• Jan 10, 2011
2012 Ford C-Max – Click above for high-res image gallery

Small MPVs are all the rage in Europe, but here in North America – the land of "bigger is better" – these moderately-sized people-haulers have never quite sold in droves. Ford firmly believes that it's time to bring the small MPV segment back to North America, and the 2012 C-Max is its first foray into offering this sort of pint-sized family-hauling package here in America.

We've already driven (and enjoyed) the European-spec Grand C-Max, and the good news is that not much will change mechanically before the car arrives here in the States. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will be the base powertrain with an all-new 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four being the up-level mill. The C-Max offers seating for seven (or "five plus two," as Ford says), and the latest crop of Blue Oval tech will be found inside.

The C-Max will go on sale later this year shortly after production begins at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant. We've just finished perusing the new C-Max live at Cobo Hall during the opening hours of the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, so scroll through our high-res gallery of live shots to see the new MPV in the flesh.




Live photos copyright ©2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL


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  • 34 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hate the fact but the rear end of Grand C-Max is weird. :(

      BTW one would somehow expect the "One Ford" phylosophy to end the conFusion in naming. (Like european Fusion shared nothing with the US one, brand new Grand C-Max is called "C-Max" in US.)
        • 3 Years Ago
        "I'm a Ford fan born & living in Europe, therefore I'm familiar with this stuff, and it does not change a thing on what I've said." - Yaroukh

        Yes, I'm a former RS Club member as well. I'm sure you'd agree the RS Mexico remains one of the most evocative products ever to come out of Ford of Europe. But back to your post ... if you already knew the answer, why pose the query? Doesn't really make a lot of sense.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes One Ford, I agree, that's exactly what the new "global" Ford should do.
        • 3 Years Ago
        How many people (besides us car nuts) have any idea, or even care, what a car is called in another market?

        They have to print up all new manuals and marketing material and make all new ads and such anyways, so changing the name is nothing.

        When the next-gen Mondeo gets here to the US, I gaurantee that Ford US is going to keep the Fusion name. Why kill all that brand equity only to confuse the public by changing its name??
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm a Ford fan born & living in Europe, therefore I'm familiar with this stuff, and it does not change a thing on what I've said.

        thnx anyways :)
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's only because the regular SWB European C-Max won't be offered in the States. And remember, in Europe the original C-Max was called Focus C-Max, because - hey presto - it's a Focus underneath. In fact it was the first vehicle to use the C1 platform, even before other Focus mk2 models debuted.

        As for the Fusion, there's no common philosophy behind the European Fusion and the American one. Different product strategies and development timelines utterly.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Nothing from what you said answers the question. (The more that applies to the Fusion: I said 'Fusions do not share anything' and you replied that that they... are different products. :)

        Hazda's comment kinda does, but I'm still not convinced that's enough to _introduce a brand new car_ under two names.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "The more that applies to the Fusion: I said 'Fusions do not share anything' and you replied that that they... are different products" - Yaroukh


        But they were never intended to! The European Fusion debuted eight years ago and was a derivative of the mk5 Fiesta. So why you'd link the North American Fusion to it is beyond me, because it was a different product development entirely. It doesn't matter that they happen to share a name, since naming cars varies so much and is largely based on local market trends.

        Remember, Ford of Europe (like GM Europe) has for decades operated almost completely autonomously of their respective American operations. Ford have for decades attempted to spontaneously make their products global to appeal to their three major market arenas: North America, Europe and the Far East. But apart from the mk1 Focus, those attempts were white elephants. What we're seeing now is the first truly concerted effort by Ford to globalise its line-up and reduce its number of global parts and materials suppliers in the process.

        Once again, I don't understand the original point of your post. Either you answered your own question, or you just enjoy stating the obvious.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The mini-minivan segment needs something like this C-Max to get people to notice it. Most people really don't know that these cars even exist, and yet are super useful for those that need something bigger than a regular car, but don't need an enormous minivan (damn have those suckers gotten big over the years!).

      This C-Max will be good not just for Ford, but for the entire mini-minivan category.
        • 3 Years Ago
        We have a Mazda MPV that we will replace with the C-Max 1.6L ecoboost. It is a perfect fit for our family of 4.

        I think I read that this C-Max is actually a little larger than the original Dodge minivans. It just goes to show how enormous they have gotten over the years. Many more families will be downsizing to smaller minivans once gas prices hit $4/gallon.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Mazda5 is another great alternative. Plus, you can get it with a manual transmission for some added zoom-zoom!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Our Mazda 5 is, for us, the ideal 3rd car, fitting neatly between our Honda S2000 and Honda Odyssey. Inexpensive (15K new), versatile, and exceptionally tossable. Kudos to Mazda and Ford for a great design.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's ugly, that door line tweek running up the C-pillar is just horrible. Too much metal above the wheel. It looks toyish (as in toy, not Toyota), immature. More of a comically distorted Focus than a proper sporty minivan.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a great vehicle, although the rear cargo with the seats up looks to be even less than the Mazda5, but with the second row middle seat, this thing should be a winner.

      But, do we really have to call it the "C-Max?" That's a really stupid name.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I sure hope the headrests on the middle row seats can be removed; no way you're getting a forward facing carseat properly strapped in with those things on there. Other than that, I like it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      not a very complimentary color to use when showcasing a new vehicle

      dash seems overly busy in design. if Ford is targeting 25-30,000 sales they should hit their mark and help grow the segment with the new Mazda5 esp with >$3 gas
        • 3 Years Ago
        I thought the same thing about the paint. Looks like a '94 era color. Doesn't do this vehicle justice...
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's odd... the gallery is featured on the side bar and yet this article never appeared on the top page when it was published.

      On a side note, that's a nice looking minivan.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Never mind. The article is up now.
      • 3 Years Ago
      ford rondo?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah, nothing like the Rondo. The Rondo is sad and unfortunate looking, with a too-tall greenhouse and too small wheels. The is proportioned much more elegantly.
        • 3 Years Ago
        glasses? :P
      • 3 Years Ago
      At least it's another choice as far as type of vehicle, especially since wagon choices are fewer these days. There are people that want to have fun driving that happen to have a lot of stuff or family to get around and the typical almost 5000 lbs. of SUV or "mini"-van may be more than some need.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's definitely needed here, and I'm glad to see that it hasn't changed much from the European version.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This color choice is horrible for a show car. It looks much better in darker colors as it brings out the small chrome accents.
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