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Ford S-MAX

The independent definitive Ford S-MAX video review
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    SMAX OF EFFICIENCY (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Ford's improved second generation S-MAX continues to demonstrate that larger MPVs don't have to be boring. Jonathan Crouch explains why.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 100

    People-carrying MPVs do tend towards being a bit boring. They're ostensibly big boxes on wheels and notions of style or handling dynamics don't tend to come very far up the priority list for their manufacturers. Unless that manufacturer is Ford and that vehicle is an S-MAX. Ford's seven-seater offers impressive handling and some amazingly clever safety features, plus surprising efficiency from its frugal pair of EcoBlue diesel engines. The package of detail improvements we look at here has added to its appeal. As a result, it doesn't look like being deposed from its position as our segment favourite anytime soon.

    Backgroundword count: 120

    When the first MK1 model S-MAX arrived in dealers back in 2006, we wondered what the heck it was. Didn't Ford already sell us a seven-seater called a Galaxy? Yet here was something that rode on the Galaxy chassis but was a bit more Miss Brahms and a bit less Mrs Slocombe. It looked great and Ford had made a number of subtle tweaks under the skin so that it drove as sharply as it was styled. It was an instant hit. Anyway, that first S-MAX lasted more than eight years on the market before it was replaced by this second generation model in 2015, a car since usefully updated. It's that improved version we're going to look at here.

    Driving Experienceword count: 243

    The fact that Ford has its marginally more practical Galaxy model for those only concerned with practical 7-seat A to B family transport leaves this S-MAX free to provide something pretty unique in the segment for bigger MPVs: namely, a good looking car dynamically capable enough to reward the enthusiastic driver. Other big 7-seaters feel vaguely pointless if you're alone in them on the move: this one just shrinks around you and encourages you to take the back road home. The range now hinges around a much improved family of EcoBlue 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines, offered in 150 and 190PS outputs. Improved low-end torque is a particular characteristic of these latest-generation powerplants. The range also now benefits from a more refined, smoother-sifting 8-speed auto gearbox which alters its shift pattern to suit your driving style. It also enables the fitment of Adaptive Cruise Control and includes an engine Stop & Go system. The brand's intelligent all-wheel drive (I-AWD) set-up continues to be offered at the top of the range. The system continually measures how the car's wheels are gripping the road surface every 16 milliseconds; can adjust power delivery to individual wheels in 100 milliseconds; and can send 100 per cent of available engine torque to the rear wheels. Ford's clever integral link rear suspension helps enhance the signature car-like, sporty driving dynamics with a configuration that features reduced-weight aluminium components. Additional sound-deadening materials and improved door seals contribute to a particularly quiet cabin.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    Combined mpg:

    34

    54.3

    CO2 (g/km):

    139

    194

    Extra urban mpg:

    43.5

    60.1

    Insurance group:

    16

    27

    Price:

    23310

    33085

    Urban mpg:

    24.6

    47.9

    Weight (kg):

    1602

    1734

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: MPV People Carriers

    Performance
    80%
    Handling
    80%
    Comfort
    80%
    Space
    90%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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