To make the most of the flexible space, Ford offers an S-MAX Activity Kit, which is a bar system that fixes to the back of the second-row seats and the floor, allowing carriage for up to four bicycles.
To make the most of the flexible space, Ford offers an S-MAX Activity Kit, which is a bar system that fixes to the back of the second-row seats and the floor, allowing carriage for up to four bicycles. If you prefer snow sports, there is also a ski and snowboard carrier available for inside the car as well one for the roof-rack system. On top of this, there are large, small and cooled storage boxes on offer.
The most noticeable item in the front of the spacious cabin is the handbrake, which is more like that found on the bridge of a ship with a bar handle that is pulled on and pushed off in the normal manner but the shape takes a bit of getting used to.
In front of this on the curving centre console, that divides the front of the cabin, is the nicely placed gear selector. The steering column is rake and reach adjustable and, in combination with the height and cushion-adjustable driver's seat, makes finding a comfortable driving position, easy.
The S-MAX is available in three trim levels; LX, Zetec and Titanium. They all have a metallic-effect centre console but in the higher levels, it looks more like an expensive Hi-Fi system with an array of regimented buttons.
Prices start at £16,995 for the 2.0i LX and rise to £21,495 for the Titanium 2.5i - both Duratec petrol engines. Even the base LX is well equipped with front fogs, power and heated door mirrors and air conditioning amongst others and the Zetec builds on this, adding leather- trimmed steering wheel, gear knob and hand-brake lever, Sports style seats and Dual-zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control or DEATC. The top of the range, Titanium includes automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic headlights, Park Assist and a stainless steel and metallic-effect scuff-plates and trims.
The test car went further as it included the Titanium X-Pack adding £2,500 to the OTR price. What you get for that is 18-inch alloys instead of 17-inch, Adaptive Front Lighting system, Alcantara and leather trim, a huge panoramic roof and the advanced Bluetooth Hands-free phone and Voice Control system and a Titanium X badging on the outside. All of the Titanium X-Pack items are available individually, depending on the chosen trim level but, as the name suggests, as a complete package it applies to the Titanium only.
Generally, the optional extras list is fairly comprehensive, although there are some restrictions and caveats and it could be easy to get carried away and end up paying a lot more than intended when entering the showroom. For instance, the rear seat DVD entertainment system for the Zetec and Titanium will add £1,500 and the same again for leather trim, while the DVD or CD-based navigation systems with external CD autochanger, are priced between £600 and £1,700, again for the Zetec and Titanium - having said that, that latter already has an integrated CD autochanger. Unfortunately, the LX misses out on a host of optional goodies, which is probably why Ford says the best-seller is likely to be the Zetec.
Ford S-MAX Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Ford S-MAX 2.5i Titanium X|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||143 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||39.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 04/11/06)||£21,995|