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FAMILY FORDS C-Max and S-Max on test. By Brian Foley

Titanium is a precious metal. So the dictionary tells us. In Ford speak, Titanium denotes the more up market model versions, but does not necessarily include all the extra cost options.

The traditional family car was a large saloon to accomodate at least five adults with an equally large boot. To-day's alternative is the MPV or space wagon, such as the Ford C-Max and S-Max with greater emphasis on interior space and comfort. Only drawback in the case of almost all the MPV's is the relatively small boot, especially in models with three rows of seats. However the folding seats offer a great variety of passenger/luggage options, for business as well as pleasure motoring.

A week's driving each in the C-Max and S-max proved most relaxing and enjoyable, from the performance to the road comfort, plus total ease of driving in traffic and on the open road. At first look there is a 'much of a muchness' between the two Fords, except that the 7-seater S-Max is longer as it has a third row of seats. The rear quarters are rather tight on legroom in particular, and consequently more suitable for children than taller people. With the rear seats in situ, the S-Max boot is very much on the small side which seriously limits the amount and size of baggage with seven on board.

The C-Max is a very comfortable 5-seater with a large boot, and it's tidy size makes it ideal for traffic driving and parking. Both models are higher that a saloon or hatch of comparable length, which affords driver and passenger a better view of the road and the scenery.

On the performance side, the 2.0 litre turbo diesel of the S-Max has the edge over the 1.6 litre TDCi of the C-Max, but this is all a bit academic, as both models have all the power and more that is necessary plus excellent diesel economy and low emissions. Its really down to picking horses for courses and making the right choice from initial price to running economy, annual mileage, type of driving, family needs etc.

Both models are built and finished to high quality standards, on a par with any of the so called premium class offerings.

The accompanying Ford Fact File highlights the extra-cost coptions for the C-Max (only). Check the S-max specs. for what's what. Both models are fully kitted as standard, whilst the extra-cost options are purely a personal choice.


Ford C-MAX Titanium
• 1.6TDCi
• 95 PS - 6 Speed Manual
• 5 Door - 5 Seater
• Band A

Optional extras included on this model are:

Active Park Assist: optional extra at €796
Ultrasonic sensors confirm whether a gap is large enough to park in, and then operates the steering while the driver control the pedals.

Convenience Pack: optional extra at €510
Power-operated tailgate and integrated rear door sunblinds.

BLIS - Titanium: optional extra at €87Blind Spot Information System – as another vehicle – a car, van or lorry – enters your blind spot, it alerts you with a discreet warning light built into the driver’s and passenger’s door mirrors.

Price for C-MAX Titanium (test model)ifrom €26,911 (plus the 3 optional extras above this model from €29,087)

Entry price for Ford C-MAX from €25,011

(All prices exclude delivery and related charges)

Ford S-Max Titanium

6 speed Manual
Bluetooth & USB

Price for S-Max Titanium (test model) from €36,760
Entry price for Ford S-MAX from €32,334
(All p[rices exclude delivery and related charges)