What's the used Ford S-MAX like?
Once upon a time, if you had a large and growing family and wanted to transport them all smartly from one place to another, you had no choice but to buy an ungainly looking MPV that would also be deeply unpleasant to drive.
The original seven-seat Ford S-Max changed all that. It was a minor revelation when it was launched in 2006, being comfortable, spacious, good looking and, best of all, great to drive. It set the bar a little higher, and it wasn’t long before its competitors got the message and upped their game, too.
For starters, it comes with a good choice of both petrol and diesel engines, and plenty of differing trim levels. On the road, It's got lots of grip through corners, and body roll is kept in check, making it great on twisty roads. The suspension absorbs most bumps to give it a comfortable ride, yet the steering is sharp and responsive.
If you're looking for a larger seven-seater, then consider the Ford Galaxy (06-), which, although similar to the S-Max, is longer and taller, giving passengers more space.
The first two rows of seats in the S-Max have plenty of leg and head room, but although the third row of seats is fine for kids, taller passengers will struggle. Access is easy enough, however.
All five rear seats fold flat into the boot floor when they're not needed. Plenty of boot space means you can carry bulky loads with ease, and even with all seven seats in place, there's still enough room for a couple of bags.
Its rivals range from the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and Vauxhall Zafira up to the larger Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, but it’s fair to say the S-Max has enough style and all-round driving ability to give them all a bloody nose.