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Long-term test car - Ford Focus C-Max 2.0 TDCi Ghia – on sale now

Ford

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Review

Slowly – very slowly – average fuel consumption is creeping up towards 40mpg. We’ve set that as a target for our C-Max TDCi long termer as it seems more achieveable than the 50.4mpg combined economy claimed by Ford. At the last check AM’s editorial drivers had managed to achieve 37.7mpg, an improvement of more than 1mpg in a month.

On past experience with the Duratorq, fuel consumption will improve, but we may have to wait another few thousand miles for the engine to settle down. But the magic 50mpg mark may never be reached: the C-Max is just too temptingly quick.

On paper, it’s capable of 62mph in less than 10 seconds. It feels faster, and more than holds its own in fast-lane traffic and is surprisingly agile (for its MPV-like bulk) on country roads.

But a further downfall is its touring ability – it is disarmingly quiet and composed at very high speeds on the motorway, thus economy suffers in real life (AM’s real life, at least) driving conditions.

We’ve more economical cars on the test fleet, but the C-Max is the preferred choice – and not just because it flies. Comfort and practicality come a close second and third in the list of priorities: the high ride adds to the feeling of one class up space; rear seats folded you have a van; there are umpteen storage areas; and there seems no end to the nice touches and detailing – we particularly like the flipdown mirror to help check on rear passengers’ behaviour, footwell lights and side mirror night lights.

Paul Thomas of Ford told us at the NEC motor show he’s delighted with C-Max’s progress. So are we.

Price: £18,375
Engine: 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi 16v, 136bhp, 235lb-ft
Performance: 0-62mph 9.6s, top speed 125mph
Efficiency: 50.4mpg, 148g/km CO2
Transmission: 6sp manual, fwd
RV (3yr/30k): £6,975 (38%)
Rivals: Vauxhall Zafira, Citroen Picasso, Renault Scenic

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