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New Ford B-MAX First Drive By Brian Foley

The new Ford B-MAX, featuring a unique design and all new small car technology among the most advanced in Europe, has arrived in Ireland.

With a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the B-MAX’s Ford Easy Access Door System provides unobstructed entry and exit with hinged front doors and sliding rear doors integrating the central body pillars.

The B-Max is very much a Family Friendly Ford.When both front and rear doors are open there is outstanding access to the interior, with a huge, clear aperture more than 1.5 metres wide due to the absence of the traditional fixed central door pillar. As well as inrestricted access to the rear seats, there is oodles of space to attend to children in child seats, load and unload shopping etc..

The new B-MAX is also the first European Ford to offer the company’s acclaimed SYNC system.

SYNC is an advanced voice control, device integration and connectivity interface. It enables users to connect mobile phones and music players by Bluetooth or USB, make hands-free telephone calls, and control music and other functions using voice commands.

It can automatically transfer contact information from a connected Bluetooth device to the vehicle, allows calls to contacts to be activated using straight-forward voice commands and reads text messages aloud from compatible phones connected using Bluetooth.

SYNC also enables B-MAX to offer the innovative new Emergency Assistance feature which is designed to assist the occupants to call the local emergency services operator in the event of an accident. Emergency Assistance won the “Best Mobile Innovation for Automotive, Transport or Utilities” category at the 2012 Global Mobile Awards, Barcelona.

“We are delighted with the first reactions to our new B-MAX in Ireland”, said Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland. “The car really challenges traditional small car thinking, and pioneers a concept not attempted by any other manufacturer,”

In Ireland, the car will be offered in two versions B-MAX and B-MAX Titanium. The specification list for B-MAX is as follows: 15” steel wheels; body-coloured mirrors & handles; leather trimmed steering wheel; air-conditioning; global open / closing windows; Fold Flat passenger & rear seats; Deflation Detection System; Electronic Stability Programme (ESP); Torque Vectoring Control; Headlight Courtesy Delay; and remote central locking.

The additional specification list for the B-MAX Titanium includes: 15” alloy wheels; front fog lights; LED day-time running lights; chrome window finisher; heated windscreen; child observation mirror; and trip computer. First drive in a B-Max proved both positive and pleasant. Nice driving position, comfortable and well finished. The suspension movement gave the car a slight 'floating' motion, which the occupants would most likely be unaware of, whilst the driver would soon become accustomed to it. A longer test drive report will be featured later on www.autopoint.ie There is a choice of petrol and diesel engines and different specs.

Engine line up and pricing is as follows:
• B-MAX 1.0 litre Ecoboost petrol100PS (119 g/km CO2 – tax band A) - €21,600
• B-MAX 1.4 90PS petrol (139 g/km CO2 – tax band B) - €19,170
• B-MAX 1.5 75PS diesel (109 g/km CO2 – tax band A) - €21,840
• B-MAX 1.6 105PS Auto (149 g/km CO2 – tax band C) - €25,220
• B-MAX Titanium 1.0 Ecoboost petrol 100PS (119 g/km CO2 – tax band A) – GRP €22,815
• B-MAX Titanium 1.6 105PS Auto (149 g/km CO2 – tax band C) - €26,430
• B-MAX Titanium 1.5 75PS diesel (109 g/km CO2 – tax band A) - €23,050