By on July 27, 2017

2015 Ford B-Max - Image: FordIt’s a question parents don’t ask often enough: are is our children learning?

More commonly queried: why not are our doors all is sliding? Furthermore, why is minivans are not mini?

Ford gave it a five-year whirl, slapping sliding doors on the side of the Fiesta-based B-Max. But according to a report in Romania’s Automarket, production of the Romanian-built B-Max ends this fall.

Are is our automakers learning?

Taking over from the B-Max at Ford Motor Company’s assembly plant in Craiova, Romania, will be the — you guessed it — Ford EcoSport. Ford will increase the size of the Romanian workforce in order to meet anticipated demand for the EcoSport, demand that never fully developed for the B-Max MPV.

You’ll recall that while America’s Ford EcoSports will hail from Ford’s Chennai, India facility, it’s appearing increasingly likely that the EcoSport will be called upon not only to fill a void at the bottom of Ford’s U.S. utility vehicle lineup, but also to replace the Fiesta. Yes, that Fiesta. The one on which the B-Max is based.

Through the end of 2016, roughly 225,000 copies of the B-Max had been sold in Europe during a period in which Ford sold 1.5 million Fiestas. Meanwhile, European sales of the Nissan Juke, were more than twice as strong as sales of the B-Max.2015 Ford B-Max sliding doors - Image: FordPerhaps pricier than potential customers could tolerate — the Fiesta-based B-Max was priced like a mid-grade Focus — the B-Max was nevertheless highly regarded by critics. “In normal driving the vanlet feels much like a regular small car—even a sporty one, especially when equipped with the aforementioned 1.0-liter three,” Car And Driver wrote in 2012. Top Gear said the B-Max, “could actually be the smartest, most intelligent supermini-MPV this sector has yet seen.” AutoCar gave the B-Max 4.5 out of 5 stars.

But to what extent was the B-Max a total misstep by the Blue Oval? Prior to the B-Max, Ford’s previous Fiesta produced an offshoot known (oddly) as the Fusion. It seemed silly and contrived in 2002, but that Fusion’s recipe — tall subcompact with boxy SUV-like styling and no all-wheel drive — now appears ahead of its time.

The innovative Ford B-Max, on the other hand, was a decade or two late to the MPV party. No matter how good it was or is or could be, this is not what the people want.

[H/T AutoVerdict]
[Images: Ford]

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39 Comments on “Ford B-Max Is the Latest Deceased Minivan – When Sliding Doors Die, Angels Cry...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    The first four paragraphs made my head hurt…

    • 0 avatar
      alexrcp

      “are is our children..”
      “why not are our doors all is sliding”
      “why is minivans are not mini?”
      “Are is our automakers learning?”

      WHAT IS THIS?! Is the writer using google translate or something? TTAC, come on, I know we come here to read about cars, but a little grammar goes a long way.
      It’s Lik I tell people there’s a big difference between “Lets eat grandma!” and “Lets eat, grandma!”

    • 0 avatar
      alexrcp

      “are is our children..”
      “why not are our doors all is sliding”
      “why is minivans are not mini?”
      “Are is our automakers learning?”

      WHAT IS THIS?! Is the writer using google translate or something? TTAC, come on, I know we come here to read about cars, but a little grammar goes a long way.
      It’s Like I tell people there’s a big difference between “Lets eat grandma!” and “Lets eat, grandma!”.

  • avatar

    sometimes wen I think about all the cars around the world and then there are some i don’t know about but then i learne’d about them online like in this article with mr. cains’ showed me, and just as i have to be able to know them they are cancelled and it goes away and makes me cry and sad.

    so i will miss Fords’ B-Mix van

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “In normal driving the vanlet feels much like a regular small car—even a sporty one, especially when equipped with the aforementioned 1.0-liter three,”

    which matters to practically no car buyer. further demonstration of how out-of-touch the automotive press is with the market.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I always thought that this would have been a better hybrid than the Cmax. It would have not been directly compared to the Prius and it would have been unique. IT also would have been able to handle a much larger battery.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    I’m glad you’ve finally replaced non-Baruth writers with robots.

    EDIT: But they remind me of the window robot at Buick City that smashed all the blue cars!

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Pour one out for the last(?) hardtop minivan.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The big misstep is the sliding doors, that screams minivan and that drives many customers away. Some black plastic cladding around the wheel well openings wouldn’t have hurt either.

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      The Euro non-hybrid C-Max had it too. Didn’t help sales in N.A. by their removal.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        And how do you know that since they never sold one with sliding doors. The C-Max did quite well in the beginning but they gas prices fell and people didn’t care as much about MPG. Had gas prices risen instead I’m sure the C-Max sales would have followed.

        The lady I know with a C-Max Energi would likely not have bought it if it had sliding doors both from the stand point that it screams minivan and the reprieved lack of structural integrity with the lack of a B pillar.

        • 0 avatar
          SPPPP

          You know that most minivans have B-pillars, right? And the Grand C-Max, the Euro minivan of which you speak, has B-pillars? The regular C-Max, with traditional swinging doors, is sold in Europe just like it is here. It’s the Grand C-Max that has the minivan sliding doors. Still has B-pillars.

          The vehicle with sliding doors, but without B-pillars, is the B-Max.

          Also, while some people might pass up a vehicle because of sliding doors, those people either haven’t had their first kid yet, or have no common sense. There’s a large cohort of people that buy minivans specifically because they DO have sliding doors.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Logically, the sliding doors make a ton of sense. Too bad people buy cars to signal their personality, not their practicality.

  • avatar

    RIP in peace

    I know that there’s always going to be a market for the minivan, but a part of me thinks that they’ll eventually go away.

    Or worse, our only option will be the Chrysler Pacifica.

  • avatar
    RS

    Ford should have offered this in the US instead of the Fiesta.

    Also, looks like the automotive press loved it – which is usually the kiss of death for sales.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    They should put sliding doors on regular cars.

  • avatar
    markogts

    The story of the Peugeot 1007 repeated itself… I was in the market for a B-Max. My dad bought a VW Bully when I was 7, so basically any sliding-door car will get instant love from my side. However, once I put down the numbers, the car didn’t make sense. On the contrary of what Top Gear says, that car is not so much clever. The sliding doors actually contain the b-pillar, so they are heavy and really, really thick. I bet you have 10cm (4 inches) less rear seat width because of this problem – no way to seat 5 people there. Second point, the increased weight does not work well with downsized turbocharged engines. Real life numbers are above 7 l/100km (less than 33MPG), not acceptable for a compact.

    It tried to be a smart car, but it couldn’t deliver. OTOH, consumers buying cars by trends were not attracted for the “van taste”.

  • avatar
    gnekker

    I have this car so I can speak from the personal experience. I was aware of the un-popularity of the model and I used it to my benefit – The main Ford dealer had a stock full of B-max(es) so while the list price was about the same as the Focus, I got it for the price of Fiesta. I didn’t like the Focus interior – while it it quite larger car, inside it feels very cramped, especially on the back seat, with the low ceiling and all…
    My wife love it because it is small and easy to manuever in our cramped city streets, and still roomy and comfortable enough for our weekend sea-side trips

    It is true that B-Max is quite heavy, and for that reason it is slower than the Fiesta with the same engine, but it also feels like much bigger car, with roomy interior and more composed ride. It is also very quiet at speed, with no excessive noise up to about 160 km/h, which is quite surprising for such small engine. My 2 years average consumption is 7.2 l/100 km, about 30% more than the official figure, but as far as I know it is the case with all small turbocharged petrol engines. Ford dealer says that I should up-shift at 2000 rpm and that will reduce the consumption, but I don’t have the hart to torture the engine like this, especially because it actually loves high revs :-)
    Now I only have to keep the car for next 40 years, and it will become a highly regarded old-timer because it is so rare :-)

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    “But to what extent was the B-Max a total misstep by the Blue Oval? Prior to the B-Max, Ford’s previous Fiesta produced an offshoot known (oddly) as the Fusion. It seemed silly and contrived in 2002, but that Fusion’s recipe — tall subcompact with boxy SUV-like styling and no all-wheel drive — now appears ahead of its time.”

    The original Ecosport was actually based on the Fusion, developed specifically for South America. It was a total hit, hence its promotion to global model with the second generation.

    • 0 avatar
      Victor

      Pretty much what I was gonna say. The B-Max was Ford Europe subbornly refusing to learn from the first Ecosport sucesso over the Fusion’s lackluster marketing performance.

  • avatar
    rolando

    Hopefully it will make room for the new Transit Courier, a Fiesta Based Box! I like it. Google for images!

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