2011 Ford S-Max Zetec 2.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Fantastic family car, best on the market


Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

Fantastic styling on the car.

The basic specification is well beyond all other MPV manufacturers, e.g. front/rear parking sensors, voice control, electric windows, front heated windscreen, dual zone climate control, all as standard.

There is so much room in this car, it has to be seen to be believed. Even with all seven seats in use, we are still able to fit a fairly large pram into the boot.

If you have kids, then this is the car for you.

We opted for after-market tints on the rear 5 windows rather than upgrading to the Titanium model, as it only cost £100.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2011

2008 Ford S-Max Titanium 2.5T from Serbia


All in all, I am very impressed by this car, and would recommend it to everyone


Absolutely nothing! The car was bought in October 2008 brand new so it would be very disappointing if something wrong had happened so far.

General Comments:

The car looks great, sporty, both from the outside and inside, doesn't have that "van" look like some other MPV's on the market.

I couldn't believe the spaciousness of the boot when I first got in the car. Sitting in the back seat, and I am 187cm tall, there must be at least 20cm between my knees and the front seat that I have adjusted to fit a person of my height.

The trunk is enormous, I have no other words to describe it (ours has got 5 seats, did not go with 7 seat option). No need for Thule car rack when going on vacations!

The 6 speed manual transmission is precise and matches the engine perfectly.

2.5T power plant is cheerful, smooth and powerful. 220HP and 320Nm of torque at low revs will burn tires and rule the city streets, as well as the highway.

Would like to have had the automatic parking brake as standard in Titanium when I was ordering the car.

Voice control and blue tooth help me keep my hands on the wheel and off the phone and CD charger/radio.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2009

2006 Ford S-Max Zetec 1.8 TDCi turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Very impressive



General Comments:

We bought this 12 month old 2006 7-seater S-Max Zetec 1.8 TDCi as a replacement for a 2004 5- seater Renault Scenic. The main reason for the change was to have a car with seven seats to enable the endless multiple pickups and dropoffs, which seem to come with having young children.

The main impressions, which reflect the contrast to the Scenic, after 1500 miles are as follows:


The S-Max is large! (For readers in the US, this means ‘smallish’!) This may seem obvious, but it’s a long and wide car, and you can’t reverse it onto our short driveway without good visibility, and the time and lack of pressure from passing traffic to do it carefully. Some driveway civil engineering will be required when the weather improves, to widen the gap. With the extra size comes the additional parking challenges at Tesco’s. The turning circle isn’t brilliant, and I have found myself taking longer than normal to perform tight manoeuvres. On the positive front, there is a great deal of room inside. I’m just a bit less than six foot tall, and I can comfortably sit in five of the seven seats, the back two would be tolerable for adults for shortish trips, but during longer runs the back two seats would be best occupied by smaller people.

Insurance was about 20% more expensive compared to the Scenic; I wonder if this is because of the fact that you’re potentially carrying up to seven souls at once.


We have the smallest diesel engine, and we live in a hilly area, we have never really had high performance cars. I wondered if this machine was going to be underpowered. However, the power (125 HP) and torque available from tickover is just extraordinary; once the engine is past idle revs, it seems to come on-cam immediately – if that’s what diesel engines do. In the low gears, wheelspin can be invoked with the slightest lack of care, and this particular model doesn’t have traction control. So acceleration is startling, certainly after an 80 HP Renault. All UK speed limits can be easily reached quickly. I noted with amusement that the speedo reads up to 160 mph, good for impressing 10 year olds, but which is probably a waste of time, and makes it harder, when your middle-aged eyesight is failing, to make out the points that really matter, 30, 40, 60 etc.

We had a 1999 Ford Focus 3 door, as our second car, which was traded in two years ago. The Focus is surely the best car of all time. It was a fantastic car to drive. I loved my Focus, but at the same time I truly hated its miserable 31 mpg fuel consumption, and 300 mile range. On the move, the S-Max feels just like the Focus. For something which seems apparently twice the size, the similarity to a Mk 1 Focus in steering wheel finish, and the seat position and seat shape are striking.

The S-Max also tram-lines just like the Focus, and it gleefully follows ruts and lorry-tracks without warning. You are never more than a casual blink or distraction away from some dented alloys and bodyshop estimates when you’re out in the countryside.

The feel through the steering is superb, and is in stark contrast to the numb (but very reassuring and balanced) feeling from the Scenic’s electrically assisted steering. In summary, the S-Max is excellent to drive.

Fuel economy is good, for comparison, in our mixed conditions, my Modus dCi does about 57 mpg, the Scenic dCi did about 55 mpg, and the S-Max is claiming about 47 mpg, though a proper urban run will bring it down towards 40...


After the nimble driving experience, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the S-Max is the build quality. For those old enough to remember rusty Cortinas, modern Fords represent an astonishing advance. All surfaces and controls inside the cabin are as solid as the dourest Audi or VW equivalent, without the glum, austere ambience the German cars seem to have. The S-Max’s doors don’t just shut with a thunk, you need to give the things a long hard pull, they seem so heavily built. They are thick too! Take a look.

Crash safety matters to me, the S-Max got a five star NCAP score, but most cars do these days. It’s a reassuring place to convey your and other peoples’ kids.

Everything is beautifully finished, and there are some very nice detailed touches. I am left with an impression that there will not be many rattles when we’ve finished with this S-Max in a few years time. You do notice your keys rattling on the steering column as you drive along.


It’s big, it’s stunning to drive, and it reminds me of my Focus. It’s built incredibly strongly. I am very impressed with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th December, 2007

9th Jun 2010, 10:54

Good review. A relative of mine has just bought an S-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium, and I have to say the build quality and general standard of fit and finish is comfortably in the same league as my Audi A4. The handling, braking and steering are actually noticeably better! I still can't understand how they've made such a big, tall, heavy car handle like that.

18th Jun 2010, 18:05

The last of the 1.8 TDCi's have a faulty designed engine; goes bang at about 50K miles for no reason other than a problem FORD deny. The original 1.8 TDCi was great, but they couldn't leave it alone.

£3500 to put back together again. And you will get no help from FORD. They do a Pontius Pilate and wash their hands, even with a full service history.

Makes you wonder why FORD have dropped this engine from their lineup? Not really! We who have been there, know why, to our cost.

4th May 2012, 01:16

7000 euros later, I can confirm that.