The B-Max's pillarless construction, combined with the twin sliding doors a la the Mazda5, offers an opening that's nearly 5 feet wide when the traditional front doors are open and the rear doors are slid fully back. According to Ford, that's around twice the size offered by the competition, making it easier to strap in child seats, and easier for full-size adults to get to the back row without convoluted gymnastics. And the best part is, the pillarless design is production-ready - it's clear Ford intends to use it.
The B-Max is built off the same chassis as the Fiesta. It's about 4 inches longer than the Fiesta hatchback and a foot shorter than the C-Max crossover currently on its way to the U.S. Ford is aiming the B-Max at the urban dweller who finds the S-Max too large but still wants similar interior space and packaging.
"With the B-Max we set out to create a vehicle that captures the spirit of a smaller S-Max," Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's executive design director, said in a statement. "We wanted to show that a small car could be very spacious and practical inside, while still having the sleek, dynamic appearance that has made the S-Max so popular." Ford says the B-Max can swallow objects nearly 8 feet long when the front passenger seat and the 60/40 split rear row seats are folded down. Finally, with more than 4 inches of additional headroom compared with the Fiesta, drivers get a more commanding view of the road.
|First Look Ford B-Max|