Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 7.5 mpp
Diesel engines 7.7 - 9.5 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 34.9 mpg
Diesel engines 38.2 - 47.1 mpg
  • Diesels by far the most frugal engines
  • You’ll need deeper pockets to run a petrol
  • Servicing costs are reasonable, though

2020 Ford S-Max static

If Ford S-Max running costs are your priority then it would be wise to choose one of the diesel models. There's a reason why the petrol engines are now defunct, despite showing improved economy, as the TDCi and EcoBlue engines cost the least to run.

Not only that, they only need servicing every two years or 18,500 miles – petrol-powered S-Max models require the same at 12,500 miles or every 12 months.

Despite the variation in power figures, the 2.0-litre Ecoblue diesel in 150hp with the manual gearbox is the most economical of the lot, returning between 39.8-54.3mpg. This also emits the least amount of CO2, at 130g/km. Choose the automatic gearbox and this drops down to 34-50.4mpg, with CO2 emissions rising to 138g/km.

The higher-powered 190hp version is automatic-only and returns between 36.7-47.9mpg, while emitting 134g/km of CO2. The all-wheel drive version sees this fuel economy figure dip to 32.1-47.1mpg and CO2 emissions rise up to 151g/km.

Petrol engines no longer available command higher running costs

Ford S-Max Vignale diesel 2016

There is, however, a penalty if you go for one of the EcoBoost petrols. The 160-165hp 1.5-litre returns up to 43.5mpg according to Ford, while the 240hp 2.0-litre is much less impressive at 35.8mpg. If you must have petrol power, be prepared to visit the filling station more regularly than if you’d gone for a diesel. 

Going for a petrol S-Max means high CO2 emissions, with the 1.5-litre EcoBoost emitting 149g/km and the 2.0-litre putting out 180g/km on the old NEDC testing system.

The TDCI diesels of the time are much lower, with 120hp, 150hp and 180hp versions producing 129g/km of CO2, unless you go for the all-wheel drive versions. Then emissions are 139g/km and 149g/km for the 150hp and 180hp models respectively.

The top-spec 210hp S-Max diesel produces 144g/km of CO2. 

Reliability

  • Just one official recall for the S-Max so far
  • Uses proven engines found in several other cars
  • Should be little to be concerned about

What lies underneath this car is effectively the Ford Mondeo, a car the firm has spent years perfecting, and so it stands to reason that Ford S-Max reliability should be impeccable. Certainly the range of engines are used elsewhere in the firm’s range and should prove capable of large mileages without issue.

And of course it’s designed to ferry multitudes of passengers around, so special attention has been paid to the wear attributes of the cabin. Everything will have been child-proofed too, and the interior fabrics feature a stain-resistant technology to keep it looking like new.

So far in this generation of S-Max’s life, it’s been the subject of just one recall pertaining to the headlamps switching off on their own, but this will have been rectified on affected models. 

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £125 - £475
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 16 - 34
How much is it to insure?