The latest Ford S-MAX is a people carrier with a difference: it looks good and it drives dynamically. These are two attributes not often associated with these kind of practical machines, says our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.
The Ford S-MAX is really for the mum or dad who can’t bear to see an ugly seven-seater on their drive – or parked outside their house – hence the car’s sporty leanings.
The most recent model, launched last year, has a longer bonnet – but otherwise looks similar to the old one. It’s inside where things have changed – comfort has been given priority. The front seats are wide and well-stuffed; the middle row can alternate between really spacious and a tad constrained, depending on whether there are passengers in the third row. These rearmost chairs offer little legroom, so are best suited to children.
Behind the wheel, the Ford S-MAX really makes you feel at one with the road. The £28,095 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium I drove, pulls well and the steering is direct. The handling characteristics give it a more involving drive than might be expected, or at least until its bulk eventually overpowers its poise. 0-62mph is achieved in 10.8 seconds on the way to 123mph, and the combined fuel economy is 56.4mpg.
As well as space, there are loads of practical qualities on the S-MAX that add to its helpfulness for parents. From the cup-holders that stop tall bottles wobbling about to the cubbyholes where loose change can be stored, the Ford S-MAX is a handy machine for everyday life with children.
Why not pop into your local Perrys Ford dealership and see what the car is like for yourself!