Unlike many of the inaugural debuts scheduled to be made this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Ford C-MAX holds relevance for U.S. buyers. As part of Ford’s endeavor to consolidate products and build a global product line-up, the previously European-spec Ford C-MAX will be making the jump across the pond in 2011. Although we’ve never seen anything like it in Ford’s North American line-up before, the C-MAX should be a familiar sight as it shares a platform with the Mazda5. Unlike the Mazda5, however, the C-MAX is capable of fitting one extra junior league soccer player in the back (7-passenger seating capability versus the Mazda5’s 6). So, should you be excited? Unless you’re a young couple with 3 or more little mouth breathers in tow, probably not.
The C-MAX is intended to help expand Ford’s C-Segment vehicle line-up, but don’t let the sporty nomenclature fool you, it’s just a thinly disguised minivan. It has the potential to be a sleeper (as does any car, really, with enough duct tape and a few fruitful trips to the junkyard), but there’s no word yet on what powertrain options will be and we expect a lot of 4-bangers and at least one EcoBoost (read: nothing to grind your gears about).
To summarize our feelings of apathy, we now turn it over to Ford’s PR department. “Consumers are seeking uncompromised vehicles offering value for the money, and C-MAX squarely hits those targets,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. “The Focus C-MAX will be great to look at, great to sit in and great to drive, bringing Ford DNA to a new market segment in the form of an aspirational, fuel-efficient people carrier.” Or, in layman’s terms, the MazdaSPEED3 will still be the only 5-door Ford worth plunking a down-payment on.