The Ford S-Max was launched in the UK in 2006 and was the first genuinely good-looking large MPV. In 2007 the S-Max was voted the European car of the year, beating the Citroen C4 Picasso and Opel Corsa to the title.
In summer 2007, Ford added to the range with a 130bhp TDCi 2.0 litre diesel engine joining the existing Durashift automatic models in the S-Max line up. ESP stability control was made standard across the range and the Titanium trim was given an improved driver control system. Ford also made optional Sport packs available for the Zetec and Titanium models. In 2008, flexifuel and 2.2 litre TDCi models were also introduced along with several equipment upgrades.
Bang for your buck
The used Ford S-Max's FFS (Ford Foldflat System) allows its seats to be arranged in a mind-boggling 32 different ways. The third and second rows of seats fold completely flat leaving a huge space about the size of a double bed with a total capacity of 2000 litres. Even with all of the seats upright the approved used Ford S-Max still offers 285 litres of luggage space. There are also several lashing points situated around the car so you can secure your load and continue to enjoy all of the sportiness that this car has to offer.
The Ford S-Max also boasts an impressive 26 cubbies dotted around the interior, amounting to 90 litres of stowage space in total. As well as being extremely practical, the S-Max also looks very nice inside and out. The design of the interior represents a move away from Ford's previously over-fussy dashboards and dials and is both simple and classy.
A host of safety features make the used Ford S-Max one of the safest cars around and allow the car to achieve the coveted five star EuroNCAP safety score.
What you'll pay
You can pick up an entry-level second hand Ford S-Max 2.0 LX for as little as £10000 but you would be much better off saving a little longer and bagging yourself one of the superior diesel models. A 1.8 litre TDCi will only set you back an extra £1000. The 2.0 litre diesels are the real stars of the range though and a 2006 2.0 litre Zetec will be around £12000. If you are looking for speed, the 2.5 litre petrol version will provide it in abundance but at will hit you in the pocket at the petrol pump. A low mileage 2006 Titanium 2.5 litre can be bought for as little as £10,500. Insurance groups range from 11 to 14, not at all bad considering a Ford Focus is in group 17.
What to check
There are no known mechanical faults with the S-Max. Second hand ones will have been used for ferrying kids around so check for the usual interior damage. Lower powered models can be tough on the clutch so pay special attention to that during a test drive, especially if a tow bar has been fitted. Diesel versions and the 2.5 petrol model can be tough on the front tyres.
Replacement parts are readily available, as you would expect from a Ford, but are relatively expensive compared to many other Ford marques. For instance, front brake pads will set you back £50, front shock absorbers are £45 and rear ones £35. A clutch assembly isn't too costly at £130 but an exhaust system comes in at a whopping £800.
How it drives
The 1.8 and 2.0 litre diesel engines actually perform very similarly and do a great job of generating enough torque to pull this big beast of a car. The 1.8 will give 45.8 miles per gallon and the 2.0 litre will manage 44.4; pretty impressive figures considering the weight of an S-Max.
According to Ford the 2.5 litre petrol turbo model will do 28 miles per gallon but you would probably have to drive it like Anne Widdicombe to get anywhere near that figure. But if you are looking for a bit of excitement and can afford to run one, you could do a lot worse than seek out one of these beauties. It does nought to sixty in 7.6 seconds and will reach 142 miles per hour.
All in all, the Ford S-Max for sale is probably the leading car of its type and comes highly recommended, particularly any of the diesel versions.