The all-new, second-generation Ford S-MAX people carrier goes on sale later this, loaded with 20 new safety and assistance technologies and priced from £24,545.

Based on the same platform as the latest Mondeo, the S-MAX gets a typically huge range of engine and transmission options. Petrol engines include 158bhp 1.5-litre and 237bhp 2.0-litre EcoBoost units. Diesel choice number 118bhp, 148bhp and 177bhp 2.0 TDCi units, all of which return 56.5 mph and 129g/km of Co2. A 207bhp twin-turbo diesel tops the range.

Various combinations of manual or automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive are also available.

Headlining the new technology is an automatic speed limiter. The system takes data from road signs and satnav to determine the prevailing speed limit and hold the car within it. The driver can independently set their own maximum speed, as well.

Also new are glare-free LED headlights, which block out areas around other vehicles in the road, but keep the road ahead brightly lit; variable-ratio adaptive steering; a front-mounted camera that gives a 180-degree view of junctions with bad visibility; autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection; automatic parking, both parallel and perpendicular; cross traffic alert; blind sport information; lane keeping and so on and so on.

Styling-wise, it’s a case of evolution not revolution. The S-MAX was always notably handsome for an MPV and so it remains. The interior has been smartened up considerably, with lots of high-quality, soft-touch materials.

An optional digital display replaces the traditional instruments and an eight-inch touchscreen in the centre console controls the infotainment.

There’s 32 seating combinations, with second- and third-row seats that fold flat into the floor at the touch of a button. There’s one-touch third-row access, as well.

The new Ford S-MAX is available to order now, with deliveries due in summer. Full details on the range will be released in due course.

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