I ran a Ford S-Max for a year and did nearly 30,000 miles in it. So I think I know the currrent car well enough to confidently say that I like it. A lot.

Its major failing was that the diesel manual required too much gear changing (because of the lowish red line) and the optional six-speed slusher, which obviously resolved the gear changing issue, dampened the driver involvement and control that a car with such a fine chassis deserves.

I'm off to Spain this morning to drive the new, facelifted S-Max. Ford has already revealed that most of the changes are underneath the bonnet, so I'm hoping that the new Ecoboost engines and Powershift (Ford's DSG) gearbox are going to go a long way to fixing the drivetrain issue.

Check back later for the first drive.