Does the U.S. market need another mini-minivan? Well, the Mazda5 is doing OK here, so why not add Ford's B-Max to the mix?
The B-Max was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show earlier this month and will go on sale in Europe later this year. It's a difficult-to-classify vehicle thanks to its compact wagon body style, tall ride height and sliding doors. Ford calls the B-Max a "city-friendly crossover," and in looks and purpose, it's a cross between the Mazda5 and Honda Fit. The wagon seats five passengers and rides on a stretched version of the Ford Fiesta platform, making the 164-inch B-Max quite a bit smaller than the 180.5-inch Mazda5 and a bit longer than the Fit.
In terms of styling, the B-Max gets points over the awkward, angular Mazda5, but they share the sliding door setup. We know the B-Max's minivan doors may seem uncool. We get it; however, they provide a much wider opening than a traditional door, which is great when trying to load people, stuff or a child-safety seat into the second row. Maybe sliding doors are even better for entering tight spaces like the B-Max versus the cavernous confines of full-size minivans. Ford says the front passenger seat and backseat can be folded to create a flat load floor capable of swallowing loads measuring up to 92.5 inches long.