Vol. 2 No.6  

Daddy cool

Can a family car ever be trendy? Mihai Alexandrescu tested out the age-old dilemma of car manufacturers on the new Ford S-Max

     Family cars are not cool.
     This is the vehicle you buy after you’ve thrown away your single life and youthful dreams. As useful as they are, they tend to kill the competitive Alpha male spirit, as he adopts a more responsible facade.
     According to Ford, the new S-Max is a crossover between a sports car and a family car, the first production model to feature elements of its new ‘kinetic design’. This means “energy in motion” and is meant to create a distinctly different vehicle that combines elements of a sports car and multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). So, does this mean that Ford is trying to attract younger customers towards the new S-Max? Does this mean that it is an alternative between a fast and furious monster and a geriatric people carrier?
     To test their theory I took the S-Max to Bucharest’s area with the highest number of parties per square metre, the Regie student complex. Home of young and restless students with big hopes for the future, but only big plans for the weekend. This was the perfect place to test the S-Max’s appeal to younger customers.

Does it have the look?

     I must say I was impressed when I first saw the S-Max in the flesh. It doesn’t look like a regular MPV. The fast roof line arching into the bonnet, the pronounced wheel arches with trailing-edge vents and the distinctive kick-up to the rear of the window glass area, makes it look like a long coupe.
     The front end is very aggressive. The lights and the distinctive grille give the S-Max   a snarling appearance, as though it’s constantly looking for trouble.
     From the side, the S-Max is sleek and purposeful. It seems like it’s moving, even when it’s standing still.
     Anyway, it was time to see what the students had to say.
     All I wanted was a reaction, a head turn or an eye-catching effect from the S-Max. To be a cool car, the S-Max needed the approval of the young generation. So I parked the car in front of a terrace and waited. I felt like I was fishing for impressions. The bait was laid so all I had to to was be patient, finish my drink and wait for someone to take the first bite.
     The first reactions came from a group of guys who instantly recognised it.
     “Hey look it’s the S-Max,” they said.
     I waited for an ironic remark.
     None came.
     Then single young girls peeked at the S-Max as they were passing by. In a short period of time, the MPV was acclaimed and appreciated by a lot of young representatives.
     So, mission accomplished. S-Max is a cool car. Now it was time to see if it can pass trough ‘Posada’ a region named by the famous battle because of the students who throw things from their balconies.
     I don’t know if it was because of the new and smooth and quiet, two litre Duratec, diesel engine, or because of its looks, but nothing was thrown from the blocks, not even a bag of water or toilet roll. Overall, the S-Max is a new and interesting product by Ford destined to the “cool dad” type, even for younger adventurers.