TEST DRIVE: Ford’s S-Max ST-Line adds sporty touch

Hugh Maguire test drives the S-Max

Hugh Maguire


Hugh Maguire



TEST DRIVE: Ford’s S-Max ST-Line adds sporty touch

Ford S-Max ST-Line

Since the original of the species was launched back in 2007 the S-Max has been selling very well all over Europe, testimony if any were needed as to the popularity of this new niche created by Ford.

The S-Max attempts to bridge the gap between being a family car Dad is happy to drive (and so not an MPV) and being an MPV. So Ford call it a Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV). The ST-Line is the more sporty orientated version of this model.

Has it got any street cred?

The S-Max ST-Line really does look distinctive. With its sleek lines it manages to look more like a sporting estate than a 7 seat family wagon. The 18” Rock metallic alloys, and ST-Line bodykit give this S-max a really sporty and attractive style.

Other details such s the high gloss grille, and Black Applique front and rear lights add a lovely touch to its classy look.

What’s it like inside?

The cabin of the S-Max ST-Line is excellent and quite contemporary with sweeping lines and a definitely sporty overtone.

The cloth upholstery and sports seats with its contrasting red stitching does look very upmarket indeed.

I like the broad centre console with large easy to use touch screen which operates everything from Navigation, to climate, Audio and Phone systems. The Panoramic glass roof is lovely.

The elevated driving position is great and the level of standard equipment is very good.

Nice touches include plenty of oddments space, cup holders, good LED style interior lighting.

I am not going to list everything here but in addition to all the now expected safety features such as ABS, ISOFIX, multiple airbags and so on it even has side airbags for the last row of seats.

The S-Max ST-Line boasts interesting technologies which merit mention such as the standard Lane keeping aid and Traffic Sign Recognition, cruise control with intelligent speed limiter, and adaptive LED headlights.

What’s under the bonnet?

This S-Max ST-Line is powered by Ford’s 2.0 TDCI produces 150 PS and is mated in this case to the 6-speed manual gearbox.

The engine is quiet and refined with plenty of mid range power for safe overtaking.

Furthermore it returns pretty good fuel consumption results too, burning 6.6 litres per 100km over my road test.

Will I enjoy driving it?

You don't buy a family 7-seater for the sheer driving pleasure you hope it may deliver. The S-Max St-Line however proves comfortable and surefooted whether on wet or dry roads. It drives in a more car-like fashion with minimal body roll in corners.

The ride and handling combination is just about perfect and firm enough to be rewarding to drive.

The steering is nicely weighted, and the powerful brakes provide reassuring stopping.

Accommodation is very good with ample head and legroom for adults both front and rear. The large rear hatch allows access to the good sized luggage area and the 3rd row of seats are perfect for kids (but only kids and small ones at that!)

So what’s the final verdict?

The ST-Line version of the S-Max does offer a more sporty tone to this rather good car while delivering all the practicality and style of the ‘standard” version.

Prices start at €36,995 for the entry model to the ST-Line range with the model tested costing from €38,495.