This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford S-MAX review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The S-MAX has a well built and clearly laid out interior that's user-friendly. The controls are grouped together while steering wheel-mounted buttons make controlling functions such as the stereo easy. The rest of the layout is neat, if not particularly adventurous, while the silver centre console adds a touch of finesse. The main stereo and ventilation controls are all easy to use, although it's a little less intuitive on cars with the optional sat nav and touchscreen fitted.

There's plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seat plus the gear lever is positioned high up, giving an almost sporty feel. We're less convinced by the quirky handbrake handle that resembles the throttle in an aircraft. However, an electronic handbrake is available as an option.

Although there are seven seats, the rear two are really only suitable for kids or occasional use by adults. They're also very low to the ground, meaning you almost sit on the floor with your knees high up, plus you have to be fairly nimble to access them. There's less headroom than in the Galaxy due to the sloping roof and more streamlined rear. However, the middle row offers excellent comfort - each of the three seats slides individually and also reclines.

Surprisingly not all models get air conditioning as standard though - it's an optional extra on the entry-level LX (now Edge) trim. In 2010 the entry level Edge was replaced with the Zetec, which does have air con as standard. It also gets a thicker windscreen meaning wind and road noise is reduced further making the S-Max very quiet at high speeds.