Ford S-Max hybrid: an “ecological” minivan subject to a… big penalty!

It is the end ! However, Ford does not want to see its S-Max die! This stylish minivan, in line with the Renault Espace, caused a stir in… 2006. Dynamic, lowered compared to its competitors of the time, it was innovative through its dynamic character. Sixteen years later, his success of yesteryear is unfortunately only a memory. Renewed in 2015, it was equipped, before its retirement, with the ultra-modern hybrid engine of the Ford Kuga SUV. Petrol-electric technology close to that of Toyota, with a CVT-effect planetary gear train, whose ratio variation is controlled by an electric motor acting as a generator.

Despite joint patents, the engines and the box called e-CVT are indeed of Ford origin. The front wheels are either driven by the electric propulsion motor announcing 125 horsepower, or by the big 2.5 atmospheric 152 horsepower, or both if necessary. But the two powers do not combine! Electric traction is powered by a 1.1 kWh lithium-ion battery that can drive 2 to 3 kilometers in zero emission mode. Not a lot. But the system recharges quickly when braking.

Generous habitability

We find what made the charm of the S-Max, namely an original line and generous habitability. Accessibility is practical, even if it does not appear extraordinary in the front seats due to an overly rounded roof arc. Ford has also studied functionality well, with sliding and individually adjustable rear seats. The third disappears, it, perfectly in the floor of the trunk, preserving a vast hold. So we have all the advantages of the real minivan. We also appreciate the brightness, despite the thick uprights at the front.

The dashboard is more opulent than the previous one from before 2015, with less fake plastics. Build quality seems to have improved. But the creaks and squeals, incongruous on a car of this price, have still not been eradicated. Damage on bad road. The driving position is good. The seats properly support the back when cornering. But we lament the uniform black vibe. Ford seems for some years to have completely forgotten the interior colors, which in the 1990s and early 2000s made its cars warm. Why this gloom? Sure, it simplifies manufacturing with fewer variants on an assembly line, but it’s grim. The equipment is fortunately provided, as usual at Ford. But the ergonomics seem at first glance a bit messy. With a little practice, however, we will appreciate the setting of security alerts with a knob on the left, at the wheel. However, we will criticize the pre-collision alert, thundering and too sensitive, which squeals brutally and often, in the event of danger … imaginary or at least very unlikely. Quickly irritating.

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