With prices starting at around £24,000, it’s certainly more expensive than a Peugeot 5008 or Citroën Grand C4 Picasso – which start at £18,800 and £19,200 respectively – although Ford will argue that its seven-seat Grand C-Max is more of a rival for those cars.
The Grand C-Max is another reason why prices of the S-Max have crept up, so the rivals for Ford’s bigger MPV are the more usable, if not as much fun, Volkswagen Sharan and Seat Alhambra.
The diesels still make the most financial sense in terms of purchase price and running costs. Our own tests have shown the petrol EcoBoost models are not as green as the official figures suggest, even if their performance and refinement are tempting.
That’s not to say the diesels are noisy and slow, because they aren't, but economy that’s likely to average 40mpg-plus is the real draw, especially with CO2 figures that make them much more affordable as company buys.
A high-powered car will always have compromises. The more powerful EcoBoost S-Max is no exception, and the price you pay for extra performance and refinement comes mainly at the fuel pump.
As MPVs go, a diesel S-Max is as good a place to put your cash as anywhere, with some of the strongest residual values of any Ford model.
Ford offers a wide range of options for the S-Max, which on the whole are reasonably priced. Titanium and Titanium X Sport models are well equipped, although we’re surprised to see items like an electronic parking brake and power folding mirrors on the options list, even if they aren’t too expensive.
Option packs are worth exploring. They may include some things you don’t especially need or want but they do tend to offer decent value.
Certainly, in higher-up trims, the Ford S-Max can be transformed from a rough and ready MPV to a semi-luxurious tourer, with plenty of extras to keep the family entertained on long journeys.