First ride in the new Ford S-MAX

Mallorca - first test

SUV models everywhere. The entire automotive world is stuck in SUV madness. Did i say the whole world No. There is a small nation of car manufacturers in Cologne who remain true to the idea of ​​the practical multi-purpose automobile. Years after the first S-Max, Ford is now presenting the latest generation of the S-Max. Or as the Cologne resident says: Smacks!

At a time when all automobile manufacturers rely on SUVs of every imaginable size, the premiere of a new “van” is definitely something extraordinary.

Room for something special

First test drive in the new Ford S-Max

test drive ford s-max 71 first exit new s-max

He feels good!

Fold flat in row three. You can turn the seven-seater into a five-seater, but you don't have to. Of course, a large van like this S-Max thrives on the ability to drive through the country with up to seven seats. But Ford sets up the price list as a hurdle beforehand. The seven-seater costs € 1.100 and in the end the trunk is only enough for the jerseys and gloves of the handball team. To be honest, I found the S-Max as a five-seater really awesome. Then you enjoy the size of the interior and create the freedom with a huge trunk that you expect from such a “ship”.

That you want to pick up the premium customers from Munich and Stuttgart at Ford with the upcoming Vignale variant, of course, and seems after the first drive in the Titanium S-Max also more than feasible. The new S-Max combines solid workmanship with neat materials. The fact that you had to fight in the first test models still with slight bumps, should play no role for the series.

In general, Ford assumes, the S-Max primarily in the upscale variant Titanium to sell. The new engines fit in that too. In the diesels, it whistles powerfully from the direction of the flat snout. Two liters of displacement and four cylinders are set, the power ranges from 120 PS to 210 PS in the new bi-turbo diesel.

We were able to drive the 180 PS turbo diesel with 6 gearbox on site, a sensible, a moderate engine.

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test drive ford s-max 76 first exit new s-max

Space travel time

400 Nm brings with it the 2.0 TDCi. The 6-gear manual transmission can be edited carefully, the leadership looks solid and direct. When you step on the gas pedal you can feel the size of the single-turbocharger, unlike the 210 PS Bi-turbo diesel here is still a single turbo for the pressure. A brief second, then pushes the diesel powerful from the basement.

Responsible for the sedan handling: The Mondeo-based, Also the S-MAX is based on the new Mondeo and got like this an elaborate rear axle donated. In addition, the S-Max has paid attention to its weight in its latest expansion stage. The empty weight of just under 1700 kg (2.0 TDCi 6M, 1.725 kg) provides the necessary prerequisites for making the S-Max appear “handy”. And that works fine.

If you sit in front, you hardly notice anything of the large structure and the long van format. OK. Of course, it looks “heavier” than the Mondeo. Also more sedate. But it also shows off a perfect sense of space.

Well prepared for the future

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The interior looks fresh and tidy as the new Mondeo or even the smaller Ford Focus. If you pay the surcharge for the Titanium variant, there are digital instruments in the cockpit with their variety of information. In the middle there is an 8-inch display with the latest sync software from Ford. Also good. Really good. The operation of the system is now known from the other two - recently renovated - models.

In the S-Max, however, there is a new generation of practical assistance systems. 16 assistants in number, including an innovation that I personally have long expected: a cruise control that recognizes speed limits. However, Ford has initially only integrated the system into the “speed limiter”, so that one cannot quite speak of the “intelligent” cruise control or the “seeing cruise control”. The function in the limiter can only preselect a “maximum” speed that can be achieved. In contrast to cruise control, you have to keep your foot on the pedal. In the conversation, however, Ford confirmed that expanding the system is only a matter of time.

In addition, Ford now also offers a “Pre-Collision-Assist”, a perpendicular parking assistant - also for maneuvering out of a parking space - including the detection of cross-traffic and of course an active lane keeping assistant and the obligatory drowsiness warning.

That this technology armada on the front doesn't have to do without LED headlights with adaptive high beam - I probably don't have to emphasize it.

Four-wheel drive for the big one

In addition to the current EcoBoost engines with 1.5 liters and 160 PS as well as 2.0 liters and 240 PS, both known from the premiere of the new Mondeo, the S-Max will also be offered with the Mondeo's all-wheel drive. The system is based on a multi-plate clutch from Borg-Warner and is able to lock on the rear axle by applying the brakes.

Adaptive Steering, that's how it works!

And now comes what is probably the most important novelty. Space and technology are one thing, handiness is another. So that the S-Max remains the “dynamic” among the vans, Ford will shortly introduce the “Adaptive Steering” system.

Now, “adaptive steering assistance” is one thing, but a fully variable translation of the steering angle is something much more important. The S-Max will be the first Ford with this system. An additional electric motor unit is housed directly in the steering wheel and, depending on the speed, multiplies the steering angle specified by the driver.

The system itself is as simple as it is ingenious. The result is convincing. And impressed.

With “Adaptive Steering” the 4.80 meter van becomes a handy small car. On the steering wheel you then work with small steering angles. Ford only demonstrated the system over a short distance - less than 5 km - but that was enough to say in the end: Very good! I want to have!

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World novelty: Ford Adaptive Steering. Overview of the components. Right outside of the additional electric motor for steering angle translation.

We have to talk about the price list

The base price is “actually” € 31.200 for the 120 hp S-Max Trend. But S-Max buyers are, as the past has shown, petty neither with the car nor with the equipment. So titanium. Or Vignale later. And a powerful diesel too. It can be the 150 PS 2.0 TDCi (€ 35.250), the 180 PS would be even better. But then please also use the PowerShift automatic transmission and the list is already € 38.750 as the base price.

Who then uses the useful equipment options, lands with LED light, electric tailgate, GPS, winter and technology package quickly at just under 50.000 €.

A lot of money for a Ford?

Summary

Out of the ordinary. And good.

Okay, the people of Cologne are not quite as alone with the concept of “manned space travel” as the Gauls were back then with their resistance against the Romans. In addition to the B-Class from Mercedes and the 2 Series Active Tourer from BMW, there is hardly a competitor that can convince in its revolution against the SUV hype.

When the S-Max rolls to the friendly Ford dealer in late summer, the fan base of the “sporty space glider” should definitely feel like the Gauls back then. Around you soon only SUV models and you yourself with a “real van” as a small island of meaningfulness in between.

Yes - it is not cheap. But a special offer - and somehow more credible than an "Active Tourer", or?

[toggle title = ”Engine and Gearbox”]

Ford S-Max

2.0 TDCi 6 gear manually

design type4-Zyl in-line engine, turbo, direct injection
capacity1.997 ccm³
Performance180 PS / 3.750 RPM
Kraft400 Nm / 2.000 - 3.750 rpm
gear6 gear manually
drive axleFront
[/ toggle] [toggle title = ”Dimensions and mileage”]
Length Width Height4.796, 1.916, 1.655
wheelbase2.850
Tare1.725
 turning circle 11.9 m
top speed211km / h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h9,7 sec
standard consumption5.0 l / 100 km
[/ toggle] [toggle title = ”Costs”]
base Price34.200 €
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[/ toggle] [= ”notification_warning”] Photo gallery

[= ””] The ones in the lower gallery are from Ford, the rest of the photo from me. Disclosure: Ford invited me to the event in Mallorca and paid the travel expenses.

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