Driven: Ford S-Max Titanium X Sport

Don Sherman
#Ford, #Ford

Sadly, there are precious few crossovers that provide even a hint of driving entertainment. Steering is most often calibrated for ease of parking and any hint of feedback is intentionally purged. Body motions are, by decree, mushy to smooth out bump and grind incursions.

The Ford S-Max does not subscribe to the above calibration theories. It instead has well damped ride motions and a firmly restrained body dynamics. Without pummeling occupants with a too-stiff ride, it handles quick driving and twisty roads with poise. The steering wheel isn't merely a place for the driver to hang on, it's where regular news reports from the pavement are delivered to keep the pilot well informed.

We found ourselves so lulled by the S-Max's well rounded competence and superb driving comportment than we had to wake up now and then and pinch flesh to realize that this is a largish family wagon, not a German-born sport sedan. The one we drove costs the world -- nearly $50,000 with top trim and a full load of options -- but we'd rate it well worth the price. In present form, it would be an excellent alternative to Lincoln's ungainly MKT. The next-generation S-Max can't get here soon enough for us.

Ford S-MAX Titanium X-Sport

Base Price: $31,015
As-Tested: $48,000 (estimated)

Engine: Turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve four-in-line
Horsepower: 200 (RPM N/A)
Torque: 221 lb-ft (RPM N/A)
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Drive: Front wheel

Length x Width x Height: 187.7 x 74.2 x 65.3 in
Cargo (seats up/down): 10.1/37.1/70.6 cu ft
European fuel economy: 21/37/29 mpg (city/highway/combined)

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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.
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.
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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