The latest iteration of the Ford S-Max remains at the top of its class. We come to this conclusion not only because the S-Max is such a pleasant car to drive, but also because it delivers on space, flexibility and ease of use.

It has plenty of room for an expanding family, while it’s rare among MPVs in providing both a drive and a style that don't mark you down as the driver of a parental taxi.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
More accomplished than ever, but the price continues to worry

Whether you choose to drive in two-seat or seven-seat mode (or anything in between) the car remains comfortable and secure, yet can also put a smile on your face. And while moving the seats around isn’t as easy as in some cars (the two-stage rearmost seats in particular), it won’t stop you from buying an S-Max.

Quality, on the whole, is pretty good, although the best materials are found where you’re most likely to look and touch. Elsewhere, close scrutiny reveals cheaper materials.

Were we to ignore the issue of price and rate the S-Max simply on fitness for purpose, it would be difficult to deny it anything other than unequivocal praise. However, we cannot overlook the fact that, even with price reductions and an abundance of offers, the S-Max is still more expensive than its direct rivals.

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Nevertheless, as enthusiasts, we must say it’s mission accomplished for Ford with the S-Max. On the one hand, it has to fulfil its function as a multi-purpose, family-friendly holdall. On the other, it has to transcend its essential usefulness to become an object of desire, a car you’d want to look at, admire and, most of all, drive.

It might not be the greatest or cheapest MPV ever conceived but it is, without question, the best to drive.

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