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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
I've joined the group to ask for people's advise - currently recovering from broken spine (skydiving VERY hard landing) and am ready to return to driving. I previously drove my Berlingo work van most days. We still own a BMW 1 Series, but I'm still struggling to get in and out. So, I'm tempted by a B Max as I'm looking for a car with:

a higher seating position for both driver and passenger

petrol - fed up with uncertainty over diesel values/restrictions etc, 1.0, 123bhp appears to be best option

Sliding doors look useful for getting dogs out easily

Fold flat seats and front passenger seat - want something I can use in the same way as my van for tip runs etc.

I'd appreciate your advise on:

Faults reported on earlier models
Body roll
15, 16 or 17""� wheels - any issues with firmer ride on larger alloys?
Real MPG from a 1.0 125bhp model - 40 ish?

Having spent lots it time online researching possible cars the B Max seems to tick most of the boxes, but I'm trying to get a real opinion rather than the very mixed views by magazine reviews.

Thanks everyone.

Brian

Saffron Walden
 

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Welcome Brian, I think the B-Max is brilliant, I am on my second one, I too have a bad back and the only place I can find comfort is in the car and bed, I would be haveing another one, but they stopped making them last year so I think this will have to last me for the rest of my driving life, I am 83.
 

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Hi and Welcome,


Also a bad back sufferer and an advocate of the B-Max. Like Jackkook I love mine and would be looking for a third one at the end of the year if they were still made.



In respect of your queries :
The management complains about the body roll (but nothing new there),
I always avocate trhe smallest wheel and biggest section tyres for comfort, but looking at your post comfort is not high on your agenda vs. handling.
Faults - awful problems for some with Automatic gearbox.
Sliding rear doors are brillliant, great space for extry and exit!
Driving position gives great view of what is happening and 'A' pillar is not excessively obtrusive.
Got to remember to remove rear headrests to get full benefit of folding seats, especially if you have long legs and have the driver's seat well back.
Consumption - like all manufacturers, the published data is rubbish, Try the 'Honest John' website for actual users experience.


Best of luck in the future


Geri
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Jack & Geri

Thanks for your help.
Re auto issues - am only looking at a manual.
Sliding doors - some reviews recon they are nearly impossible to open at temps of zero or below? Hence my lack of confidence in a lot of the online comments from journalists etc!
Lots of complaints about interior trim and radio - we've owned 4 Fiestas and a Puma, so I don't see what they're on about there.
Re handling/comfort - our 1 Series is a fairly firm ride (although I'm ditching the run flats next month which should help) and my 'other car' is (to be sold in due course as I definitely won't be using it for quite a while) a Dax Rush LWB (search images - first photo on Google). So, I'm looking for a comfortable ride, but as we live in a rural area and much of our driving will be on country lanes that was the reason for asking about body roll.
Re wheel size - on a number of cars nowadays a larger wheel, often fitted with lower profile tyres can had adverse effects on comfort. I now understand the 17' are only on the top model - not looking for part leather/climate control, although the panoramic roof would be good, so as i'm looking at the 15/16s I'm guessing it won't make much of a difference.
The higher seat height is one reason for looking at a B Max - my wife would prefer this after being the innocent party in a serious car crash some years ago and having had a Freelander in the past.
Drivers seat won't be very far back! Thanks for advise re head rests.
So, about 41mpg for the 125bhp. Just seen they also did a 140bhp, but only seen one advertised.
Thanks for your advice.


Brian
 

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One thing to consider is the reliability of the 1.0 engine. It is well known for overheating thanks to poorly design coolant pipe.
If you are going for the zetec trim then I suggest have a look at the 1.4 4 cyl engine. It's the old tech but does not have any known issues. This engine is not available in the titanium trim.
 

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I also came from Berlingo to B-Max, which is much more refined in almost every way, and cannot really say anything bad about the car. Never had any issue with sliding doors either - winter or summer. Also about overheating - it was a design flaw in early models that was improved later, and the condition of the turbo cooling pipe can be easily checked before you pull the trigger...
But you mentioned that you will be driving mostly on the country roads, and in that case I am not sure it is the right car for you. It is not a SUV or crossover by any means, it is tall but the suspension and underpinnings are sitting pretty low, and there is no protection of underpinnings . Radiator is sitting very low behind the front skirt, along with some other components, and seems very vulnerable for rocks or some other debris that may lay there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My Berlingo was a van I used for my business, with 300kg usually in the back, so I'm not making any comparison from that.Wazza, I understood the cooling problems to be down to a cheap plastic pipe off the heading tank, which was replaced under recall and changed in later models? Having looked at many options for this, our second car, so many newer models either only come in diesel (don't want a second diesel due to expected future bashing by the Government and city emission charges) or are 1.0ltr, often 3 cylinder, turbocharged engines - i.e. more stressed. This just seems to be the way many manufacturers are going.

Re country lanes, we currently run a 1 Series, but need a second car (I'm now recovered enough from my spinal injury to return to driving), which will mainly be used for 12 mile round trips into town and to share the 20 e/w commuting for my wife (mostly as a constant 40-50mph). Our BMW is AWD as we don't see the point in huge SUV's etc around our rural lanes. Re stone damage etc my other car has VERY little ground clearance between the road and a sump guard and a thinly meshed open nose cone and we've never had an issue of loose chippings etc damaging the rad or any other parts.
So, it's more the fact that it's not going to be used in town all the time.
I'll take a look at the 1.4ltr option, thanks

Edited by: Briangsf1200
 

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We use our BMax as a second car. Getting rid of the van as we no longer had much use for it after retirement. They also stopped allowing vans to take rubbish into the tip, but we can get nearly as much in the BMax as I could in the van.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, that's good to hear, as that one reason for my looking at the B Max.
There's a very smart 1.0ltr 140bhp on Ford's website at the mo, but after googling re Ecoboost engine that's put me off looking at the higher powered small engine
 

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The Ecoboost coolant problem was with the Focus. A rigid pipe ran from the expansion tank to the turbo. The expansion tank is body mounted and the turbo is engine mounted; both having avery differentvibration frequency resulting in the pipe cracking and loosing coolant with possible engine failure.However, Fiesta and B-Max have a EPDM pipe which prevents this happening. Focus have been recalled to fit the same pipe.
 

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I have the 123bhp version, but from what I can tell, the 100bhp version is not that much different.
 

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Hi Briangs.... I have the bad back thing too(seems a trait of the B Max driver). I, however, have the 1.6 diesel variant and I have just spent the £170 getting it remapped to 120bhp, which is well within it limits.The engine is the same as in the Focus/Fiesta and the Transit Connect which can be upped to 140bhp(apparently). I am getting 53mpg during winter and 60mpg during the summer months. The car is 3 years old and I have been through France on 3 occasions driving to Spain on 3 of those, so plenty comfy enough. The rear doors, although useful and easy to operate from outside, do get the occasional moan when someone is sat in the back trying to open the fully or close them from fully open.
 

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welcome Briangsf1200


I should not pay too mention attention to what you read about the Ecoboost engine which has won countless awards for reliabilty and perfomance. Tested to in excess of 100,000 miles without issues.



I have the 1.00 litre 100hp varient which out performs my old 2002 Focus 1.6 petrol hatchback.
Edited by: Willow
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am now the owner of a B Max Titanium X 1.6Tdci manual. 175 mile journey from dealer to home (was on holiday - just a short detour on way back) with no issues, got out without my now usual ""˜aaaargh' I've been used to since a back injury. Ordered Ford rubber mats off eBay (a couple of dealers are selling new, original parts at reduced prices) and a few other bits - spare wheel - came with canister and pump.
Spoken to Superchips about a remap (re some comments re invalidates insurance - makes about £12 a year difference to policy price to tell them and not have to worry about it in the event of a claim. Had our Freelander 2003 chipped and it made it a much more enjoyable vehicle to drive - smoother start up, less changing through the gearbox, better MPG, safer overtaking etc due to increase in BHP - not doing it on the Ford to turn it into a fast car, therefore I won't be revving the (fill in your own word here) off it, so I'm not concerned about engine longevity.
The all round visibility is great after mostly driving a van for the last 19 years, and the side doors are much easier for getting the dogs in and out. The glass roof gives the feeling of more space too. Have reset the various options/displays to my preferences - not yet found the screen/display/buttons to be anywhere near as fiddly as most reviews make out.
The Tiff and VHB Fifth Gear ESP video on YouTube helped make my decision to go ahead and buy a B Max.
Noticed a slight rattle from passenger rear door - not sure if there is any adjustment which is sometimes found to be necessary - any advise please?
Other that that:
So far so good! Long may it continue!
 

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Check that the rear door rattle is not actually the seat belt buckle or something rattling in the boot. These can sound similar :)
 

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Well done Briangsf1200. I have had my 1.6 diesel remapped with a Quantum remap from a place in Doncaster, I assume this is nowhere near you. But.... please check out the prices of remapping from other outlets before going with the most expensive. Almost all remaps are the same and carried out in the same way and the results are identical in all but the rarest of cases. I went upto 120 bhp and gained a 25% increase in torque, which makes the Bmax feel like a totally different car.
Welcome to the club and enjoy.
 

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Firstly, the degas pipe was modified on later models. The overheating issue is no longer a problem.

Because the vehicle sits slightly higher than the Fiesta it's based on, there is some body roll but not enough to excited about.

I find the ride can at times be a little stiff, but again it doesn't bother me.

The only issue I have with mine at the moment, is the notorious quick clear windscreen which on the drivers side packs up. Ford is well aware of the fault across the range, not just the B max but refuse to acknowledge it. That'll be £650 please sir for a replacement screen including fitting.
 

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Well done on your purchase :)

There seem to be a few of us who have had a Berlingo van. I used to have one when working, but changed to a VW Caddy on retirement, as we missed not having a van to cart stuff around in. We chopped that in for the BMax nearly a year ago. We have two dealers within shouting distance, Toyota and Ford.
All cars have niggling problems, and the BMax is no exception. Most get sorted out under warranty.
I've never noticed any significant body roll, but I'm not a boy racer. :) ...Never had a sliding door problem either.
 
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