Mini vans are
known as highly
up to eight people
and the cargo that
However, the mini van has gotten the rap of not being very sporty (more
on this in an upcoming article!).
Ford has been on a roll as of late with better vehicle offerings,
good quality, no taxpayer funding and a CEO, Alan Malley, who
knows how to get things done. And in late 2011, the auto maker
will bring to market the 2012 Ford C-Max.
So what is the C-Max? It’s a mini van coming right from Europe
where it is sold as the Grand C-Max. This ‘mini van’ is smaller
than its American competitors but with an emphasis on sporty
design and driving.
At 178 inches long, the C-Max is more than two feet shorter
than a Honda Odyssey and it is much less boxy than the Odyssey.
However, of note is that the C-Max is actually 2.1 inches longer
than the original Plymouth Voyager mini van.
The dimensions of the traditional mini van have grown over the
years and this has created a niche for smaller multiple people movers.
Will drivers return to wagons? Not likely, as the taller mini van is
able to provide more space as well as convenience.
Transportation that has the attributes of a mini van but is smaller
and more fun to drive seems to have its merits. This is verified by
the 20,000 Mazda 5s (a smaller mini van) sold yearly even with
little need for advertizing.
Although the Ford C-Max is sporty, it has the traditional mini
van high roof and sliding rear doors, which provides good outward
visibility, interior space and convenience.
Inside, the C-Max provides comfortable seats that will accommodate
a family trip. Additionally, it will likely have full Internet interface,
movie viewing, and voice command recognition plus other technical
The C-Max is innovative as it is equipped with a sliding middle
row seat that provides a 40/20/40 split-side seat bottom folding
arraignment. The middle 40 part of the seat folds to the right.
This enables an occupant to simply walk through the center rather
than needing to fold a seat forward to get to the third row.
In total, the C-Max can seat up to seven. However, in such a
configuration, the cargo room is only three cubic feet behind the
third row seat. The five seat C-Max provides a more useable 25
cubic feet of storage behind the second row of seats. And if the
second and third row seats are folded into the floor, 69 cubic feet
of cargo space is available.
The C-Max is built on the same platform as the Ford Focus and
although it does not match the Focus’ handling, the C-Max changes
direction more like a car than a typical min van.
The powerplant is reported to likely be a 1.6-liter turbocharged
and intercooled four cylinder straight from Europe providing 178 hp.
The transmission will be a six-speed duel-clutch automated manual.
The C–Max’s 0-60 time will be an adequate 9.2 seconds and give
about 30 mpg on the highway.
It will be priced starting at $22,000. The 2012 Ford C-Max is a
sporty but highly useable vehicle. It shows that Ford is truly driving
down a good road! It will be in Ford showrooms near the end of this
Visit the slide show below to see the upcoming 2012 Ford C-Max!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He
welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: