Skip advert
Advertisement

Ford S-MAX MPV (2006-2014) - Reliability & safety

The Ford S-MAX has a good, if outdated, safety rating from Euro NCAP, but cracks are showing in the car’s reliability

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Reliability & safety Rating

3.5 out of 5

The Ford S-MAX is a victim of its age, and is due to be replaced soon. That means it underperformed in our customer satisfaction survey, and although it scored full marks for its crash protection, standards have increased. That means it might not necessarily be the safest MPV out there compared to more modern rivals.

Ford S-MAX reliability

Ford S-MAX reliability isn’t what it was even a few years ago, according to owners who responded to our 2014 Driver Power satisfaction survey – and they rate Ford dealers poorly, too. As for safety, the S-MAX scored well in crash tests by Euro NCAP – but that was some time ago and it could do even more to beat rivals.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The S-MAX finished an unimpressive 116th out of 150 cars in our Driver Power 2014 owner satisfaction survey, which represents a steady decline compared to 24th position in 2012 and 80th in 2013, with reliability a notable problem. The most common problems cited by owners are with the car’s electronics and its engines. As with many diesels, it’s necessary to regularly give the car a long run at high revs to prevent problems with the exhaust filter.

Hopefully the new model, which arrives in 2015, can turn the S-MAX’s fortunes around, though it may not rectify the issues with Ford dealers, which came 27th out of 30 manufacturers in the survey.

Ford S-MAX safety

The 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. However, the safety body has made its tests even more rigorous since then, so it’s not clear how safe the current S-MAX is compared to newer rivals.

What’s more, in 2006 it scored only three stars for pedestrian protection and four stars for child occupant protection; Euro NCAP was unimpressed by the lack of a front airbag deactivation switch as standard. There are also no airbags for the third row of seats (the Peugeot 5008 and Renault Grand Scenic have these), although there are ISOFIX child-seat mounts for all three third-row seats.

More reassuring is the standard fit traction and electronic stability control and there are also several optional safety features, including blind-sport warning, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning (the latter is included in optional safety packs that range from £600 to £1,400).

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed
Alpine A290 front quarter
News
13 Jun 2024

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024