Being a democrat by nature and keen that everyone is allowed to voice their opinion, I welcome what others have to say.
The reviewer is actually in his early fifties, but enjoys motoring just as much now (given the right vehicle) as he did in his youth. As other family members would inevitably drive the chosen vehicle also, I was quite prepared to compromise on performance for their sake, but the C Max didn't even do what it said on the tin! It was woeful in every respect including that most important area, Safety, and did not perform to the specifications as advertised.
I stand by my review and two years on, the vehicle's replacement - a Mazda 3 Sport - has proven to be an excellent vehicle and a pleasure to own and drive. Unlike the C Max, despite the Mazda's much more powerful engine, there is no fine dividing line between stalling and wheel-spin and my family are a lot safer for getting rid of the Ford altogether. I hope that helps.
I have owned a 04-plate 1.8 Zetec for nearly two years and was surprised to see so many negative comments.
It's true the A-pillar is quite wide and we still can't work out how to get the clock to the right time or remove the rear seats, which don't stay folded up. The fuel economy (26-30mpg around town, 41 at 50mph, 38 on long runs at 70mph, and tailing off very quickly above that) is annoying but I shouldn't really have expected any better, given the weight and shape of the car. And I agree with other comments that the seat fabric is ridiculous.
But, I can't say I agree with the other comments. I've done 120mph in mine without any fear. The brakes work fine, the front has never broken away and I've taken roundabouts at 40mph without any fear of ending up in a hedge. The heater and demister work well. It's true you can't adjust the driver's backrest without opening the door, but would you really want to do this on the move? The seat is so adjustable I don't believe anyone would urgently need to fiddle with it halfway through a journey.
Our next car is unlikely to be a C-Max but I do think the criticism of this one is over the top.
I have owned a Focus C-max 53 plate for 5 months now, and before that a friend of mine had it for 18 months.
He didn't have any issues with it during his ownership, but since I have had it, I have had a few problems with the tailgate micro switch not allowing the tailgate to open, so I have had to use the key to open it.
Also I have an annoying knock from what I think is the front suspension drop links, of which I got a quote from a Ford dealer with trade discount of £39.99 each + VAT, and when obtaining a price from exhausts unlimited at £3.99 each + VAT I was rather pleased! Even though they may not last as long, I could still buy 10 sets for the price of one!
I also have a steering noise, mainly at lower speeds, which sounds like a dry joint, which I will get around to looking at in due course!
I have enjoyed reading some of the other stories on here about others experiences, but to be honest, I don't really care whether I can't change the heating controls very easily in certain gears, and the screen misting up rather quickly. To be honest, I believe that a driver of an average standard can easily cope with such issues!
I work in the trade and have been with a Mercedes dealer for 15 years now, and believe me, every make of vehicle has their own certain issues, some people will be lucky with there particular car and others can be unlucky, this does not mean that all C-max's are poor at all!
I see issues with some Mercedes that would put anyone off buying one, believe me!!
I live in Spain and have had a 1.6 C-MAX diesel for 5 years.
The only problems have been a smokey exhaust, cured by a fuel system cleaner additive, and normal consumer items, tyres, brakes and so on. Great car on a run and super economical.
If I wanted a car to perform like a formula one car, that's what I'd buy.
After reading the comments regarding the C-MAX. I am very worried, as I am due to collect my purchase of one said car on Friday.
Is this a loud HELP or NOT?
Had the 1.6 diesel C-Max Ghia auto new in 2005. Get over 30mpg around town. 55mpg on long haul.
Have had the rear electric parking brake greased up when it wouldn't go off properly, additive to clean injectors and cat converter when it started smoking once. Otherwise it has been a real pleasure to drive for almost 6 years. I'm not looking forward to having to change it. In the winter the fast de-ice is a dream. 2 minutes to clear the windscreen. I would definitely buy the new Grand C-Max.
I must have been lucky with this car, seeing the other comments.
I have owned an 1.8 Zetec for about 18 months now, and have to agree with some of the original comments. The noise from having windows open is terrible, the fuel consumption is not near the stated figures, and the road holding is bad, particularly on roads that have bad cambers.
Finally, I would like to say that although they call this an MPV, the size is only slightly bigger than the average large hatchback, and I would expect roughly the same handling, especially as the Ford Focus is such an outstanding car.
Have owned my 2L TDCi C-Max from new, for 6 years, and think it is a storming car, Great in corners, Ford pedigree as some seem to forget, and BEATS most petrol's out of the starting blocks and then some... for a diesel!!!
The only trouble! A braking judder, which seems to have hounded the car from new. 2 garages and numerous, disks, pads, bearings, calipers and hubs cannot cure the problem. Now Ford are getting involved or, The "Technical Team" for want of a better description. Left it with my garage the last time, and came out the same, but non the wiser reference the fault.
Question: As any one else suffered this same fault or is my car just unfortunate?
I would appreciate any comments left, as the garage and I are now scratching heads!
Well I love my 2004 CMax 1.6 Zetec. I am a retired police officer, and did all the go-faster driving courses; this car goes round corners better than the Volvo patrol car I used to drive, and is a lot more comfortable. Ford generally have lots of problems, and most of the dealers are rubbish, but I use independent ex-Ford mechanics who know what they are doing.
I've had my C-Max for 14 months now, and in that time have covered 40,000 miles. The 1.8 petrol engine is quick and returns 40 MPG; my only criticism being it lacks torque at low revs. The petrol engine is far simpler than the modern diesel equivalents with less to go wrong (I said I'd never have a petrol until I looked at the expensive, unnecessary complications of the modern fly by wire diesel). The car has now done 150,000 miles, and I'm sure it will do many more.
I'm a self employed service engineer, and yes I do use the C-Max as a van, normally with no rear seats fitted, so I can carry up to three large domestic appliances (washing machines will stand up) plus tools etc.
Yes, some of the original poster's comments are true, but it's obvious they do not have much 'mechanical sympathy' or even much knowledge of how a vehicle actually works. There were defects with his car other than niggly faults that could have been easily rectified by a visit to a reputable garage!
Wrong. I have built and re-built many cars in my time, and I used to be a mechanic for my living. The car was brand new, but it put me off Fords for good, as every single one I have ever owned had something inherently wrong with it that should have been sorted out at the design stage, and I'm not the only one to feel that way.
Since the C-Max, I've owned a Mazda 3 Sport, a Honda Civic 1.8, and now a Vauxhall Astra 2.0 TD SRi - all new, and every single one are two classes above it. The only car I ever owned that was worse, was a clapped out old Wolseley 18/85 that I bought years ago for 50 quid, and that's about all the C-Max was worth!
People might well have had a better experience with their C-Max, and who am I to doubt them. And who are they to doubt me?
I only wish I could have got the car onto the BBC's Top Gear for them to evaluate it. They'd probably have wanted to push it over a cliff. I'm glad I got rid of it before I put a match in the petrol tank.
Tad Davison, Cambridge