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New Fleet car of the Year - Ford S-max

Date: 24 January 2007

Ford S-max

MPVs are a means to an end. The most public of statements there has been a breakdown in contraception.

Until now most rugrat-mobiles have been completely forgettable, devoid of any desire, lacking in lust - after all, who wants a glazed plumber's van?

These sentiments no longer have any place in '007. The new breed of MPVs are here and they're turning the segment on its head.

Well-designed, innovative, practical and dare we say it, stylish, it's now not embarrassing to actually want an MPV rather than need an MPV.

In the past car-like handling was a clichéd MPV compliment, but now it does vehicles like the S-max a great disservice - the Ford MPV out-handles many less accommodating saloons and hatches.

It has a fighting chance of even being more fun to live with than either a dowdy saloon or predictable hatch, especially when there's the Focus ST's engine under the bonnet. How does a sprint to 60 in just over seven seconds and the ability to double the speed limit grab you? Sure, most of us will go diesel with its easier-to-swallow tax bill, but it's proof Ford has made a car to suit all tastes.

Later on this year the option of an automatic diesel arrives, a direct response to customer feedback and yet further proof Ford knows what its customers want and desire.

So there we are: we think the new is S-max is nigh on the most impressive offering for 2007 and so do you. Even a bunch of Euro hacks agree, voting it their European Car of the Year.

Still want that Mondeo?