Prices start at around £27,500 for base 'Zetec' trim, but that only gets you a petrol model; the cheapest diesel requires a budget of just over £29,000. Above 'Zetec', there are three further trim levels; 'Titanium', 'ST-Line' and plush 'Vignale'. Even base 'Zetec'-spec gets you plenty of kit though, including 17-inch alloys, the SYNC3 infotainment system, parking sensors, keyless start, a DAB radio, sports seats, power fold mirrors, a tonneau cover, an electric handbrake and ISOFIX attachments for child seats in the second row.
Go for 'Titanium' spec - as 70% of S MAX customers do - and you get sat nav, privacy glass, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, a lane keeping aid, keyless entry, traffic sign recognition, body-coloured trim bits and cruise control with adjustable speed limiter. Near the top of the range, the 'ST-Line' variants come with a body kit, 18-inch alloys, a rear spoiler, sports suspension and heated front seats. Beyond that, you can choose the ultimate S-MAX, the 'Vignale' variant, with bespoke leather trim and a unique customer service package.
Across the range, there are all sorts of extra-cost options, but perhaps the most intriguing is the Intelligent Speed Limiter, which reads speed limit signs and then prevents the vehicle exceeding the posted speed. Don't worry, you can switch it off if you like. Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection also uses a camera-based system, this time to scan the road ahead, recognising the shapes of people and applying the brakes if the car thinks you're about to run over one.