|Annual road tax||£175|
|Service intervals||1 year/12,500|
|Euro NCAP rating||5-star|
For the second year, our judges started with a long list of used MPVs, which was gradually whittled away until only the S-Max remained. It's the MPV for people who don't like MPVs, and offers a rare mix of space, practicality and fun drive.
The first two rows of seats provide plenty of leg- and headroom, and the third row is perfect for kids while still ensuring easy access. All five rear seats fold flat into the boot floor when they're not needed and the generous boot space means you can carry bulky loads with ease. Even with all seven seats in place, there's enough room for a couple of bags.
The weight of seven people and their luggage calls for a strong, flexible powerplant to keep things moving, but it has to be affordable to run at the same time. Ford's 2.0-litre 138bhp diesel is, therefore, the perfect choice. It has the torque you need to tackle the steepest hills and its fuel economy of 47.1mpg will mean fewer trips to the pumps.
Zetec trim, including alloy wheels, air-conditioning and a CD player, will keep you comfortable and ensure good residuals.
The S-Max isn't quite as reliable as other Ford models, but there are no major concerns. Only 24% of all examples recorded failures in our reliability survey, with electrical and engine issues being the most common.