Used Ford S-MAX for Sale | Buy online with Finance
Is a used Ford S-MAX a good buy?
The original Ford S-MAX was something of a revelation in the people carrier world. It showed big and boxy family cars didn’t have to be dull to look at or be boring to drive.
While this second-generation model didn’t make as big an impact upon its debut in 2015, it nevertheless kept much of the formula that made the original Ford S-MAX so popular and is as a result a worthwhile pick for buyers after a big family car with lots of seats.
Because of the car’s more rakish looks and sloping roofline, the Ford S-MAX isn’t as roomy inside as Ford’s other big people carrier offering, the Ford Galaxy (bar some styling and chassis tweaks, both cars are pretty much identical inside and out).
Despite those practicality concessions, though, the Ford S-MAX still has lots of space inside for passengers, and there’s even enough space in the two seats in the rear row for adults to not feel too hemmed in on shorter journeys. Lots of storage spots and the Ford S-MAX large door openings (ideal for when you’re trying to fit bulky child seats in place) boost the Ford’s versatility even further.
Likewise, the second-gen Ford S-MAX boasts a big boot, especially once you fold down all of the rear seats. With all seven seats in use, there’s 285 litres of luggage volume, which is more generous than some of the Ford S-MAX main rivals like the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and Renault Grand Scenic.
Folding the two back seats down increases the load area to 700 litres and stowing the middle row of seats away boosts the capacity even further to an impressive 2000 litres.
Which used Ford S-MAX should you buy?
By and large, the Ford S-MAX makes an appealing choice if you’re in the market for a used family car with lots of seats and a big boot. The fact it’s also surprisingly fun to drive for a people carrier of this size is another string to the Ford’s proverbial bow.
There were a few limited but notable tweaks and changes to the Ford S-MAX technical specificatoin over the years, so be aware of those if you were after a particular feature.
A new and smoother automatic gearbox was introduced in 2018, as were a more up-to-date touchscreen system and a cruise control system that on automatic models can bring the car to a complete stop if necessary. Safety kit such as blind spot monitoring was also available at this time, though not very version of the Ford S-MAX came with it as standard.
When you’re looking through the listings for used Ford S-MAX models, you’ll likely be spoilt for choice with diesel-powered versions, since their punchy low-down torque is a huge help when you’re getting the car going, especially when there are lots of passengers on board.
Just the sole 2.0-litre diesel option was available, though it was offered in a variety of power outputs, with the 150hp models representing a good sweet spot between performance and affordable running costs. It may also be worth looking at a 180hp or 190hp model if you tend to do a bit of towing, though.
There were also a couple of petrol options. Early models could be specified with a 160hp 1.5-litre petrol engine (later replaced with a mildly more potent 165hp version), though their weaker fuel economy and much higher CO2 emissions mean these versions are much harder to recommend over the diesels.
The petrol-electric hybrid engine that effectively replaced the old 1.5-litre petrol makes more sense in comparison, promising better fuel economy and stronger performance, though it’s still not quite as well-rounded as the diesels and are still quite a rare sight in the used car listings.
What used Ford S-MAX trim levels are available?
Over the course of the car’s production run, the equipment levels on the Ford S-MAX stayed broadly the same, so in most cases you won’t be giving up on that many more up-to-date creature comforts by opting for an older example over a newer one. For instance, irrespective of the model you go for, the Ford S-MAX will have front and rear parking sensors, digital radio, an eight-inch touchscreen display on the centre console and power-folding wing mirrors.
Ford S-MAX Zetec
The Ford S-MAX range started off at the Ford S-MAX Zetec, coming with a decent amount of kit as standard. An eight-inch touchscreen was available out of the box (though later cars did benefit from a more modern system), as were digital radio and power-folding wing mirrors. Standard-fit front and rear parking sensors helped take some of the stress of parking this large car in tight parking spots, and there were Isofix child seat mounting points on the two outer seats in the middle row.
Ford S-MAX Titanium
A majority of the Ford S-MAX examples you’ll find listed for sale will likely be Titanium models, so it’s good to know this is a very well-rounded spec for the car. On top of the kit that came as standard on the Zetec trim, the Ford S-MAX Titanium was also equipped with automatic wipers, navigation, cruise control and a lane keep assist that can help prevent you from unintentionally driving out of your lane on a motorway. Later models were also fitted as standard with automatic air-conditioning and keyless entry.
There was also a ‘Titanium X’ package which added features such as power-adjustable front seats and LED headlights.
Ford S-MAX Titanium Sport
As its name implies, this version of the Ford S-MAX is in many ways quite similar to the mid-range Titanium model, with most of the changes making the car look and feel a bit sportier. There’s a body kit, a small roof spoiler and a slightly stiffer suspension setup for improved handling at the expense of some ride comfort. Not all of the changes are sporty, though.
Titanium Sport cars also get heated seats in the front as standard. As with the regular Titanium trim, Titanium Sport models was also available in a Titanium X Sport guise, which fleshed out the tech list with LED headlights and power-adjustable front seats.
Ford S-MAX ST-Line
When the Ford S-MAX was updated in 2018, the Titanium Sport trim was replaced with the Ford S-MAX ST-Line spec. Like the model it replaced, the Ford S-MAX ST-Line’s most obvious additions were its redesigned bumpers and firmer suspension, though there were some other more noteworthy standard-fit features like a heated steering wheel and power-adjustable heated front seats.
Ford S-MAX Vignale
If you’re after the plushest possible Ford S-MAX, then the Ford S-MAX Vignale models will be the way to go. All versions of the Ford S-MAX Vignale get an upmarket-feeling cabin. Equipment levels are good, too. All Ford S-MAX Vignale models come as standard with front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, a powered tailgate and LED headlights. The interior also feels a bit more upmarket on the Ford S-MAX Vignale model than the regular Ford S-MAX models, though the exact materials used can vary depending on the age of the car – early models had seats trimmed in cashmere wool, for instance, whereas later models came as standard with leather upholstery.