All models get a DAB digital radio, voice control, Bluetooth hands free and audio streaming, along with an 8.0in touchscreen, which is reasonably bright but shows up fingerprints, particularly when the sun is shining.
You also get Ford’s latest Sync 3 infotainment system. It’s a big improvement over the previous version, offering clear graphics, large icons and mostly intuitive menus. Improved it may be, but it still doesn’t look as slick as BMW’s iDrive or Audi’s MMI. This might be acceptable on ‘normal’ S-Maxes, but looks a little out of place on the luxury Vignale versions. Sync 3 also adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to run your smartphone from the touchscreen.
The voice control is activated by pushing a button on the steering wheel, and is mostly effective, allowing you to select an artist from your USB-connected MP3 player, make calls, select destinations to navigate to or even change the climate control. Some functions are handy although others feel a bit gimmicky. You can control just about every audio function from the standard multifunction steering wheel, but the sheer number of buttons can cause confusion.
Two USB connections come as standard, so charging your family’s phones shouldn’t be a problem.