The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

A fantastic 7 seater that ticks all the boxes

Starting price: £30,700

Pros

3 ISOFIX points in the rear

Fordpass app allowing you to heat the car and clear the windscreen from your house

Large boot

Hands free boot opening

Lots of storage

Cons

No 360 ° camera

No ISOFIX points in 3rd row

Intro

If you’re looking for an  MPV , then the Ford S-Max is definitely one to consider.  It’s a great car that provides an abundance of space whilst not feeling too much like a “people carrier!”  There are 3 trims in this model, the Titanium, ST-Line (more sporty looking) and Vignale.  We drove the automatic entry trim Titanium with a diesel engine, but with diesel not being everyone’s first choice, opt for a 2022 model and you can choose a petrol mild hybrid.  Mild hybrids allow the car to charge the battery itself when braking, so there is no need to recharge it by plugging it in.

It was an easy, smooth drive and with the seating position being nice and high, although not as high as some MPVs, we had great visibility of the road.  Cruise control comes as standard, handy for those longer journeys and the car has a keyless entry and an SOS button for emergencies.

Interior

Once inside, we were pleasantly surprised by the interior of the S-Max.  The dashboard doesn’t stretch too far in front (unlike the Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer) and for those colder months, Ford have developed their Quickclear heated front windscreen.  Meaning if you’re running late on the school run, you can get moving quickly. Everything is logically laid out and the 8 inch touchscreen is easy to navigate around, it’s just a shame it’s not a little bigger. The screen sits fairy high on the dashboard and therefoglossre feels much safer. You’ll find yourself glancing to the side as opposed to looking downwards to manipulate the infotainment system. Smartphone integration comes as standard, allowing you to access your phone’s apps too. For a light and airy feel, you can add a panoramic roof for £900.  These do seem to provide entertainment for babies, but that’s one expensive distraction!

We found parking the Ford S-Max simple enough despite its large size.  Parking sensors come as standard but if you’re wanting a rear camera, you’ll need to choose the top trim – Vignale.  A front camera is also available, but only when purchasing the Driver Assistance Pack for a whopping £1,500!  We honestly don’t think you’ll need it and parking was much easier than we thought without the extra camera, especially with the large, retractable, heated wing mirrors. Sadly, Ford do not offer a 360° camera, which is a shame as they’re such a game changer when it comes to parking a car.

Dual climate control comes at standard and you can control it by using the touchscreen, as opposed to a dial or button, but this can by a little fiddly whilst driving.  The heat can be adjusted by using the touchscreen itself or the manual controls underneath.  Air vents are provided in the second row, but there is no temperature setting and the 3rd row don’t have any vents, which is a shame, as it can often get stuffy in the summer in the back.  Ford have provided privacy glass on the rear windows, helping to keep out the sun’s glare if it decides to come out!

A fabulous additional feature is the Fordpass app which connects your S-Max to your phone.  It gives you all sorts of information from tyre pressure to how much fuel is left and lots more, but our favourite feature allows you to connect to your car remotely in a morning and not only warm the car up ready but clear the windows as well.  All this before you step foot out of the house, saving precious time – clever stuff!

Seats & Passenger Space

If leather seats are on your “must have” list, then you’ll need to opt for the Vignale.  These are often essential with little ones and means wiping away those crumbs and spills is much easier.

There is plenty of height and leg room in the front for both the driver and the passenger.  Heated seats come as standard from the ST-Line upwards as does a heated steering wheel.  These are amazing in the winter, say goodbye to freezing cold hands! However, if you choose the Vignale trim, the seats also come with a massage function, so relax and unwind whilst driving (not sure that’s possible with a car full, but we’re willing to give it a try!)  As for the summer months, gone are the days when you sit on leather seats only to be scolded – the Vignale will also cool the seats down – how very considerate!

The 2nd row consists of 3 individual seats that can be moved and reclined separately.  Each of these seats comes with ISOFIX points and we had no problem fitting 3 child seats or 2 child seats and a rear facing baby seat on the rear bench.

Unfortunately, there are no ISOFIX points in the 3rd row, for this you’ll have to look at the Kia Sorrento, but it could easily accommodate 2 large booster seats.  There is enough leg room here for children, but you’ll have to move the 2nd row further forward if you want to squeeze a couple of teenagers or adults in the very back.  These seats are easy to put in place and at the touch of a button, they are folded back down.

Cups & Cubby

There is plenty of storage in the Ford S-Max.  The glove box is a great size and there are 2 large cupholders in between the driver and passenger seat.  Here you’ll also find lots of storage in the armrest as well as a small tray and 2 UBS ports, with a retractable lid for security, just below the infotainment system.  High on the dashboard, above the touchscreen, is an extra storage unit also with a secure lid to hide items from view.  The door bins are also a good size and could accommodate a large water bottle and more.

In the rear, the door bins are again a great size, with space for a large water bottle and other bits and bobs.  Ford have recognised the needs of families and provided aircraft style fold away trays on the back of the driver and passenger seats, these are great for keeping the little ones entertained on longer journeys. The trays have space for a drink, but sadly we couldn’t fit our water bottle in there, so it would have to be a drink that’s on the small side.  On the back of the front seats, you’ll also find small storage pockets and whilst you’ll struggle to get an iPad in there, you’ll have no problem fitting in the odd colouring book or magazine.

It was nice to see that Ford haven’t forgotten the 3rd row passengers and have given them their own cupholders too – this is rare, so a big thank you!

Boot Space

The boot is a fabulous size – 700 litres with 5 seats in place.  Our stroller (which we managed to fit in lengthways as well as across the width) paled into significance.  We were still left with an unbelievable amount of space.  Our pram also looked a little lost when we placed it all the way into the back.  You’ll have no problems fitting in all manner of family paraphernalia and much more, it truly is a great size.

With the 3rd row in place, the boot size shrinks to a still impressive 285 litres.  This is bigger than the Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer.  We had no difficulties fitting our stroller in this space, all be it on its side and it still left room for a few shopping bags or school bags.

It’s worth noting that the boot entrance is flush, meaning sliding items in and out is easy.  There is also a little extra storage underneath the entrance, by lifting the boot floor.

The Vignale trim also comes with a powered tailgate, meaning you can open the boot hands free.  You merely swipe your foot under the back of the car and it will open automatically.  Perfect for when you have a child in one arm and bags of shopping in the other!

Summary

What can we say? We absolutely loved the Ford S-Max and can see why it is such a popular choice for larger or growing families.  Ford have really thought practically about what is important to families and for that reason, we would recommend going for Vignale trim. There are so many fantastic features on this car that making driving with a family an easier experience.  Go and take a look!

Car seats used in this review – 2 x Graco Tri Logic (width 40.8cm) 1 x Graco Booster Basic (width 40cm) 1 x Maxi-Cosi Pebble (width 43cm)

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4796 mm (L) x 1916 mm (W) x 1655 mm (H)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

700 Litres

Backseat Size Kate and Claire Reviews

Backseat Dimensions

132 cm

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

38.2 – 47.1

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

N/A

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-60 mph in 10-11 secs