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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 first generation S-MAX demonstrated that larger MPVs don't have to be boring. The latest model reinforces that point. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 74

    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 latest seven-seater offers better handling, greater efficiency and some amazingly clever safety features. It doesn't look like being deposed from its position as our favourite anytime soon.

    Backgroundword count: 149

    When the old 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. True, it wasn't the first seven-seater that was great to drive. Honda's dull-looking Stream VTEC was a hoot to steer, but keep that little tip under your hats, used buyers. Anyway, the S-MAX lasted more than eight years, which is an eternity in this market, so the second generation model had better be good. Ford introduced the car in the Summer of 2015 and now we've thoroughly tested it.

    Driving Experienceword count: 205

    On the road, this car is as good to drive as ever. The range hinges around a family of 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines, offered in 120PS, 150PS and 180PS guises. The 150PS and 180PS 2.0-litre TDCi S-MAX models get six-speed manual 'boxes as standard but are also offered with Ford's six-speed PowerShift automatic gearbox and are available with intelligent all-wheel drive (I-AWD). 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. Need more grunt? Try Ford's latest bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCi engine, which develops 210 PS and 450Nm of torque, delivered from 2,000 rpm. Petrol engine options include Ford's fuel-efficient 160PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost with manual transmission and the 240PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost with 6-speed automatic transmission. 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 quieter cabin. Road noise has been reduced by 2.5 decibels in the front and 3 decibels in the rear and Ford claims there's noticeably less wind noise than before.

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    Combined mpg:

    34

    54.3

    CO2 (g/km):

    139

    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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