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How much? £26,000
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1999cc four-cylinder DI turbo, 200bhp @ 6000rpm, 221lb ft @ 1750-4500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed twin-clutch, front-wheel drive
Performance: 8.5sec 0-62mph, 137mph, 34.8mpg, 189g/km
How heavy / made of? 1676kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4772/2154/1660
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CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Handling

Rated 4 out of 54

Performance

Rated 4 out of 54

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 3 out of 53

Readers' rating

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost (2010) CAR review

By Tim Pollard

First Drives

08 March 2010 09:11

Ford’s S-Max MPV still seems a spring chicken, but it has in fact been on sale since 2006. Hence the 2010 facelifted S-Max you see here, ushering in a range of cosmetic tweaks (minor) and engineering upgrades (rather more significant). We’ve tested the all-new model, premiering Ford’s new global EcoBoost engines.

Announced at the 2009 Detroit auto show, EcoBoost has a certain Ronseal quality to it. It doffs its hat to the environment (the ‘eco’ bit) with a slew of technology, including variable valve timing, direct injection and turbocharging (the ‘boost’ bit), allowing smaller capacities without any damage to performance, says Ford.

The results? This 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the EcoBoost develops a stout 200bhp and useful 221lb ft of twist; key green figures are 34.8mpg combined and 189g/km of CO2. Not head-jerkingly clean figures, but way ahead of the 2.5-litre five-pot it replaces with the tax-crucial CO2 figure tumbling by a useful 35g/km. That old Volvo-sourced five dies later this year on account of – you guessed it – emissions regs. Adieu, Quattro singalong warbles.

So what’s new on the 2010 Ford S-Max?

It’s a subtle facelift, this. A new front fascia has subtly tweaked graphics, with a reprofiled gloss black lower trapezoidal grille and a new bumper. Top-spec models like ours get LED daytime running lights. These become compulsory across Europe next year, so don’t get too excited. There’s also a new chrome strip running around the side glass and a Jag-esque chrome strip running the width of the tailgate with a prominent S-Max badge. It looks neat, modern, low-slung. An MPV for those who like to hide their fecundity.

Inside the S-Max, there’s a sprinkling of new gadgets, including keyless entry, overhead lockers and Volvo-inspired blindspot eliminators. Plus the S-Max’s party trick: five fully fold-flat individual seats that rise or fall at the tug of a cord. We’ve always liked the S-Max’s practicality and consider it the acceptable face of the family MPV.

If you think the S-Max’s rakish looks limit practicality a touch (there’s less headroom and boot space than a Galaxy), then you’re probably a minicab driver. In which case you’ll plump for the boxier Galaxy. Or a Fiat Ulysse. We’ll stick with the S-Max, thanks.

What’s the Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost like to drive?

Really, really good. We’ve long been fans of the S-Max’s driving manners; it feels like a super-sized Focus, with that trademark Ford of Europe DNA. So the ride is comfortably firm but with an absorbency to smoothe away the worst road acne, while the steering responses, pedal feel and controls have that typical Ford accuracy and feel.

The S-Max’s 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost engine slots nicely into this whole package. While not as distinctive as the ST’s 2.5, the four-pot is cultured enough and dodges the clackety racket that besets some direct-injection petrols. You can feel the horsepower and torque working hard to keep that 1.7-tonne kerbweight moving, and performance is in fact very lively for a big seven-seater.

This EcoBoost S-Max only comes with the twin-clutch six-speed Powershift transmission and it’s a slick affair, slurring gearchanges nicely and working well at manoeuvring speeds with no kangaroo uncertainty while parking.

So who’ll buy the Ford S-Max EcoBoost?

Herein lies the rub. MPV buyers in the UK are obsessed with diesels: 96% of S-Max types today pick derv, but Ford expects this to fall below 90% with the arrival of the downsized petrol engine. Although prices haven’t yet been announced, we’d expect this 2.0 SCTi to be pegged around £25-26k which puts it firmly in the upper echelons of the S-Max range.

That’s a shame. We like our first taste of the EcoBoost technology, but can understand why so many buyers will stick with one of the three diesel options. No matter which output you order your 2.0-litre Duratorq in – 113, 138 or 161bhp – diesel S-Max emissions stand at 152g/km and economy at 49.6mpg.

You’ve got to really want petrol to dismiss those kind of digits. But if Ford pulls a pricing surprise, we could yet re-evaluate the EcoBoosted S-Max. And don’t forget you’ll see this 2.0 engine in the Mondeo and a smaller 1.6 in the Focus family. On this evidence, we’d say the EcoBoost family deserves a thumbs-up.

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Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost (2010) CAR review

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DavidKM

DavidKM says

RE: Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost (2010) CAR review

 The price range for this car-EcoBoosted S-max as has been said is a little bit high at this moment and as has been said too if Ford can have it a little tweaked it might be affordable for family vehilce car.

22 October 2011 17:56

 

garymorrison

garymorrison says

RE: Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost (2010) CAR review

Ford is a giant auto firm and i've no doubt they have the guys to create such eco-boost models. The s-max is one one of their masterpieces. In comparison to GM, the manufacturer not just focus on the actuall designs but even the internal portion and most especially the engines. Already visited one of the outlets here in our place and saw some hybrid cars like twin turbo charged and CX7 by mazda but this one is deffirent since it helps in saving fuel as well as can run on the crucial speed probably the maximum one.

29 January 2011 04:49

 

jayson

jayson says

RE: Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost (2010) CAR review

Ford has launched some more innovation in the small car. I am still in my one of the used cars but now I have made up my mind this time to go for a brand new model and I think I have found one.

05 January 2011 05:09

 

jlhzzt

jlhzzt says

RE: Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost (2010) CAR review

Not intending to be rude, but when it comes to the more practical sector of the motor market I'm not sure why car magazines (you are not alone) tend to publish reviews of vehicles written by contributors who seem to have little interest in the machines in question.  This review of the S-Max concentrates on engines, handling, styling and gizmos, interesting enough, but with only a brief side glance at aspects of significance to me as a real life potential buyer of this car.

I have driven a 2 litlre diesel C-Max for the last 6 years.  It has been a rewarding car to drive on all types of road, a quiet and comfortable long distance cruiser as well a terrific work-horse lugging 2.6m railway sleepers and boulders for the garden, furniture galore and mountains of garden refuse and other stuff to the tip.  It has also been incredibly easy for ancient relatives to get in and out of.  I now want something a bit bigger, but as good to drive and just as practical.   Your review confirms what we know already about the driveability of the S-Max, but tells us little about its comfort and useability.  It would be handy to have some idea of the day to day practicalities of using the S-Max as an all purpose family vehicle, including the flexibility of the interior arrangements, the ease of removing or folding the seats, the internal dimensions with and without the seats in place, the length and width of the load area, whether it is flat or stepped etc etc.  This is glossed over in a couple of almost totally uninformative lines.

One can perfectly well understand that the writers on your team prefer to spend their time driving and writing about Ferraris and the like (who wouldn't?)  but if you are going to bother with reviewing more boring vehicles why not give the job to people who actually use them in real life and are interested in helping your readers by addressing the more relevant issues?    I volunteer!

30 April 2010 23:20

 

ronwhite

reward badge

ronwhite says

RE: Ford S-Max 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost (2010) CAR review

 Interesting.  Were in the market for a new vehicle, this would be high on my list (and I'm well past the child carrying part of my life cycle).  The S-Max looks really good (much better than a Mondeo), drives well, offers a moderately elevated driving position (with none of the opprobrium which goes with either a cross over or a full fat 4x4), can offer comfort to the elderly,  and now with an economical petrol linked to a twin clutch gear box, it has even more going for it.  Another fine Ford.  

08 March 2010 14:49

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