£35,390 - £40,445 Price range
35 - 56 MPG
The Ford S-Max is the latest model to get the company’s premium Vignale badge – automatically making it one of the poshest MPVs you can currently buy. It rivals the smaller BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and the much larger Mercedes V-Class.
As the regular S-Max is a highly accomplished, practical seven-seater that’s good to drive, this more luxurious version should be a smash hit. Inside, you get soft and supportive leather seats that feature, of all things, a massage function.
Inside, the top part of the dashboard is covered in leather while the lower reaches get piano black plastics that are prone to fingermarks. The standard Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system with its larger icons is a welcome improvement over the Sync 2 system fitted to the standard S-Max. The core appeal of the regular car remains – so the Vignale has loads of room for five people and a big boot fitted with two additional seats.
Hailed as the best to drive in class, the regular S-Max is fun and engaging without compromising on ride comfort. The Vignale takes that strong base and adds Ford’s adaptive steering, which makes it more relaxed on motorways and even sharper in corners – reviewers say it’s one of the better systems currently available. The improved sound deadening only adds to its continent-crossing potential.
Engine choice isn’t particularly broad with three on offer, but they represent the cream of the range – the 178hp entry-level diesel is adequate in running costs and performance, while the 207hp twin-turbo version is ideal for towing. The third engine on offer is the 247hp petrol from the Focus ST, but in the heavy S-Max it’s very thirsty without providing much more go than the twin-turbo diesel.
To distinguish the Vignale from ‘just another’ S-Max, it has a bodykit with more chrome and 18-inch alloy wheels that are unique to the model, while the standard LED headlights look cool and are brighter. Standard equipment includes DAB digital radio, sat-nav, parking sensors with a reversing camera and ambient lighting.
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