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Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium Car Review | October 24, 2006

Driven October 2006

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Contrary to popular opinion, working at Top Gear does not mean that every day is spent fiddling with Ferraris or maxing Lamborghinis.

Sometimes, as the saying goes, needs must. And for a recent trip up to Scotland, that need was capacious luggage space and plenty of comfort.

Which is where the new Ford S-Max with the two-litre TDCi engine fits in. This turbodiesel powerplant is the most powerful you can get in the S-Max (the other diesel being a 1.8-litre unit) and produces 138bhp and 236lb ft.

Criticisms first. This isn't quite as refined as the 1.8-litre oil burner. It's not bad by most benchmarks and it's certainly never intrusive, but there's a bit more rattle here than in the smaller engine.

Still, we'd sacrifice that for the extra pace that you get with this one. 0-60mph is 1.2 seconds quicker here than in the 1.8, but it feels more than that - you never strain for more power like in the 1.8-litre. Equally, it copes fine with a serious amount of luggage and people.

Boost builds smoothly from 1,750rpm, so it's responsive at motorway speeds and the 70-litre fuel tank gives a realistic range of about 600 miles. And the S-Max is so well damped that even with all that weight on board, our journey remained comfortable. 'Motoring nirvana' might be a bit strong, but this ticks most boxes.

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