Ford S-Max Camper
A well-sized car (although at the lower end of other MPVs) with a very high safety rating and comfort level. If you prefer size over comfort, have a look at Caddy Maxi or Fiat Doblo XL. If you prefer comfort over size, Ford S-Max might be a good choice – but so could be the bigger Sharan, which is also quite comfortable. Also have a look at Ford Galaxy if you are looking for a Ford that is a bit bigger and cheaper, with less attention to comfort compared to the S-MAX.
NimbleCamper rating: 3.1/5
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Standard reviews (not focused on camping)
How to sleep in a Ford S-Max, DIY camping conversions & other posts
Let’s look at the biggest MPVs in the US and EU by their actual boot dimensions1. We will not look…
Both cars offer good size boot and features therefore in order to decide which one is better for a camping…
Another one for fans of microcampers – sleeping in the smallest cars, like this for Fiesta or Renault Twingo from…
- Average used price, GBP (2015) – I use Carsite.co.uk‘s price aggregates from 2015 (or the nearest possible year if not available), or, if not found, from autoscout24.com. For new cars, I specify the closest possible match (i.e. if released this year, it’s the new price, if released two years ago, it’s the 2-years old price etc). It’s here to give you a benchmark comparison (- a like for like, an apple with an apple) of the value of each car and for filtering purposes. It’s not meant to be used as an accurate estimate of used car value – it is updated once a year, so make sure you know what the car should cost at the time of purchase if you decide to buy one.
- Boot dimensions – taken from various sources across the web, starting with official, supplemented with other reliable websites (like ridc.org.uk), supplemented by user-generated content – images of measurements from forums or social networks. It’s also used for filtering, comparison and to give you a good idea of the car’s suitability for camping.
- Comfort rating – a benchmark used to simplify the car’s comfort & driving score based on equipment, furnishings, handling, safety, and costs ratings from external sources like whatcar.com, carwow.co.uk, autocar.co.uk etc. It gives you an indication of whether the car will drive and feel like a van (low rating) or offer better interior & handling (higher rating). A simple van-like car, for example, a Renault Kangoo is 0.5, a well equipped and comfortable car like a Ford S-Max is a 2. No hard math behind it, just an indicator, f.e. 0.5= basic car that does the job, 1.5 = hey, that’s nice to have!, 2 = oooh, comfyyyy.
- Consumption – I take the average 2017 consumption or closest match from Fuelly.com, or if none is available, from other sources like honestjohn.co.uk. If there are not enough cars for a single year, an average for several years is calculated.
- NimbleCamper rating – a weighted score of boot length (45% weight), boot height (40%), consumption (10%) and comfort (5%). The logic of weighing length & height higher than consumption and comfort is – headroom is important when you sleep in the back of the car, so is the length. A comfy ride is a factor, but you can sleep in a big car that’s not that comfy, however, it’s much harder to camp/sleep in a comfy car that’s too small. Read more about the NimbleCamper rating and criteria here.
- a note for EVs (electric vehicles) – for consumption, I am using the Fuel Equivalent Consumption estimate by ev-database.org. It is usually much lower than combustion engines, giving EVs an advantage – which I think is fair. They do have a small disadvantage in terms of having to plan your trips around charging stations + longer waiting time, but that will get better over time. More charging stations, faster chargers and better batteries. Therefore I am not adjusting the calculation for EVs in any way.
- In short: a litre of petrol contains about 8.9 kWh of energy. If we divide the energy consumption of an EV by this (f.e. 16 kWh/100 km divided by 8.9 kWh/litre), we get equivalent fuel consumption of 1.8 l/100 km.
- EV stats – taken from ev-database.org