In my second week of ownership, I can so far say, i am delighted with the car. Having pondered around for a year and a half in a solid, reliable, yet extremly uninteresting and unresponsive 1.9TDI Touran the S-Max is proving a real joy. Ride and handling are impressive and higher speeds are obtained with relative ease. Road noise, particularly at speed, intrudes less into the cabin than it did in the Touran and the annoying rattle that persisted throughout my Touran ownership has now disappeared. The Cabin has an airy,spacious feel to it, enhanced by the large sloping windscreen and I have yet to notice any visibility problems.Kit levels are fairly generous but the absence of traction/stability could be an issue later.I have yet to notice any distinguishable difference in the interior quality of the plastics between the VW and the Ford however the catches on the back of the third row of folding seats are lamentable as is the cling-film quality of the luggage cover should you choose to ease it across without tearing.The Smax feels bigger than the Touran and feels slightly less manouverable when parking - The parking Sensors fitted as an option, are already regularly bleeping with urgency as it does feel a longer car to park than the Touran. Rear space has been transformed however and the children seem to have acres of space in which to argue in as opposed to the Touran.
I don’t know how to start; I have had this vehicle for five months now and have had nothing but problems.
Basically, after one problem too many (I have had 24 individual problems but recurring ones, which have been fixed but have reappeared, making up 44 problems), I asked the dealer to replace my car.
He initially refused so we sent them a letter from our solicitor that pointed out certain sections of the Sale of Goods act. They then offered me almost the original list price in part-exchange for a new 07-plate S-Max Titanium.
I have decided to go for the 2.5T, Volvo-engined, model as the replacement because, in my opinion, the diesel has a couple of issues: flat-spots, lag, and a narrow power band. My previous car had the same engine and was superbly reliable and quick.
Hands up to the dealer who eventually did the right thing. I would say the car is just about a perfect fit for a young and growing family. It is comfortable, makes you feel like an enthusiastic driver, is quick and ticks just about every box you’d want in a family vehicle with chutzpah.
I’d like to be positive and hope the problems I had were all related to early build quality which, I have been assured, has been addressed. I’d just like to say this is a remarkable car and it’s head and shoulders above it’s nearest rival.
It’s still a very, very special car and nothing I drove prior or since has come close and that includes all sorts of ‘premium’ brands.
I've been testing the standard list of MPVs as the arrival of our third child got closer. Of all, I liked this and the VW Touran most. I currently drive a Golf, and the Touran gave the same sort of feeling.
The Ford S-Max was the best to drive of all the cars I've tested - it had none of the ponderous wallowing of all the other MPVs. I am concerned about the cheap-feeling interior, though. I agree with all the comments posted here about the storage compartments in the floor, and particularly the stereo switches and the rear seat covers and toggles - really tacky plastic.
We're going to borrow one again next week for a decent-length test drive on a normal day with the whole family. On the whole, I liked the S-Max more than the Touran.
Heres my analogy comparing a Verso to this S-Max: it's like those transformer toys.
The new one looks great and appears to do far more things than the other one, but you can really tell you are getting the back-street copy bought from a car boot stall!
The front cabin looks great, but don't look too closely. Some trim doesn't fit properly, the plastic catch has snapped in the centre holder. The sun blinds catch is degrading already - give it another two months and the catch will have worn away.
I keep scuffing my knuckles. There are straps everywhere. Under-floor storage is a hole, with some expanded polystyrene. The rear most seat trim is not a boot cover, so if all seven seat are used, the luggage space is visible to thieves. There is no spare tyre, only a "repair kit". The rear windows wobble around in the door frame really badly.
The plastics are going to last five minutes with boisterous kids. The door handles are poor. The seat trim catches are plastic toggles that are extraordinarily breakable and you take ages trying to get them in. The "flappable" rear seat trim has already torn across the material hinge; it is so flimsy.
To be brutally frank you would be a damn fool to buy this car for everyday use. We were utterly shocked at the interior quality, so heaven help you if you have excitable kids or any type of load with a corner on it, because when you come to sell it, the prospective buyer is going to find an awful lot wrong with this car.
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