should i or shouldnt i? - Ford C-Max Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-09-2008, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Hi All

Having read good write-ups on the C-max, it seems to fit the bill forwhat we are looking for.

It would be a second family car for my wife to potter around in locally with the occasional longer jaunt. We havetwo growing children anda dog andso need something which gives space and versatility.

I'm considering a c-max 1.8 zetec 2004 from a local main ford dealer. 32k miles and in good condition.

However, i have just been looking at owners reviews on other sites such as whatcar and fifth gear, plus others, and have to say i'm now not so convinced that the c-max is the car i should be considering.

There seem to be a wide range of complaints relating to trim and electrics quality and reliability, but more concerning are the MANY comments relating to sudden loss of power, failing brakes and other critical faults.

I realise that review sites do give a one sided viewbut also recognise thati may get a slightly swayed opinion here,however, what i have read has raised serious concerns about the C-max. Indeed i feel that i may be buying a vehicle that could put my family at risk.

I realise that all marques of vehcile have problemssothought i may as well ask an open formum - from owners to whom ican respond - rather than relying on snapshot comments from otherowners who may, just mayhave got a few bad apples in what is a generally good basket!!

So, should i or shouldnt i....?

Thanks Bzzz

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-12-2008, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5

come on guys 'n gals - would be grateful for your help
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-12-2008, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 17

I'm going down your list in order here...

The boot isn't huge so if you've got 4 adults plus a dog in the boot you'll have very little boot space for anything else. But it's very roomy in the cabin, including for rear passengers if you fold the middle seat into the boot and slide the seats back and inwards.

32k on a 4 year old car is very low mileage. To give you a price comparison I bought an 04 plate, 1 owner, mint condition, 2.0TDCi Zetec with 32k miles and FFSH (but due its annual service) last march for just over 6000 from auction, so I'd expect you could pick up a 1.8 petrol for 4000 if you really wanted to. Have a look at this website it gives you prices of cars which have recently gone thru a public scottish auction (click the past prices on the right). This is the place where the dealers buy the ex-mobility or ex-lease cars for their forecourts. Remember there's an extra couple of hundred quid on top of the auction price (and that you have a limited guarantee).

Owners reviews - Have a look at and forums. Also compare other manufacturers of similar type/size of car (like the megane scenic at etc) and compare how many problems you find for each car in your bracket. The Ford's dont have too many problems in my opinion. Sure you will get "unlucky" cars but thats the same across the board. If you really want reliability then go for something japanese - like the similar sized mazda (whatever it's called).

To sum my C-Max up...

Pro's - It's great to get into and out of. The seat height, position, comfort and leg and shoulder room is great. It's smaller than it looks so is easy to park. It's quite cheap to buy. It handles great.

Con's - Fuel economy isn't as good as the official figures. The dash rattles a bit. The padding could be better. The boot isn't huge.

I've now had mine about a year (10k miles) and haven't had to spend a single penny on it (except the service mentioned earlier which I did myself for about 60 including the expensive oil and the filters). It's due its MOT and I'm not even checking it over first as I'm so certain it needs nothing.

Go buy one - but don't necessarily buy from a dealer. Sure you get a warranty but if you save 1000-2500 buying privately or at auction then you have that extra couple of grand to fix anything that MIGHT break. Buying from auction ensures there is no outstandingHP etc.

I'll just add here that I'm not a "Ford Man" (in our family theres currently Ford, Renault, Vauxhall, Mercedes, Volvo) but I'd certainly consider a second C-Max.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-17-2008, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 19
i've got a cmax 1.8 and the engine is fine. most of the probs reported on are 2.0 tdci's so i wouldnt worry about theengine. My only gripe with mine is that there were quite a few rattles on it but i sorted most out with sponge padding. the only thing i've had to do is change the back brake pads but that only cost me 24 quid for the pads off the net and i fitted them myself
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-28-2008, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 16
I would get one - but with a few caveats.We paid 6700 for a 54 plate very low milage from a dealer (as we needed to utilise part ex). It's true what they say about the trim. I had a 2.0 HDI Picasso and the finishing on it was immaculate. The finish on my 1.8 Ghia Cmax is not good at all. Flooring in the front stops as soon as you will not be able to see it sitting down (so if you get your head in the well it looks messy), the boot isn't as big as a picasso but big enough for us 2 adults and 2 kids with a biggish pushchair.

MPG is my biggest worry. In my 2.0 HDI Picasso I was getting 44 MPG around town and depending on how mad I went on the motorways - I could get between 44 - 55 MPG on a trip. So far on the Cmax it doesn't seem to matter that much how I drive it. I have done a week of high speed, high acceleration and the trip computer says I have got 32 MPG. This week I have took it easy and it says I have got 34.2. Not that big a difference, but a lot lower than the stated figures from Ford. Incidently, we were looking at a Zafira around the same mileage and cost but turned it down because the figures said it would only do 35 MPG.......not getting that from the Cmax.

I have noticed that the paintwork scratches very very easily, just a quick trip down the motorway and you will need to get your Colour Wash Polish out to dull down the nicks (Mine is Rosso Red).

The road noise is not the quietest and I have at the moment got a deep whining noise coming from the rear of the car - the mechanics have checked everything out and assure me that nothing is sticking or loose etc - I took them for a drive and they couldn't hear what I was talking about - so maybe it's just part of the normal road noise for this car.

I have some friends who have Cmax's and so far the only one's that have had problems are the mates with the 2.0 TDCI - almost everything that has been written on this forum site, one of them has had it.

Strange though as the 2.0 TDCI uses the same engine that is in a Volvo (V70 if I remember correctly).

However, the biggest thing you would notice is the ride. Very precise - where you point the car it goes. However, if you have ever driven a French car - prepare to have some bruises on your backside as the ride is much mich stiffer than Citroens etc.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-28-2008, 06:27 PM
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Location: Water Orton
Posts: 3,967
I have the 1.6 LX TDCI diesel that seems to give around 50 MPG however we drive it and has been said doesn't seem to suffer the 2.0L problems YET!!!

With the fuel prices this is one good start. It still has the same horsepower as our previous 1.8 Zetec PETROL focus and will get up and go quite well for a diesel

With the changing VED (Road fund) changes from April 2009 its 129g CO2 per KM put it right at the top but just in the 90 per year bracket as well

I've got the figures somewhere from this year's budget if anyone wishes to frighten themselves

54 Plate 1.6 TDCI LX ~aspiring to be something else
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-29-2008, 05:55 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 121
hi all
if we all read and went by all the problems that cars have then we would all just stay in bed but no we cant do that as there are problems with that as well. in the end all cars have problemswhich are a big deal to some peoplebut toothers there are not worth mentioning unless you are paid of course. i have a 2.0 tdci and it rides ok as we part ex'd a citroen c5 5 door(which you would never buy because they are full of major faults and you would be mad or have a big bank account to fix it with) we had the car for 2 years and 36k mileswithout oneproblem,and the wife loves the c max as it has a bigger boot so i have more to loadwith two adults and two young kids the boot takes a lot more stuff.
as for mpg i could get twice as much from our c5 2.0 hdi just use cruise control made the citroen think it was standing still on tick over. i will try this trick on the c max when the wife lets me drive it.
so dont believe all that you read!!!!!
ps i work for citroen

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