In-depth Reviews

Ford S-MAX MPV - Reliability & safety

The S-MAX gets five stars from Euro NCAP, making it an extremely safe car; but reliability is less proven

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

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Owners Rating

4.4 out of 5

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Reliability & safety Rating

3.5 out of 5

Towards the end of its time on sale, the previous S-MAX wasn’t performing too well in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but safety shouldn’t be a worry, as the latest S-MAX scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests conducted in 2015.

Ford S-MAX reliability

The Ford S-MAX didn’t appear in our 2020 Driver Power list of the top 100 cars on sale, and Ford didn’t do too well as a brand; it finished 24th out of 30 manufacturers - a drop from its 16th-place finish in 2018 - with 15.6% of owners reporting a fault in the first year of ownership.


The original Ford S-MAX was crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2006, when it received the full five stars for adult protection, helped by the presence of a driver’s knee airbag as well as six other airbags. The safety body has made its tests even more rigorous since then, so it’s good to see the current model was able to repeat its predecessor’s performance, scoring five stars overall, 87% for adult and child occupant protection, 79% for pedestrian protection and 71% for safety assistance.

The current model has traction and electronic stability control as standard, while there are several optional safety features, including blind-spot warning and adaptive cruise control. A lane departure warning system is standard on Titanium trim and above.

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