View all Ford S-MAX reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
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PROS

  • Agility
  • Comfort
  • Practicality
  • Style

CONS

  • Not particularly cheap
  • Grand C-Max just as practical

Verdict

Since it was introduced in 2006, and after being named car of the year in 2007, the Ford S-Max has found over 400,000 homes – 82,000 of which were here in the UK. Of those original sales, over 65 percent of original owners returned to the brand and replaced it with a new one when it became time to change. Last year, despite the imminent arrival of this new model, Ford sold 8,045 in Britain.

Which is not a history they want to meddle with. It’s also a track record that the likes of the Seat Alhambra, Volkswagen Sharan and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso would like to equal – but this new S-Max means their work will be cut out.

What’s new?

Not much looks to have changed, from the outside at least, with a very similar design to the car that came before. The headlamps have been slimmed down, the windscreen pillars moved further back and the nose features the firm’s new family look. All cars have an active grille shutter to improve aerodynamics and therefore fuel efficiency.

Most of the changes are underneath, where there are new Mondeo-based underpinnings and range of EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel engines. The good news is this means the S-Max is better to drive than ever – which was always a strongpoint anyway. Sharp steering and taut body control, mixed with a supple ride comfort, mean this seven-seater Ford is as much fun for the driver as it is comfortable for passengers.

Diesel, petrol, automatic, manual and four-wheel drive

It’s the diesel engines expected to be the biggest sellers here in the UK, so there’s a choice of four outputs from 2-litre four-cylinder units, and just two petrol models. The latter are available as a 2-litre with 237bhp and a 1.5-litre with 158bhp, and while the former is fast it doesn’t make much sense in this people carrier.

Far more agreeable for those in the quest of performance with their people carrier is the new 2-litre bi-turbo diesel, producing 207bhp and 450Nm of torque which accelerates from 0-62mph in just 8.8 seconds and is claimed to return 51.4mpg while emitting just 144g/km of CO2.

Otherwise a far more sensible option would be one of the single-turbo 2-litre diesels, with power ranging from 118bhp to 178bhp. In truth the 148bhp model is tipped to be the biggest seller, and with a 10.8 second 0-62mph time, 56.5mpg and 129g/km CO2 emissions we can see why.

Three trim levels, extra equipment, extra technology

Compared to the old S-Max this new car gains extra equipment, and even the basic cars have 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen with voice control and Bluetooth connectivity, keyless start, front and rear parking sensors and DAB radio. Over and above these Zetec models are the Titanium and Titanium Sport models, which add niceties such as cruise control, keyless entry and sat-nav.

Opting for the Titanium X Pack on either of these brings with it heated and electrically-adjustable leather seats and LED adaptive headlights.

Inside, the S-Max benefits from the firm’s new Easy Fold and Easy Entry systems, allowing the seats in the rearmost rows to be folded flat into the floor electrically. Doing so increases boot space from around 285 litres to up to 2,200 litres.

It was already a car that impressed, but read the rest of the Parkers Ford S-Max review to see if the new one surpasses those already high standards.

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