THE Ford S-MAX is a really sensible family choice because of the comfort and practicality it offers.
Smart and adaptable, the spacious seven-seater looks more stylish than ever in ST-Line trim and this MPV looks cool.
SUVs may be more popular these days but they aren't as versatile as the S-MAX, nor as sharp to drive and the big Ford also offers a high driving position with great visibility.
The S-MAX also comes with a huge amount of kit that you would normally only find in executive models.
Inside the interior feels huge and the seats have been specially designed to provide extra legroom.
You can select from 32 seating and load-space combinations with the second and third row seats folding at the touch of buttons located just inside the tailgate.
Plenty storage is available inside the cabin and tray tables are very useful for the kids. Tie-downs in the boot provide extra security for luggage and with the second and third row seats folded flat the S-Max can be turned into a van with 2,020 litres of space.
As in most seven-seaters, the third row seats are only suitable for children but they are fairly easy to access.
This model has stacks of kit with a fully body styling kit, 18-inch alloys, rear spoiler, sports suspension and rear privacy glass. It also comes with sports pedals, red brake calipers, scuff plates, automatic front headlights and LED running lights front and rear.
Inside you get heated front seats, heated steering wheel, a Quickclear windscreen and stacks of other equipment. This model also comes with Ford's SYNC 3 system with a large touchscreen, navigation, Ford Pass Connect and Emergency Assistance. There is a DAB radio and dual zone air conditioning as well as cruise control and an electric handbrake.
The S-MAX comes with all the latest safety equipment and for £1,500 you can add a Driver Assistance Pack which adds premium Sony audio with 12 speakers, Active Park Assist with parallel and perpendicular parking, park out assists, adaptive cruise control, front and rear view cameras and a blind spot information system.
Get behind the wheel and the S-Max can pass for something much smaller - it is relatively nimble and disguises its bulk in a way few MPVs can.
It corners and handles well with little roll and provides lots of grip. The steering is sharp and accurate and the compliant suspension does a great job of dealing with all the lumps and bumps on our roads.
The diesel engine offers bags of torque and with 190ps on tap the S-Max feels sporty for such a large vehicle getting to 62mph in just 10.5 seconds.
It is also good on the economy front with the latest WLTP figures saying it should return between 36.7 and 47.9mpg and I averaged 44mpg during two weeks of mixed driving - excellent for a car of this size.