Ford S-Max Review

Ford S-Max

The Ford S-Max range...

List Price

£32,955 - £41,180

Acceleration (0-62mph)

9.5 - 10.8 seconds

Top speed

115 - 129 mph

Engine Power

150 - 190 bhp

CO2 Emissions

130 - 151 g/km

Fuel Economy (Combined)

49.6 - 57.6 mpg

Prices & Specification

Well equipped and practical; comfortable; sporty and fun to drive


Rear two seats are too small for the average adult; expensive to run; heavy tyre wear

The Ford S-Max is a worthy rival to the other cars in its class, but a more expensive one. However, the S-Max definitely comes up with the goods for the driver who wants a little more than just an MPV – it looks sporty and feels it too. Probably not for the financially pressed but, if that is not an issue, the Ford S-Max is well worth considering.


In terms of Ford S-Max engines on offer, the potential owner is spoilt for choice. Probably the most popular will be one of the 2.0 TDCi diesels, which come with 138 bhp or 161 bhp. All pack a punch and all deliver a stated 40 mpg. The 161bhp model is only available with the Titanium trim and is expensive. Top of the range for Ford S-Max performance is a 237 bhp, 2 litre EcoBoost petrol engine – but be warned, this is not the choice for anyone with economic restraints or environmental reservations; it drinks its fuel and emits a significant amount of CO2. For those wanting an automatic, there is now a Powershift automatic gearbox available.


For an MPV driver, it doesn’t get much better than the Ford S-Max’s handling. The S-Max is very versatile, combining a sporty ability to deftly negotiate twisting roads with the comfort and practicality of a more staid people carrier. The Ford S-Max rides potholes and bumps painlessly so there won’t be many complaints from the back – and up front, the driver can enjoy great control, clear visibility and a very satisfying driving experience.


The Ford S-Max’s styling is sleek and sporty and a departure from the normal, rather more bulky appearance of an MPV. It retains its practicality and will be equally at home standing at the school gates for the school run or on a Scottish hillside. The top of the range Titanium X model is particularly tempting, allowing customisation in order for you to get the exact look you want – a new grille surround, chrome-ended twin exhausts and even a fake rear diffuser could all be yours should you want them.


The Ford S-Max is as good inside as it is out – it does not disappoint when you open the doors. Practicality, functionality and aesthetics all play a big part in the Ford S-Max’s interior design, which offers plenty of leg and headroom for five adults. There are also seats for two children in the third row – they are easily accessible and adults could squeeze into them, but would not want to travel far. Drivers of all shapes and sizes are catered for with plenty of steering wheel and seat adjustment combinations; visibility is excellent and the dash is laid out in an uncomplicated and user-friendly way. The two rear seats fold flat at the touch of a toggle; this releases enough space to create a good size boot. With all five rear seats folded, you have an impressive 2000 litres of stowage at your disposal. At the front of the cabin there are plenty of pockets, and hidey holes for all your odds and ends.


The Ford S-Max comes in three trim levels – the entry level Zetec, mid-range Titanium and top notch, top of the range Titanium X Sport. Right through the range Ford S-Max equipment levels are good; the Zetec coming with dual zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, four electric windows and Bluetooth. The Titanium adds to the mix cruise control, automatic wipers and lights, a USB port and a DAB radio. Splash out on the Titanium X Sport for a body kit, sports suspension, part leather seats and an optional, full length panoramic roof.


With an apparently well-deserved five star rating in its EuroNCAP tests, the Ford S-Max boasts a good range of safety features with a plethora of airbags, anti lock brakes and ESP. In the past faulty brakes, heated windscreen problems and other electrical issues have resulted in a number of recalls; but drivers report satisfaction with the reliability, styling and security of the car. Alarms and deadlocks are fitted throughout the range, so hopefully your Ford S-Max won’t go AWOL while you have your back turned!

Buying & Owning3.5/5

Diesel is the way to go for Ford S-Max buyers who need to take their bank balance into consideration, although running costs for all models will not be low. High servicing bills may be on the agenda as well as tyre replacements (there seems to be something of an issue with heavy tyre wear). The initially tempting 2.0 Ecoboost is not for the faint hearted, with high fuel and tax bills. When it comes to selling on, resale values are not great for any models. Principal rivals, the Peugeot 5008 and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso are competitively priced, but Ford obviously have enough confidence in the S-Max to keep the price at a premium.

Reviewed by cars2buy