetooth or USB, make hands-free telephone calls, and control music and other functions using voice commands.
This isn’t a replacement vehicle – it’s just taking the blue oval into a new car segment though with the option of the firm’s excellent 1litre EcoBoost petrol engines in the line-up you can be sure that they will shift lots of them.
Prices for the B-Max start at £12,995.
UPDATE: Many thanks to those who got in touch to say I was right in thinking the elimination of the B pillar isn’t a Ford innovation. Apparently, the Nissan Prairie was the first – back in the 80s (now I know I’ve writing car columns for too long!!).