Auto Express's reliability ratings are based on our Driver Power survey of over 30,000 car owners. Ratings are the average for all owners of this car who responded. Individual owners’ ratings and comments appear below.
07-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

I am very happy with my S-Max, it has met or exceeded my expectations. I have experienced some minor problems mainly with the cars ECU which have all be rectified under warranty in an efficient and speedy manor by my local Ford dealer.

The brake issue left me feeling less happy, I was getting bad brake squeal from the rear brakes, when this first happened the car was approx 2yrs and 4mnths old with less than 17000 miles covered, I was told by my dealer it was caused by glazed brake pads caused by the manor of braking???? They de-glazed the brake pads and lubricated the moving parts of the brake callipers with copper slip and I was charged about £70.00 for the work.

Approx 3 months later the squeal returned, I went back to my dealer who took the car in for a day, I ended up having to have new rear pads to rectify the problem this despite the car only covering about 18500 miles. I complained that the previous work had been done un-necessarily as I ended up having to take the car back, I complained about the cost of the new pads and labour and got a reduced bill of £100.00 but I was still left feeling bitter that my car with low mileage for it's age and less than three years old needed new pads.

Suffice to say the squeal has now gone and there is no sign (yet) of it returning but I believe that the pads should have a longer life than 18000 miles and that there may be a design flaw if they start to glaze over and squeal after such minimal use.

Having said that, this is the only issue I have had where I've not been happy, all the other issues have been rectified and since being put right have not returned, all in all I am very happy with the car and despite the brake problems with my dealer I feel my dealership are also very good and provide an overall good standard of service to their customers.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
57-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

the service intervals are too close together (12,500) for diesel engins of todays technology. More service cost over 90,000 miles than if the intervals were 20,000 or 25,000.
Electrical problems let the car down. Loosing battery power too easily (power leakage on fuse relay) and touch screen satnav lose of power irratically. Ford know they have a problem , but are not helping customers very well. Not enough technical knowledge of the car around their own authorised dealers.
Very pratical car. 'Does exactly what is says on the tin'.

Reliability: 2/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Very good. no major problems. I have had new handbrake lever, door mirror fold failed, sat nav is total useless would not spec that again. it eats tyres! less than 5k for fronts 8k for back max. that's 2 sets a year! I could not afford that if privately owned. Fuel consumption is reasonable for the size of car. servicing is no cost to me as motorbilty. the real bug bear is tyre wear which is very poor.2 sets a year is just not on for a family car doing 16k a year on open roads.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2010-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

A problem has arisen with the ignition, which could be caused by the dashboard instrument cluster, but the main dealer keeps fobbing me off with excuses. As a motability customer I have very low running costs - fuel only - and achieve reasonable fuel economy considering most of my journeys are quite short.

Reliability: 2/5 Build Quality: 4/5
08-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Great car for a family - a proper 5 seat car with option of 2 extra seats (for short journeys only). downside of this is a large turning circle and a slightly wider car.
Dealership was biggest negative - car sells itself they did not help. Thankfully apart from one incident car has been reliable

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2008-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

There's an engine management light that is permanently on. the local gargae checked and suggested it may be the exhaust gas regulator valve. despite replacing it at considerable expense, the light has come back on after 200 miles. this hasn't affected the reliability. Ok, what we expected.

Reliability: 2/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

I have had no breakdowns, or reliability issues with this car. only problems I have had have been a chipped windscreen and puncture, none of which is the cars fault. Only slight downside has been the fuel consumption which averages 40 and not the advertised 47.9 even allowing for auto.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 5/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

I have had no problems with this vehicle which has not required unscheduled visits to the main dealer. On the motability scheme I only pay for fuel, which for an auto is very reasonable. I have had to replace two front tyres and the remote batteries due to fair wear and tear.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 5/5
08-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Good car hampered by poor reliability. the car is full of electrical accessories, all fitted by Ford, and I believe that the core electrical infrastructure of the key is not robust enough to support these add ons. Ford also have a number of known faults that they cannot fix

Reliability: 1/5 Build Quality: 2/5
2007-reg Petrol, Owner for 1 to 3 years

1 major problem, luckily covered by my aftermarket warranty, although this is a common problem afflicting what is a volvo engine! Fuel use is high but it is a big car with quite a lot of performance. servicing costs have been very reasonable.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 3/5
2010-reg Petrol, Owner for 1 to 3 years

No problems. serviced @ 12 months. With the 240 engine & generally driving less than 5 miles on a regular basis in town/country lanes the fuel consumotion is as expected. apart from fuel & 1 service I have spent nil; not even oil.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 5/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

No problems other than needing a new instrument cluster fitted under warranty. Tyre costs are biggest 'hit'. servicing costs ok but suspect in future that replacements parts may be expensive.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 4/5
57-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

A few niggling electrical faults from day one but fixed within first month. Nothing else comes close to touching it for anyone with 3 children. Would not even bother looking at anything else.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2008-reg Diesel, Owner for 3 to 5 years

In the first 2 years it was in 22 times for electrical faults, blown and leaking turbo hose, smoking coming from underside of car. Covered for first 5 years by contract.

Reliability: 3/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2010-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

No reliability issues. Franchised dealer servicing has been reasonable, only had to replace 2 tyres so far over 60k miles. for a big car over 40mpg average is great.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2008-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

The car is reliable and we've not had any problems yet. Ford charge a fortune for their service etc. we now use another garage.

Reliability: 3/5 Build Quality: 2/5
56-reg Petrol, Owner for Less than a year

Its a good family car, without setting the world alight. Im going back to VW, they may be dull, but they are ultra reliable.

Reliability: 3/5 Build Quality: 3/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Clutch sensor for the keyless ignition failed after 4 months, other than that no problems. Very good considering its size.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2009-reg Diesel, Owner for less than a year

Clutch has started to show signs of wear after only 15000 miles. Front tyres need replacing already (15000 miles) ł350.

Reliability: 3/5 Build Quality: 3/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Apart from a sensor problem with keyless entry it has been good. Fuel and washer fluid are all that has been required.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 4/5
58-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Great to drive but poor electrics. Have smell of burning oil when stationary which doesn't seem to be fixable.

Reliability: 1/5 Build Quality: 3/5
2007-reg Diesel, Owner for 3 to 5 years

Minor problems with alarm and parking sensors. New front tyres required every year, otherwise very good.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
59-reg Diesel, Owner for Less than a year

I am very pleased with my S-Max and would recommend it to anyone. Its the best car I have ever owned.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 5/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

I have gad problems with it starting due to electrical faults. Its deisel and is quite economical.

Reliability: 3/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2012-reg Diesel, Owner for less than a year

Only had car just over a week. no problems so far. Same as above. seem to be getting good mpg.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 5/5
2009-reg Diesel, Owner for 3 to 5 years

Quite a lot of work done under warrantee at 3 years old. garage had the car for 4 whole days

Reliability: 3/5 Build Quality: 4/5
09-reg Diesel, Owner for Less than a year

Very practical, reliable and stylish holdall that is also great fun to live with & drive.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 5/5
06-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Poor build quality, poor design for family car, great for towing, great drive.

Reliability: 2/5 Build Quality: 2/5
07-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Design brilliant but let down by poor reliability. Feels untructworthy.

Reliability: 2/5 Build Quality: 3/5
2010-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

No problems at all. Very good I pay a monthly for 3 years servicing.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 5/5
58-reg , Owner for Less than a year

Nice car. Build quality could be improved as it feels a bit tinny

Reliability: 3/5 Build Quality: 2/5
2007-reg Diesel, Owner for less than a year

No problems yet. Pleased cheaper than previous vw sharan.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2010-reg Petrol, Owner for 1 to 3 years

No problems since ownership. Good for the size of car.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 5/5
2010-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Small electrical fault, repaired by dealer

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 5/5
2008-reg Diesel, Owner for 3 to 5 years

No serious problems and vary few minor

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
07-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Technology in the car was unreliable

Reliability: 1/5 Build Quality: 2/5
2008-reg Diesel, Owner for less than a year

No problems at present. Good so far.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
06-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

reasonable car for large family

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 3/5
2008-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

Just 1 faulty electric issue

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2010-reg Diesel

No problems. Acceptable.

Reliability: 4/5 Build Quality: 4/5
2011-reg Diesel, Owner for 1 to 3 years

No problems. Reasonable.

Reliability: 5/5 Build Quality: 4/5