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Our Fleet: Ford S-max - 1st Report

Date: 09 January 2007

In our first update, the Ford's satellite navigation is proving extremely handy, writes Tristan Young


10 JANUARY 2007
Mileage 1707
Forecast CPM 32.0p
Actual CPM 36.7p
Optional satnav has been paying for itself recently – leading us precisely to a Bournemouth hotel for a party. To us, an unknown town and an unknown road. To the satnav, a doddle

Initial Report

It's rare that we can specify exactly which trim and equipment we want when ordering a new long-term test car. But with our latest arrival, a Ford S-max, we were given carte blanche.

Rather than squander this opportunity and just tick every option going, we thought we'd consult an expert to see what would be the most appropriate spec to return the best disposal value.

S-Max_LTT

Jason King, Glass's Guide's forecasting editor, duly stepped in to help and gave us his best RV-maintaining specification: "The ideal spec for the S-max would be a 2.0 TDCi 143PS 6-spd manual, Zetec trim level. The blend of performance and fuel efficiency is ideal for the fleet user-chooser.

"The 2.5T engine would be a tempting option for those wishing to move all of their goods and chattels as quickly as possible, but the increase in fuel consumption and emissions make this an emotional rather than fiscal decision. It does offer a fantastic blend of fun and practicality, though.

"Sensible options would include Zetec pack (which has front and rear park assist and rear privacy glass), Bluetooth telephone pack and, if budget allows, the panorama roof will add some value to the car."

On satnav Kings says: "The current vogue of specifying satnav does not always add up to a premium. Certain prestige brands products are very difficult to sell without these systems fitted, but I think that the extra benefit-in-kind tax that would be attracted makes navigation a luxury on this model."

We followed King's advice almost to the letter, although in the end we did go for the satnav option mainly because it covers the whole of Europe, and we're planning a few trips abroad in the next year.

King, however, didn't give us any colour advice and rather than go for a boring silver or blue we wanted our S-max to be a little different to the thousands of other Ford will doubtless sell. Our decision? We ordered it in white.

There may be a residual impact here, but now that the car's arrived there's certainly a visual impact - it looks brilliant. We'll see if this feeling continues over the next 12 months.



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