Test drive 2012 Ford Grand C-Max

The Ford Motor Company has been successful at a great many things, but building minivans hasn't been one of them. Perpetually mired in the shadow of offerings from Chrysler and Japan's automakers, the Blue Oval folded up its sliding-door tent and went home years ago, killing off its undersized Mercury Villager in 2002 and then extinguishing the Windstar-turned-Freestar (and its short-lived Mercury Monterey counterpart) in 2007. Brand supporters will doubtlessly note that the family-ferrying segment was in decline for some years before Dearborn walked away from it, but the truth is that Ford never managed to crack the market's top ranks despite more than 15 years of trying.
Test drive 2012 Ford Grand C-Max

So why, then, is red-hot Ford risking a return to the segment in 2012 with the Grand C-Max shown here – a vehicle that's conspicuously smaller and less powerful than the segment norm? Do they know something that we don't? We hopped a puddle jumper to Nice, France after covering last week's Paris Motor Show in an attempt to find out.

Test drive 2012 Ford Grand C-Max Side
Test drive 2012 Ford Grand C-Max
Test drive 2012 Ford Grand C-Max Car
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