In-depth reviews

Ford S-MAX review - Interior, design and technology

By far the most handsome MPV in its class, with sleek lines and classy interior

It’s clear that Ford thinks it’s struck gold with its latest nose design, as the big grille and slender headlights of the new S-MAX are largely identical to the front end of the Mondeo, Focus and higher-spec versions of the Fiesta.

It certainly gives the S-MAX a smart, upmarket look, with thin chrome bars framed by even more chrome trim, while the headlights add a dash of style, too. The car in our pictures featured the £1,000 adaptive LED option, bringing smart daytime running lights that turn into strobing indicators when you signal.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In pictures, the S-MAX appears similar to its predecessor, but in the flesh, it definitely has a sportier look. Overall, it’s longer and wider than before, yet it hides its bulk well. There are sharp creases down the flanks, and the curved roof line adds a sporty touch not seen on any other MPV. The old car’s big wheelarch blisters are ditched in favour of more subtle flared arches, while the rakish rear end has a smarter, sportier look than its predecessor.

Quality is up, too, with a much plusher feel and swathes of upmarket materials and solid-feeling controls. Yes, the usual scratchy plastics are evident if you peer into the footwells, but it’s a big improvement over the old model.

Standard kit includes 17-inch alloys, while Titanium cars add privacy glass, LED daytime running lights and more body coloured trim. As the name suggests, ST-Line models are the most athletic-looking, with 18-inch wheels, a full body kit and subtle rear spoiler.

Opt for one of the posher S-MAX Vignale models and you'll benefit from heated leather seats and laminated side glass for improved refinement. There's lashings of chrome on the outside, too, but it's not suddenly transformed into a luxury car - the standard model is just as good looking.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Ford upped its game from summer 2016 with the SYNC 3 system, which is much clearer, responds better to the touch and comes with even more of the latest features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay


Most Popular


Most Wanted Cars 2020: poll

Decide which classic car you would most want to see brought back from the dead by an all new model
27 Mar 2020

30 brilliant boredom beaters for car fans

Stay at home, stay safe and enjoy some pure automotive escapism in the form of the very best content from Dennis Publishing’s leading car brands.
27 Mar 2020

'The temporary shutdown of car factories could benefit manufacturers and customers'

With car factories around the world closing temporarily, it may give manufacturers the chance to clear out the current backlog of unsold new cars, say…
28 Mar 2020