Remember When You Swore In That Web Forum That You Would Buy A Turbocharged, Compact Minivan? We'll Take Your Deposit Now…

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
remember when you swore in that web forum that you would buy a turbocharged compact

Ever wonder what they call Canadian geese in Canada? Me too. I asked a Canadian, but she didn’t speak much English, she was facing away from me during the dance, and I couldn’t hear her over the DJ anyway.

This is the new “Grand C-Max” by Ford. In Europe, the C-Max is a “tall wagon” five-seater that competes with both the “Golf Plus” and the 1987 Honda “Wagovan”. VW sued on that. Said it was too close to the Vanagon. Anyway, there’s a bit of a fetish in Europe for hatchbacks that are just like regular hatchbacks only taller. I have no idea why. They aren’t any more useful. Think of it as our mini-SUV fetish. It’s just that stupid.

Back to this Grand C-Max, which is a small seven-seat minivan. Here in Sarah Palin’s America, there’s no regular C-Max, so the Grand C-Max is now the C-Max. You can have a turbocharged engine with it and a panoramic roof. Remember when you were trying to impress someone else on your favorite web forum and you said that, and I quote, “the only thing keeping me from buying a new car is the COMPLETE LACK of European turbo minivans?” Oops!

It’s 178 inches long on a 109.7 inch wheelbase. The original 1984 Chrysler minivan, to put this in perspective, was 175.9 inches long on a 112-inch wheelbase, and the 2011 Toyota Sienna is 200.2 inches long on a 119.3-inch wheelbase.

The base engine is the 2.5L Duratec we know from the current Focus, and there’s an optional 1.6L EcoBoost turbo. As with the Chevrolet Cruze, the purpose of the turbo is to deliver increased fuel economy at the same power level as the larger, naturally-aspirated mill. Both engines twist the traditional Ford six-speed auto.

The C-Max can park itself and there’s a fun little gadget called a “hands-free liftgate”. Just wave a foot at the bumper with the keyfob in your pocket, and the cargo door will magically open. This is great for young mothers or aging kidnappers. There will be some sort of SYNC/myFordTouch interactivity, and a full-length panorama roof is available.

The press release does not mention AWD, but in this market Ford would be wise to eventually make than an option. We’ll be showing you more on the C-Max when it officially debuts at the Detroit Auto Show in mid-January.

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  • Ash78 Ash78 on Dec 20, 2010

    I'm SOOOO close to wanting. So close. But what's the deal with the 2.5L vs. 1.6t substitution? There should at least be an sportier version...2.0t, for example. That's an existing Ecoboost engine that could serve as the top-end engine choice. Maybe even pair it with an optional stick...

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Dec 20, 2010

    I'm kinda thinking about business use for this one. Unfortunately, Ford makes Transit Connect which is even better for the mission.

  • SCE to AUX 1000 miles/month still works out to $30/month, similar to my cost in PA.The real effect of this gimmick is to show how cheap it is to operate an EV. But I guess even $30-ish/month for a year ends up saving maybe 1% off the effective price of the car.Other EV mfrs can't even build batteries yet, let alone think of clever ideas like this.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird In 1986 the Yugo was listed as $3990, which was the lowest priced car in America at the time. The base Hyundai Excel was listed at $1k more at $4995. I knew someone at the time who purchased a base Excel hatchback in red with a four speed. I think he added an aftermarket stereo. He was trading in a Renault Alliance that he purchased a few years earlier for about $5k.
  • SCE to AUX Good summary.I still think autonomous driving should be banned until some brave mfr claims Level 5 capability, and other distractions like games and videos should only be available for stationary vehicles.As for the A/C, I just turn a knob in my Hyundai EV.
  • MrIcky My bet is flood.
  • Lou_BC "A Stellantis employee recommended the change after they had a near-miss with an emergency vehicle they couldn’t hear."I was at a traffic light and the car next to me had the stereo cranked. My whole truck was vibrating. A firetruck was approaching lights and sirens. They should have seen it since it was approaching from their side. Light changed and they went. It was almost a full on broad-side. People are stupid. A green light at an intersection does not mean it is safe to go. You still have to look especially at a "fresh" green. Idiots run the light, an emergency vehicle is coming, or it's icy and vehicles can't stop.