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.