By Luke Neal
A seven-day trip in November to Scotland with five passengers plus luggage seemed the perfect testing ground for our long-term Grand C-Max. And so it proved as we clocked up 1,000 miles.
I first stepped into the car at night and found the dashboard quite daunting – every button, dial, switch and screen lights up with the look of an aircraft cockpit rather than a car. In daylight, it is much less intimidating. The controls are all straightforward (although there are a lot of them) but I did lose count of how many times I adjusted the radio while trying to set the sat-nav.
The first seven hours of our trip was at night on A-roads and motorways. With cruise control set to 70mph the C-Max carried its load well, moving along smoothly and quietly and averaging 42mpg.
The sliding rear doors are a great boost, making loading kids an easy process, and give good access for the third row passengers.
Having spent part of the journey in the rearmost seats, I can vouch for their suitability for adults for a short time but they are no place for a fully- grown man for a prolonged journey. After two hours my back and legs could take no more and a seat swap into the second row was called for.
The middle three-quarter size second-row seat is too small for an adult to sit for long periods comfortably. It’s also too narrow to easily take either the child’s car seat or booster seat that we had with us. The child seat also hampered use of the folding seat which you need to move to access the back row seats.
The C-Max was a great workhorse but we had to use every available bit of space for luggage, which meant conditions were cramped. It’s ideal for a family with pre-teen kids or for those who need the occasional con-venience of seven seats, but for bigger families or those frequently needing to carry a lot of gear the bigger S-Max would be a better option.
Engine 2.0-litre TDCi 138bhp
Performance 0-62mph 10.5 secs, top speed 123mph
Transmission 6-sp auto
Efficiency 48.7mpg, 154g/km CO2
RV 3yr/30k 30.9%
Start mileage 3,758
Current mileage 7,116
Rivals Volkswagen Touran, Nissan Qashqai+2, Citroën C4 Picasso