If you read this blog, it will not have escaped your attention that I was in Berlin last week at the Web 2.0 Expo. It was a fantastic week, not in the least due to the sponsoring I got to do the pitchstops. Through doing those I met lots of new people and exchanged ideas with many of them. A literal vehicle to make this happen was the Ford S-Max. Ford Netherlands jumped in to sponsor our trip to Berlin with a loaded Ford S-Max, which we could use for the interviews we did in Berlin. And I have to say, it was a great car.
It all started off with my question on how to get to Berlin in style for the Web 2.0 Expo. Unfortunately a number of brands rejected the whole idea. Both BMW and Citroën even stated that they were not interested in social media exposure at all. But Ford is working hard on finding the value communities can offer its brand and Scott Monty reacted positively to the idea. As he connected me with Dennis Homburg at Ford Netherlands, the search for a suitable car started and the end result was the S-Max. A spacious car with a sporty outside due to the sports package and the huge 20″ alloy wheels.
To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about the Ford. I have driven Ford’s before and I never really liked the seats. And on a trip to Berlin, you really spend a lot of time in those. However, the S-Max exceeded my expectations. Of course the car dazzled you at first with it good looks and even two-tone leather on the seats. During the pitches in Berlin the car even changed names from the Pitchmobile to the Pimpmobile. But driving it for so many ours revealed that the car was much more than just good looks.
I enjoyed the S-Max thoroughly. So much so, that I never actually let go of the wheel, except when I got Erno Hannink to drive it to the Berlin Conference Center once. But the only reason for that was that I still had to change after running. Sorry about that guys. It was just a good wheel to be holding. Speedwise the 2.5 turbo leaves nothing to be desired, as long as you keep track of the gear you are in. Accelerating from 120 in sixth will not be heartstopping, but go down two gears and you are flying. As long as you make sure the turbo is spinning, performance is great. And one of the nice additions for the autobahn was the adaptive cruise control. It keeps you at a safe distance of the car you are following, regardless of what speed you are doing. Well, I have to correct that. It only works until 180 kilometers an hour as it does not allow you to use cruise control above that speed. And that is not a bad idea. Because you need all your concentration at speeds that exceed that. Nevertheless, even when it topped out at 220, we still had someone asleep in the car. A testimony to the relative ease with which the S-Max seems to be performing. And that was something we all agreed upon. Travelling with five to Berlin and four coming back, we did notice that four adults fitted the car much more comfortably. But five worked great if a bit cosier in the back seat. We never pulled up the two rear seats, because we did not have to, but anyone bigger than a child would have been challenged to sit in there for the whole trip by the looks of it.
As an overall result, I was very pleased with the S-Max. It looked great, had good performance and got us there reasonably rested. A good travelling companion. Thanks Ford. It was a good experience.