Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Space for seven on board the S-Max
  • Rearmost seats are best for children
  • Excellent flexibility all-round, though

If there’s one element this car is designed to do well, it’s practicality. All models get seven-seats as standard and it features Ford's clever Easy Fold and Easy Entry seating system.

Finding your way to the rearmost seats is a doddle thanks to the Easy Entry system with its one-touch design that sees the middle-row seats fold and slide in one action.

It works in practice too, and full-size adults will be able to navigate back into the rearmost bench with ease, though once there we’re not convinced there’s any more room than in a Ford Grand C-Max due to the sloping roofline eating into headroom. Sliding the middle seats forward does increase rear legroom though.

Ford S-Max Vignale middle row seat 2016

If you’re in the front or the middle row, you won’t be complaining about space, with a good amount of adjustment on each of the seats, making long journeys comfortable.

The S-Max is offered with the firm’s hands-free electrically operated tailgate, which is opened with a swing of the foot under the rear bumper. The cabin materials have been specially tested to deal with the daily rigours of family life too, and feature special anti-stain coatings.

The S-Max is, unsurprisingly, a big car – mainly in length – but it’s not a difficult car to weave in and out of traffic in or slot into a parking space. It’s surprisingly manoeuvrable.

A large glass area means visibility out of the car is very good, while standard-fit parking sensors at the front and back of the S-Max ease things further. If that’s not enough, cameras can be added from the options list for a boost in visibility. Speccing a rear view camera would be our recommendation. Visibility might be good for a car of this size, but reversing a car of this size is made so much easier with a camera.

Ford’s Easy Fold system allows each one of the five individual rear seats to be folded flat into the floor at the touch of a button, helpfully located in the boot. And they do actually fold flush into the floor, leaving the S-Max with a whopping 2,200-litre load area.

Leave it more conventionally arranged, with five seats in place, and the Ford offers a reasonable 700-litre space, while with all seven seats in use the luggage area is a tight 285 litres (laden to the roof).

To put this into context, the Renault Grand Scenic can only muster 233 litres' worth of space with all seven seats up and 596 litres with five seats in place. The larger and less stylish Ford Galaxy has a bigger boot. 1,301 litres worth of space in five seat configuration, and 300 litres with all seven seats erected.

Safety

  • Five stars for the S-Max from Euro NCAP
  • Makes a very safe family MPV
  • Extra assistance tech can be added as an option

Euro NCAP tested the S-Max back in 2015, where it achieved a five-star crash safety rating, meaning family buyers can rest assured the big Ford will keep them and the occupants protected in the event of an accident.

It’s a car designed to transport families, so safety is at the forefront of the Ford S-Max’s priorities, and as such there’s a load of kit available with this in mind.

Alongside a plethora of airbags (driver, front passenger, driver knee, first second and third row curtain airbags as well as second row side bags), tyre pressure monitoring and MyKey you can specify your S-Max with a host of other safety kit including the firm’s new Intelligent Speed limiter.

This uses a camera in the windscreen to read roadside speed limit signs, and if they are below the maximum speed set by the driver at the start of the journey the car will slow itself down to avoid speeding tickets and maximise safety.

Active at speeds between 20 and 120mph, it slows the car by reducing fuel flow to the engine rather than braking, and can be temporarily overridden with a firm press of the accelerator pedal.

Choose the Titanium and above models and you’ll benefit from a lane departure warning system and automatic glare-free high beam for the headlights.

A series of cameras is also available; the split-view technology means exiting junctions or parking spaces with restricted visibility is easier and safer, while a pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection lessens the chance of an impact with another vehicle (or human) at low speeds.

An optional adaptive cruise control ensures you remain a safe distance from the car in front when using the system at high speed, while a blind spot detection system ensures you don’t mistakenly stray into the path of another vehicle when changing lanes.

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Ford S-MAX.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Parking sensors
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking
  • Side airbags
  • Sports seats
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support
  • Metallic Paint
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Roof rails
  • Sat Nav
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Telephone

Standard Trim equipment

Standard Trim standard equipment
  • CD
  • Cruise control
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Sat Nav
Standard Trim optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Roof rails
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Telephone

ST-Line equipment

ST-Line standard equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Sat Nav
ST-Line optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Roof rails
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Telephone

Titanium equipment

Titanium standard equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Sat Nav
Titanium optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support
  • Roof rails
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Telephone

Titanium Sport equipment

Titanium Sport standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Sat Nav
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Telephone
Titanium Sport optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support

Zetec equipment

Zetec standard equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
Zetec optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • CD
  • Cruise control
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Lumbar support
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Telephone

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The Ford S-MAX was tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2015
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 87%
Child Occupant: 87%
Vulnerable Road Users: 79%
Safety Assist: 71%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.