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Ford S-Max Vignale 2.0-litre TDCi Bi-turbo review: Most luxurious Ford MPV stays practical

Ford S-Max Vignale - luxury MPV keeps its practicality


1 July 2016

Ford S-Max Vignale 2.0-litre TDCi Bi-turbo Powershift Auto

What is it?

First came the Mondeo and just over a year on we have this, the second model in Ford’s range to receive the ultimate luxury makeover – the Ford S-Max Vignale MPV.

This is just the beginning for the Vignale badge too, as Kuga and Edge versions will be next.

What’s hot

  • We’re not sure about some of the exterior features changed in the Vignale makeover, but – like the standard S-Max – we’re fans of this MPV’s looks.
Ford S-Max Vignale
First class accommodation
  • The interior is where Ford hopes the S-Max Vignale will make the most impression and it certainly feels a step up from the standard car, with all the extra leather on the tops of the doors and dashboard. Our favourite part of the first class accommodation interior has to be the front seats; they are trimmed in beautiful quilted leather, are particularly comfortable and supportive and not only are they heated, they can also cool you down – very useful when it’s hot outside!
  • The 2.0-litre TDCI twin-turbo diesel engine boasts 207bhp and is best described as smooth and generally refined. Top speed is 131mph, with 0-62 acceleration taken care of in just 9.7 seconds. Plus, the 144g/km emissions and a 51.4mpg fuel consumption is achievable and should make it cost-effective for business buyers.
  • Ford have gained many fans for their cars’ excellent dynamics and despite the rather blingy 16-inch alloy wheels, we’re pleased to say the Vignale drives at least as well as the rest of the S-Max range. Body roll is kept well under control, there’s plenty of grip and the variable steering, which is optional, is hot hatch sharp and precise.
  • Among the comprehensive Vignale specification, this S-Max is the first to be fitted with Ford’s clever new SYNC3 infotainment system, which via voice control can take you to petrol stations for fuel, even coffee shops for hot drinks, plus use the concierge system that’s included.
  • Despite all the leather, the good news is that the S-Max practicality is unchanged. This means seven seats, with three across the rear and two that fold electrically out of the boot, although the last two, with the S-Max’s sloping roof, are really only suitable for children. With all the seats folded into the boot, this equals a van-like 2,020 litres and a useful 285 litres with the seats still in place.
  • With the Vignale’s thicker carpets, laminated side windows and clever active noise cancellation stuff, this has to be the most refined S-Max we’ve ever driven. Although, admittedly engine and road noise rise at speed.

What’s not

  • There’s no doubt the feel of the interior is luxurious, but look closer and in our opinion there are too many shiny and scratchy plastics. Plus, we’re not convinced the switchgear is worthy of the £34,750 price.
  • Almost £35,000 is a lot to pay for an S-Max – special though the Vignale is.
  • The part analogue, part LCD instruments fitted as standard are hard to read at a glance in our opinion.

Verdict on the Ford S-Max Vignale 2.0-litre TDCi Bi-turbo Powershift Auto

If you fancy an S-Max MPV on your company, but the range-topping Titanium Sport isn’t enough – then, the Vignale could be perfect.

For all that extra equipment and special Vignale trim, Ford are aiming at a monthly figure that’s only be a bit more than the previous range-topping Titanium Sport –  although, we’d probably choose the more business-friendly 178bhp 2.0-litre TDCi version.

The lowdown on: Ford S-Max Vignale 2.0-litre TDCi Bi-turbo Powershift Auto

Doors and body style  Five-door MPV
Engine/gearbox: 2.0-litre 4cyl twin-turbo-diesel/6-speed automatic transmission
CO2 Emissions: 144g/km
Economy (combined): 51.4mpg
Power/torque: 207bhp/ n/a Nm
Insurance group:  30

What it Costs: 

P11D value £35,495
Monthly business rental (ex VAT) £531.50
Road tax (VED): Band F
Company Car Tax Band 2016/17 to 2018/19: 28%, 30%, 32%
Benefit in Kind 2016/17 to 2018/19: £9,939, £10,649, £11,358
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%): £1,243/£103
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%): £2,486/£207
Company car tax at 20% yearly/monthly: £1,988/£165.66
Company car tax at 40% yearly/monthly: £3,975/£331.25


Ford S-Max Vignale
Ford S-Max Vignale – seven-seat luxury people mover

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