Ford S-Max (2015-present)

The Ford S-Max is a spacious and comfortable car for large families that's also good to drive

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Seven seats as standard
Stylish but also very practical
Comfortable and rewarding to drive

Weaknesses 

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso more efficient
Third-row seats pretty cramped
Some safety kit is optional
Best New Discount

Ford S-Max Estate 2.0 ecoboost st-line [lux pack] 5dr auto

Total RRP £36,195

Your quote £29,287

You Save £6,908

The first-generation Ford S-Max proved that large family cars could be sleek, stylish and enjoyable to drive as well as spacious and practical. This second-generation version, introduced in early 2015, further builds on that successful formula. It’s a very fine car, but faces a host of talented rivals including the BMW 2 Series Grand Tourer, Volkswagen Sharan, SEAT Alhambra, Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.

MPVs like the S-Max are all about interior space and the Ford delivers in spades. Adults will be perfectly at home in either the first or second row of seats, with plenty of head and legroom for all. The third row is a bit tighter, and probably best reserved for kids, but adults shouldn’t mind squeezing in for a short trip every now and then.

Versatility is another key quality of people carriers and again the S-Max has it covered: All its second and third-row seats can be folded down individually, while if you drop them all down, you have enough storage space to rival a small van, making the S-Max ideal for carrying big IKEA orders, Christmas trees or large amounts of house clutter.

There’s a relatively simple line-up of models, with just three trim levels – or versions – to pick from, but there’s plenty of choice on the entry front, which comprises a wide selection of turbocharged petrol and diesels, manual and automatic transmission and front or four-wheel drive. The S-Max protects its occupants well, boasting a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and, as well as standard traction and electronic stability control. One slight downside is that the more advanced safety features, such as blind-spot warning and adaptive cruise control, are optional. Lane-keeping assistance is standard on the S-Max Titanium and above, but a £525 option on the entry-level S-Max Zetec.

Last Updated 

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 15:45

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
285 litres
Width: 
1,916mm
Length: 
4,796mm
Height: 
1,655mm
Tax (min to max): 
£110 to £225

Best Ford S-Max for... 

Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec
As the S-Max is a large and relatively heavy car, there’s no ultra-frugal model in the range, but the best performer of the lot in this respect is the 2.0-litre TDCI diesel, which, with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, returns around 60mpg and costs £110 a year to tax.
Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium
Over and above Zetec, the Titanium adds sat nav, automatic wipers and headlights, keyless entry and cruise control – all of which will make life easier for busy and easily distracted parents on the road. The mid-range 148bhp version of the 2.0-2-2-2-litre diesel engine provides useful extra oomph for motorway driving or when the car’s full of passengers and luggage.
Ford S-Max 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium Sport Auto
Frustrated mums and dads who wish they could drive a sports car may want to check out the most powerful petrol-engined S-Max, which can sprint from 0-62mph 8.4 seconds. However, its high price and running costs make it a tough sell (see below).
Ford S-Max 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium Sport Auto
The fastest S-Max is also the version we wouldn’t recommend. It’s too expensive, liable to lose too much value come trade-in time and will work out very pricey to tax, insure and fuel. Not really what you want from a practical family car.

Ford S-Max History 

March 2015: Second-generation Ford S-Max goes on sale in the UK
September 2015: Four-wheel drive now available as an option

Understanding Ford S-Max car names 

  • S-Max
  • Engine
    2.0 TDCi 180 PS
  • Trim
    Titanium Sport
  • Gearbox
    Powershift
  • Drive
    AWD
  • Engine
    Buyers have a choice of petrol (EcoBoost) or diesel (TDCi) power.
  • Trim
    The three S-Max versions are Zetec, Titanium and Titanium Sport.
  • Gearbox
    ‘Powershift’ is Ford’s name for its automatic transmission. The S-Max is also available with a regular six-speed manual gearbox.
  • Drive
    Since September 2015, all-wheel drive (AWD) has been an option with selected Ford S-Max engines.

Ford S-Max Engines 

Engines: 1.5 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost (petrol); 2.0 TDCi (diesel)

‘EcoBoost’ is the name given by Ford to a range of turbocharged petrol engines it has introduced across its range to bring down CO2 emissions but preserve performance. Some other Fords use a tiny 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, but the big S-Max needs at least the 1.5-litre to haul it along. That engine still has to work pretty hard, though, resulting in fairly unimpressive fuel economy, although the sub-10-second 0-62mph time is sprightly enough.

There’s a bigger 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, putting out a hefty 237bhp and making the S-Max alarmingly fast for such a big car, but its efficiency is even worse – not helped by the fact that it’s only available with the Ford Powershift automatic gearbox.

There’s a wider choice of diesels – all 2.0-litre TDCi, but with different power outputs. The least powerful 118bhp is only barely up to the job, though, as its lazy 13.4-second 0-62mph time shows. Like the less powerful petrol, it’s manual-only. We reckon the next one up, the 148bhp diesel, is the best all-rounder in the range – particularly as it’s available with either front-wheel drive (with manual or automatic transmission) or all-wheel drive (with manual).

The more powerful 180bhp engine offers similar choice, although here the all-wheel-drive version has the automatic gearbox. Finally, there’s the 207bhp diesel, which is offered as front-wheel-drive automatic only. These more powerful diesels are capable engines and make the S-Max an imperious motorway cruiser and overtaker, but they’re a bit superfluous for everyday driving and so not really worth spending more for.

Fuel

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 62mph

top speed

1.5 EcoBoost

Petrol

43.5mpg

158bhp

9.9s

124mph

2.0 Ecoboost

Petrol

35.8mpg

237bhp

8.4s

140mph

2.0 TDCi

Diesel

61.4mpg

118bhp

13.4s

114mph

2.0 TDCi

Diesel

52.3 - 61.4mpg

148bhp

10.8 - 12.1s

122 - 123mph

2.0 TDCi

Diesel

48.7 - 56.6mpg

177bhp

9.5 - 10.5s

128 - 131mph

2.0 TDCi

Diesel

55.4mpg

207bhp

8.8s

135mph

Ford S-Max Trims 

Trims: Zetec, Titanium, Titanium Sport

Ford keeps it simple when it comes to S-Max trim levels – or versions – as there are just three of them.

Zetec, the entry-level model, comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, Ford’s ‘SYNC 2’ voice-control system, front and rear parking sensors (vital on such a large car), DAB digital radio, power-folding mirrors and ISOFIX child-seat mounts on the second-row seats.

Next up is Titanium, notable for the addition of satellite navigation, rear privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, lane-keeping assistance, traffic-sign recognition and cruise control. This stuff takes a great deal of hassle out of everyday driving, making Titanium our recommendation here.

The range-topping Titanium Sport is a bit of an extravagance, as it has no extra useful kit, just 18-inch alloys, a bodykit, a rear spoiler and sports suspension – all of which is really more suited to a hot hatchback or sports coupe than a people carrier.

Ford S-Max Reliability and warranty 

This second-generation S-Max arrived just too late to feature in Auto Express magazine’s 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but should make its first appearance in the 2016 edition. The smaller Ford C-MAX was ranked 80th out of 200 cars in 2015, which is a good omen if nothing else.

The EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel engines that power the S-Max are well proven from being used in numerous other Ford models, while the car’s interior should be sturdy enough to put up with the everyday rigours of family motoring. In common with other mainstream brands such as Vauxhall, SEAT and VW, Ford offers a three-year/60,000-mile warranty on all its new cars.

Used Ford S-Max 

As this model of the Ford S-Max approaches a full year being on sale in the UK, the first used examples have started to appear on the market, giving an indication of the kind of depreciation owners can expect. In common with its predecessor, the newer S-Max looks like it’ll do pretty well in this regard, as in most cases it’s still worth over 80% of its new price after 12 months on the road. We’d expect diesels to be in heavier demand than petrols, so they’ll probably command slightly stronger prices in general and be more readily accepted as trade-ins by dealers.

The other good news is that with so many Ford dealers around, competition for your custom is high, so good deals are available. At the time of writing, our top pick for family buyers, the S-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium, was available on BuyaCar for around 10% less than the manufacturer’s list price.

Prices below show typical BuyaCar discounts for our pick of new and used models. Scroll down further for the very latest new Ford S-Max deals or search for all new and used Ford S-Max offers.

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Ford S-Max 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium Sport Auto

Price

£31,690

£28,126

£26,475

N/a

N/a

Save

11%

16%

N/a

N/a

Best for families

Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium

Price

£28,095

£24,953

£23,700

N/a

N/a

Save

11%

16%

N/a

N/a

Best for economy

Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 150 Zetec

Price

£25,495

£22,691

£20,870

N/a

N/a

Save

11%

18%

N/a

N/a

Ford S-Max Prices

Ford S-Max ST-Line

2.0 ecoboost st-line 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 35.8mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £27,341

You could save up to: £6604

2.0 ecoboost st-line [lux pack] 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 35.8mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £29,287

You could save up to: £6908

Ford S-Max Titanium

1.5 ecoboost titanium 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 43.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,416

You could save up to: £5929

1.5 ecoboost titanium [x pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 43.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £24,535

You could save up to: £6260

2.0 tdci 150 titanium 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £23,752

You could save up to: £6183

2.0 tdci 150 titanium 5dr awd

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 52.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £25,054

You could save up to: £6341

2.0 tdci 150 titanium 5dr powershift

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £25,098

You could save up to: £6347

2.0 tdci 150 titanium [x pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £25,871

You could save up to: £6514

2.0 tdci 150 titanium [x pack] 5dr awd

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 52.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £27,174

You could save up to: £6671

2.0 tdci 150 titanium [x pack] 5dr powershift

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £27,217

You could save up to: £6678

Ford S-Max Zetec

1.5 ecoboost zetec 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 43.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £21,523

You could save up to: £4922

2.0 tdci 150 zetec 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,858

You could save up to: £5177

2.0 tdci 150 zetec 5dr powershift

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £24,204

You could save up to: £5341

2.0 tdci zetec 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,209

You could save up to: £5076