There is no car in the Autocar long term test fleet that does as much, or works as hard, as our Ford S-Max. Most of our staffers have moved home in it, gone on holiday in it, driven the length of the country in it and used it to taxi groups of drunken hacks back from some event or other.

I doubt that any other car in Autocar’s history ever left a bigger void on departure from our long-term fleet than the S-Max will when Ford takes it away.

It is not only for its people/luggage capacity that it will be missed; it’s also one of the best motorway cars in our car park.

I drove it to Leeds for a day this week and, as ever, spent most of the 600-mile round trip in awe of the ride, the engine, the handling, the sound system, the seating position, the visibility; just about every aspect of the driving experience, in fact.

And I have little or no need of a big car; yet I want an S-Max. With one, I know I would never need a more practical car ever again, even if I ended up with five children and an obsession with family skiing holidays. And that’s very unlikely.

Finally, if you need further proof of the S-Max's brilliance, here's a scenario: imagine it lived in your garage alongside an Ariel Atom 300. Can think of any situation when you wouldn't have the ideal car available?