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LIVE TO THE MAXFord's MPV king is a real safe haven around madcap drivers, writes IAN MALLON

THERE'S nothing that says 'I'm an idiot' quite like a driver aquaplaning down a motorway at speed in a deluge.

Yes, the winter weather is not just a traditional time for hand wringing by politicians who try and explain why the local river flooded despite repeated warnings, it is also the time where the lunatics take over the road.

And yes, the motoring loons were out in force last week when a mixture of rain and people with tiny particles of brain matter combined to make driving as treacherous as being a Welshman in the Aviva.

The wetter the road the better for these imbeciles who, not content with risking their own lives by aquaplaning down the highways and byways of Ireland, risked just about everyone within skidding distance.

There's something about bad weather that brings out the very worst in the Irish motorist, and the sooner something is done about them the better.

GRUESOME

I LOST COUNT OF THE AMOUNT OF TIMES I SAW DRIVERS ALMOST COME TO A GRUESOME END HAMMERING DOWN THE N4 AND M4 DURING PROBABLY THE WETTEST PERIOD FOR DRIVERS SINCE JAMES BOND TURNED HIS CAR INTO A SUBMARINE.

Along with the lunatics who actually speed up in the wet weather, there are the nutters who slow down to such an unrealistic level that they reduce rush hour traffic to a crawl.

Another driver who always fascinates are the guys, and girls, who refuse to put on their lights no matter how dark the skies get or how misty the spray.

But the biggest losers of last week are the head-the-balls who insist on driving at serious speeds, with no lights on, and who pass on the inside when the fast lane is not going quite fast enough for their gratuitous tastes.

The AA summed it all up last week, when Conor Faughnan was asked on the radio if Irish drivers were good at driving in bad weather, and responded in the negative.

The big surprise here is that more accidents didn't take place during our record breaking monsoon of the past two weeks, and it's finally time that serious attention isn't brought on these buckos.

Well the good news from my perspective is that I spent most of the week driving around in a cruise liner.

The Ford S-Max is big and beautiful, well about as beautiful as a people carrier can get.

There is bags of room onboard, seven seats for the entire family and a carrier that feels safe no matter how bad the weather conditions, or those crazies you end up finding yourself sharing the road with.

The whole bus is a thing of beauty from the outside, about as gnarly and aggressive looking as an MPV can get, complimented with such lovelies as keyless entry.

It is powered by a delicious 2.0 litre TDCi burner, which is responsive and reactive despite the sheer size of the container it carries.

Such power, controlled ably through a six-speed gear shifter, knocks out more than 160bhps.

The only downside is the S Max is a thirsty old bear, but still falls into the B2 tax band.

It's brilliantly practical too and with all seven of the seats up the boot still has a load capacity of 285 litres but should you wish, it transforms into a Transit van- like 2,000 litres with the second two rows folded flat.

The top-of-the-range Ford S Max Titanium starts at €40,240 while prices for the entry level model begin at €30,649.

(Prices exclude delivery and related charges)


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