WHEN it comes to buying secondhand, it's a good idea to check out the retained value of cars after three years.
That's how to find out which one is going to be cheapest, to maximise the value you get from your ‘new' car.
Because of its popularity new and discounting by dealers, the Ford C-Max is a great bargain second time around. Its also a good car in every way and great fun to drive.
Diesels are more sought after and therefore more expensive, so that for many buyers petrols would represent better value over time.
This is because the gain in economy with a diesel takes a long time to pay for the extra purchase cost even with secondhand cars.
As an example, a new C-Max diesel takes about 50,000 miles or four years to pay for itself.
With facelifts and engine changes, the present C-Max has been on the market for eight years, and all have a quality interior, good levels of equipment and of course, plenty of interior space.
There is also a Grand C-Max with seven seats but the rearmost two are only large enough for smaller children.
There's a wide range of petrol and diesel engines at different times. Early petrols were1.6-litres, with 103, 113 or 123bhp but from 2015 1.0-litre and 1.6 EcoBoost turbo units replaced them, the 1.0-litre having 100 or 125bhp and the 1.6 either 148 or 177bhp.
The early 1.6 units have an official economy average of 44 miles per gallon, while the 1.0-litre is rated at 55 and the 1.6 EcoBoost models at 45mpg.
The diesel range, which are all designated TDCi, are either 1.6 or 2.0-litres. The 1.6 has power outputs of 93 and 113bhp in different models, while the 2.0-litre starts at 113bhp and rises through 138 to 160bhp.
The 1.6 is rated at 62mpg while the 2.0-litre gets an average of 55 to 60mpg.
The 1.6 turbo petrols are the performance kings in the range, covering the 0 to 60mph sprint in 9.4 or 8.5 seconds, while the top diesel covers it in 9.2 seconds.
As well as the new petrol engines added in 2015, there was a 1.5 TDCi with 118bhp and very low emissions but its economy is rated lower than that of the 1.6 at 57mpg.
Three gearboxes are fitted to different models. A five-speed goes with the 1.6 103bhp and 123bhp petrol engines, while the 1.6 EcoBoost and all the diesels get a six-speed gearbox.
Post 2015 the C-Max was given the latest familiar Ford front end and grille and the inside was uprated.
Performance is good in most models and they are also very good handlers through the corners. The ride is excellent over most surfaces, only spoiled in the most powerful models by the usual fit big alloys and very low profile tyres.
Lowest Zetec models have very good equipment including alarm, stability control, air con, loads of airbags, rake-and-reach-adjustable steering, alloys, emergency brake warning, DAB radio and audio system with six speakers, USB and aux-in, Bluetooth, heated windscreen and a multi-function steering wheel.
Pay about Â£7,900 for a '14 14-reg 1.0-litre Ecoboost Zetec, or Â£11,700 for a '16 16-reg 1.5 TDCi Titanium Nav.