Driven: Ford S-Max Titanium X Sport

Don Sherman
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Ford S-Max Titanium X Sport

You can't buy Ford's S-Max people mover, nor are we likely to see one of these highly versatile crossovers cross our shores for at least three years. That's a pity because this Belgian-built five-door wagon is one of the hottest shots in Ford's global arsenal.

The S-Max, built on Ford's EUCD (Mondeo) front-drive platform was introduced four years ago and recently freshened. That suggests a full remake is due in about three years and, assuming Alan Mullaly is serious about his One Ford mission, a US-spec S-Max should be in the offing.

Three years ago, this vehicle won European Car of the Year honors. We recently bombed one all over England and were highly impressed by the S-Max's brilliant combination of utility and versatility with a jovial driving personality. In fact, this is one of the best executions of the crossover concept we've ever experienced.

In Europe, S-Max is the meat of a people-mover sandwich. The Focus-based C-Max at the bottom layer is a product we will soon receive. The top slice, called Galaxy, is essentially an S-Max with a too-tall roof. Galaxy and S-Max both cast a shadow similar in size to the (outgoing) Ford Explorer.

ENERGY IN MOTION
S-Max was the first of many Ford vehicles to embody the Kinetic Design initiative created by Ford of Europe's design director Martin Smith. In essence, this is using sharp edges and trapezoidal shapes to impart energy and motion into boxy proportions. In the case of the S-Max, the hungry fish front-end flows dramatically into creatively sculpted side and roof surfaces. A sleek windshield and eye-catching front corner windows give the upper body a pleasing shape. But don't think this is styling run amok. To the contrary, the S-Max's outward visibility is excellent and there is ample useful space inside this sleek box.

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KaBoomBOX
The S-Max is one of the few crossovers that manages to be desirable as a car in general, not just for it's utility. For car of it's size and volume, it still looks sleek, sporty and somewhat futuristic. Ford has also made it rewarding to drive. I'd take it over the Flex anyday.
delpiero1980
I lived in Italy for 6 months in 2007 and let me tell you that the moment I saw Ford's Euro fleet, I was amazed. The Mondeo, Focus, C-max, Galaxy and S-max looked much better than the offerings in US soil.The S-max looks much much better than the CX-9. You have to see that car up-close and personal. In terms of price, remember that this is the Titanium version which cost the same as the ugly looking Flex Titanium and Also converting euros to dollars brings the price up. The S-max should replace the Flex and function as a minivan as well. Pricing should be the same as the Flex.Come on Mr. Mulally "ONE FORD"
Edward A. Sanchez
I just got back from a trip to Europe, and I saw these all over the place. I think they're stylish enough to get people to reconsider SUVs. It would be nice to have this as an option here in the U.S.
johncarync
The grass is always greener. It seems like whenever there's an article about a vehicle we can't have, it includes a line like, "unfortunately we can't get this car in the states."Imagine the S-MAX were available here. It is a crossover that looks a lot like a minivan. Compare it to a Honda Odyssey and it loses the convenience of the sliding door and costs thousands more. Compare it to the Mazda CX-9 and it is a much less sport-looking vehicle and again costs thousands more.Americans won't pay $40,000 for a sporty Ford minivan crossover. This is one vehicle that I don't mind not being able to buy in the states.

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