Published on June 27th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair


Ford S-Max Review: You Can Just About Have it All

The industry has seen a pretty drastic shift away from the MPV in favour of crossovers and SUVs. We believe the public’s love for faux off-roaders is a little misplaced. MPVs have always been better at the job of transporting people and often are superior cargo movers thanks to their lower floor pans.

But of course, the public (and many car enthusiasts) want cars that look sexy and go fast no matter what they’re designed to do.

That’s where the Ford S-Max comes in. It’s everything car guys want in a package that would make any family happy. However, priced at RM234,988, the Ford S-Max serves a pretty niche market. It may seem like a pretty hefty price tag, but we feel it’s rather appropriate given a couple of factors. Firstly, this car is imported completely built-up from Spain. Secondly, the Ford Mondeo, which is essentially a 4-door sedan version of the S-Max, costs just a smidge over RM200,000.

The price difference is totally justified, considering they’ve added more power sockets, a bigger fuel tank, 2 seats, Auto High Beam, massage and ventilation functions on the front seats, and remote boot operation. These new features, as well as the difference in size of the car add close to 200kg to the S-Max. But thinking of the S-Max as a variant of the Mondeo won’t give you the full picture. Ford has done a tremendous amount of little and big things to make this vehicle great as a people mover.

For one, you have this wide-angle mirror to give you a view of what your kids are up to at a glance.

You also get a huge storage box in the centre that will easily fit large bottles or even a DSLR with its lens off.

Up front, you get a port combo with room for audio in, 2 USB devices, an SD card and even a 12V power socket.

In old days, an MPV weighing 1750kg would make for one body roll-happy vehicle. But this S-Max, like its predecessor, is extremely competent in the corners and when cruising. It’s amazing what Ford’s engineers have done, but this clearly isn’t their first rodeo. The S-Max is comfortable enough for a large family to go on a trip, and for papa or mama to zip around Ulu Yam on the weekends.

The 2-litre EcoBoost engine in here sounds as ferocious as ever. The 6-speed gearbox is smooth, quick and responsive – everything you could want in a modern vehicle. It’s a little slower than the Mondeo, but considering how much more it weighs (and that it’s an MPV!) it’s still very respectable. 0-100km/h happens in just 8.4 seconds. But more impressive is how effortless the S-Max feels to drive on the highway. You never feel the heft, even with all 7 seats occupied.

The car just wants to keep climbing to the speed limit and is always ready to give more power when needed. It’s also great on the highway thanks to its lane-keeping technology. Pair this with auto high beams that can intelligently shut off when oncoming traffic is detected and you have yourself a cutting edge cruiser.

In terms of passenger comfort, it’s safe to say that the middle and front rows of seats are well taken care of. The last row of seats is definitely serviceable, even for adults. Realistically, you’d want to save this spot for teenagers or fold the seats down for luggage. With all seats occupied, luggage room is limited but adequate at under 300 litres.

Some people insist that the perfect car does exist. While the Ford S-Max does fall short in terms of cost of ownership, it comes pretty close to being the perfect all-rounder.

Ford S-Max Specifications

Engine: 2.0 EcoBoost, 4-cylinder Turbo
Capacity: 1999cc
Gearbox: 6-speed Conventional Automatic
Max power: 237bhp @ 5300rpm
Max torque: 345Nm @ 23o0Nm
Top Speed: 224km/h
0-100 km/h: 8.4 secs

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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