From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £18,550 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1426kg
85% Match: 1212kg
Maximum towing limit: 1300kg
Towball limit: 75kg

ON PAPER, the C-Max is more expensive than the Golf Estate. However, apply the thumbscrews and the salesman should drop the price by more than £2400, which brings the Titanium version to just over £16,000. Choose the Style model and the cost should be less than £14,500.

The C-Max splices the Focus hatch with an MPV to make a car that’s entertaining to drive and practical with it. The boot held every item of luggage, and with a van in tow, the C-Max sauntered through the lane-change test.

Quiet and refined engine

If we do have a doubt, it’s with the performance from the 1.6-litre diesel engine. The 30-60mph time of 25 seconds shows this isn’t a car for press-on drivers. On the other hand, it’s very quiet and refined.

We say

Towing: 4/5
Solo: 4/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 4/5. The best-value MPV on test, especially if you haggle.

Braking 30-0mph: 12.37m