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One of the intrepid editors at Motor Trend snapped off a few shots of a manufacturer plate-equipped Ford S-Max making the rounds in Los Angeles. Yes, it is the exact same S-Max that Autoblog reader Ku Kim snapped back in late July. So, what does this mean? Currently: nothing. But we do know that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is hot on bringing some Euro-only models here to the States as a way to spread development costs. And a few of us around the Autoblog offices have maintained for a while that the S-Max would be a prime candidate for a people-mover revival here at home. We've even been told that it's an entertain steer, something that the Freestar could never be accused of.
[Source: Motor Trend]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Didn't this appear in photos here three or four month's ago?

      At the time, it was determined that the S-Max was in LA for either publicity photos or testing by press.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It has Michigan manufactor plates on it. The one a couple months ago did not. If they do release it , it will most likely to be at New York... just guessing.

      Where's igor when you need him. He would know.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Galaxy DIMENSIONS
      Length: 4,820mm (15' 10”)
      Width (folded mirrors): 1,854mm (6’ 1”); (mirrors out): 2,154mm (7' 1")
      Height: 1,723mm (5’ 8”)
      Luggage capacity (3rd row to seatback): 308-435 litres.
      Luggage capacity (2nd row to seatback): 830 litres.
      Luggage capacity (2nd row to roof): 1,130-1,260 litres.
      Luggage capacity (1st row to roof): 2,325 litres.
      Kerb weight: 1,605 to 1,747kg.

      2007 Freestar
      External dimensions: overall length (inches): 201, overall width (inches): 76.4, overall height (inches): 68.5, wheelbase (inches): 120.8, front track (inches): 64.7, rear track (inches): 62.8 and curb to curb turning circle (feet): 40
      • 7 Years Ago
      This vehicle keeps getting rave reviews from car magazines in Europe. It's considered one of the best, most fun to drive vans around. Ford would waste a lot of potential sales by not bringing a such great product over here.

      My only worry is that they'd cheap it down again like they did on the Focus. The latter became a catastrophic product after the face lift, and has kept me out of Ford showrooms ever since I rented one.

      Ford needs to understand that in order to restore a qualitiy reputation for the brand, all products need to have at least a reasonable quality feel. A cheap, hard plastic dash and not enough paint to cover the base coat in some areas are NOT signs of quality! (my rental was yellow, and you could see the base when you opened the hatch)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting, sort of a Honda Fit in the front, Soobie in the rear. It's different.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh to clarify on manufacturing, I meant to say that foreign companies who like to sell their products at competitive prices (ahem VW) should start making more nameplates in Mexico and US. Look at BMW, they have been very successful at building X5, Z4 and other models in SC. Mercedes with their Alabama plant with R, ML, GL classes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've had an S-max for since April and I can tell you it's a great car when you need lots of room but don't want to compromise (too much) on design and driveability (before the S-max I had a BMW 323, so I know what I'm talknig about). The 2.0 liter turbodiesel is very nice, especially on highways (if you want more performance, there is the 2.5 liter turbocharged gasoline engine which).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford does need a direct competitor to challenge both the Sienna and the Odyssey. That's almost essentially a given statement. Because to re-gain the market share that Ford once comfortably owned, as an automaker, you need to fill any and all gaps that may exist within your current portfolio of automobiles.

      The S-Max is a success in Europe. But in Europe, the automotive landscape is vastly different than it is here in the United States. The fact of the matter is that MPV's don't sell in America...because no one has found a way to market these vehicles successfully within our market. So, what the consumer will probably see with the S-Max is: a minivan. No matter its marginally tight dimensions, compared to other minivans, consumers will in all probability still view this car as a minivan (albeit one with cool opening rear doors).

      The bottom line is that the S-Max looks awkward, looks like a minivan, and probably has the appeal of one in the end. Tough sell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd pick it over a "cuv" any day, much sportier ride height and stance, even sportier than odessey/sienna possibly. Also, the first minivan i actually think looks all right since the astro van...
      • 7 Years Ago

      My guess is it's coming this way along with at least one other non-mainstream vehicle. Mulally isn't joking around about the global sharing.

      It's a matter of where to build it or import it. It's not as easy as just loading a boat and viola!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Very interesting comments you guys have made on here. Couple points I'd like to address though. First, I don't believe Ford needs to have a direct Odyssey or Sienna competitor and certainly S-Max cannot offer the same roominess as the aforementioned products. No one buys a minivan to show off anything? Sure I agree, that's why no one is buying a minivan, period. S-Max on the other hand, offers terrific packaging, styling, 5+2 seating, entertaining drive characteristics, and good quality interior plastics.

      I think it'd be a terrific success with couples in their late 20's to late 30s. These will be couple with 2-3 kids, somewhat congested areas, who are still enjoying life, appreciate style and flair, have a good fashion taste, and hire babysitters on weekends so they can go out and play. In my mind that's what I see.

      Nicole, I agree with all your comments. Other than Ford rebadging euro products as Mercury. Such moves cheapen the brand, confuse the customer base and continue the disorganization of the company as a whole. I am the type of person who believes that Saturd and Vauxhall should be killed off and instead call the whole thing Opel and sell it worldwide. One brand, one design language, one solid reputation all over the world. I call it "character building".

      Sure I know that every region needs to have it's special needs addressed, such as Australia and their car-trucks, Europe with very small cars in Paris or little villages in UK, Russia with raised suspensions with rough roads, or US with the pick-up trucks, and butch muscle cars. But make no mistake about it, there can be only very little deviation from the overall brand philosophy and execution. That's how the costs get spread out globally (look at the GM model), strategically build plants worldwide to optimize per-unit costs.

      Let's not forget how expensive it is these days to transport products overseas - costs of renting a cargo ship are ridiculous, building one (due to price of metal) is expensive for manufacturers, high oil prices contribute as well. In the end those costs trickle down to auto company and the consumer. That's partly why we see the cheapening of certain products which come to US. Just look at the deletion list of Euro GTI vs NA GTI. And yes big elephant in the room - the cheap dollar, which I suspect will be a temporary situation albeit a long one.

      I'd just build in Mexico and Southern US states. Unfortunately it'll be a political issue because a lot of manufacturing jobs are going overseas, and non-college workers will find themselves with very little options. Think housing market collapse is close to being over? Think again.

      I know I'm rambling on here, but to wrap up here I'll say this - Ford needs to dump it's NA design language the Gillette Mach 3 style grill is tasteless and does nothing. Fusion is not a mature product, it tries too hard and in the end has no character no overall theme. It's a cheesy car, simple as that. Use of chrome doesn't solve the problem! Do you ever wonder which idiot signed off on 2008 Lincoln Navigator facelift? Damn thing looks like it's wearing braces! 'Sclade utlizes "bling" so much better, it's not overdone!

      Okay I'm done!

        • 7 Years Ago
        Not that it matters much but I totaly agree with you. I see these cars that are proclamed as some sort of feat in design, but they look so ordinary.

        Now the big question is why is Detroit building ordinary, uninspired designes for the US market, Ford Focus, and they produce the more avant-guard Ford Focus for the European market? I'm not saying all designes from the Big 3 are uninspired though. In fairness, Detroit is not the only one to do so. Honda has done the same with it's bland redesigned Civic. The English built Civic is so much more dynamic looking.

        What I'd like to see is some originality, some diversity, in the US lineups. Ofcourse all of this is a matter of opinion and if I'm the only one who feels like this, then it doesn't matter. But if a good chunk of the car buyers feel the same then why not fill the nich?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think there is a need for a smallish mini-van. "Mini"vans from Honda, Toyota and Hyundai are really not so mini any longer. I think the aforementioned vans are too big and the Mazda5 is actually a little small. The S-Max seems to hit that sweet spot in the middle that no one fills now. The only thing missing is sliding rear doors vs swing doors.

        The Mazda MPV was a nice size but discontinued so there is a gap in the market. I can't say whether that gap is worth filling. If Ford needs to import it from Europe, it is going to cost just as much as the bigger Odyssey and Sienna because of exchange rate so why bother? They will need to build it in N.A. Conclusion, I don't think they will end up bringing the S-Max here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I saw another Ford vehicle here in LA this past Thursday morning! The front had a grill similar to the current Taurus but it was a crossover that was kinda boxy. Had Michigan manufacturer's plates, but couldn't get my camera out in time to take pictures while driving. Probably not the safest thing to do anyway.
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