The Ford Grand C-Max is the seven-seat minivan version of the C-Max. It came out alongside the second-generation C-Max and has been in production since 2010. As a five-door minivan, the Grand C-Max follows the Ford Global C platform. The Grand C-Max came into the picture because while the C-Max has been performing well for the company, there was always a void that only a seven-seat option could fill. Given the vehicle is 110kg heavier and 140mm longer than its five-seater brother, the Grand C-Max comfortably sits between the S-Max and the C-Max. In addition, it is one of Ford's global models, meaning it was designed to address markets on the Atlantic's both sides.
Because the vehicle is aimed at various markets, the Ford Grand C-Max had to incorporate a number of features, like a softer suspension that makes the ride more comfortable for occupants on the third row. This is mostly a move to appease American tastes, but, make no mistake about it, the rest of the Grand C-Max is definitely European as it follows identical seat designs and interiors with the C-Max and material finish and quality that a Volkswagen could be proud of.
A seven-seater offers more spacious interiors but it is typically plagued with handling nuisances because of the added weight and size. This doesn't seem to apply with the Grand C-Max though. It feels like you're driving the smaller C-Max despite the additional bulk, with steering precise and grip spot-on. As such, you'll barely notice that you're driving a seven-seat minivan on the road.
Speaking of space, the Grand C-Max is actually roomier than expected. You know you're getting added space with a seven-seater but step inside and it feels like you're getting even more. This is partly thanks to the clever setup inside that allows the centre seat at the second row to fold under the other seats to make way for a walk-through space. Ford refers to this as a "six plus one" layout instead of a simple seven-seat design. Additionally, fold the seats flat and boot space expands to 1,742 litres.
And even with a standard kit, equipment is generous. A lot of toys come as standard, all of which look good with the titanium trim around the Grand C-Max. Display graphics are easy on the eyes so information can be quickly viewed clearly and everything else is cleverly laid out for easy access.
A diesel engine is known for its power but the Grand C-Max's unit is also smooth, impressively blending brute strength and refinement that results in a very flexible vehicle. But though the 2.0-litre diesel model is the most capable, many will find that the 1.6-litre unit will also do just fine.
While handling a Ford Grand C-Max and a C-Max feels incredibly similar, a compromise was needed to make way for a seven-seat layout. To achieve this, the latter's sleeker overall design had to be taken down a few notches to make way for the added space inside. But depending on your reasons for getting a Grand C-Max, this compromise may very well be justifiable.
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