IF YOU like people carriers but not keen on your pals seeing you in one, then Ford's S-Max in ST-Line livery is just the very dab. Definitely no loss of street cred with this one.

While it still looks like a big big and imposing vehicle, the ST design team has certainly given it a sportier look. With 187bhp available, it can also wheech you from 0-62mph in about 10 seconds when you put the boot down.

Ford's engine choice in the S-Max is limited to two, two-litre diesels – either a 150hp model, or the 190hp version in the ST-Line version on test.

It's also surprisingly agile – for a people carrier that it – but even full up with various adults, the S-Max barely felt as if it was carrying extra weight and the ST-Line specials, 18-inch 235/50 x 18 alloys adorned with Michelin Primacy 4 rubber, soaked up the potholes and kept a steady line through the curves even under some pretty heavy pressure from me.

It helped that Ford's take on an eight-speed auto box is up there with the best. Couldn't fault that at all.

Outwardly, the changes made to the S-Max on its 2019 update make it look a bit sharper too. There's a sleeker front end and there's even a front grille shutter that opens and closes when the engine needs air, thus making it more aerodynamic. The things they think of these days!

Of course, it remains, at heart, a people carrier and it has three rows of seating capable of carting seven people about. The rear-based lot are two that pop-up from the floor and are fine for children up to about teenager size, but as an adult, I wouldn't like to go very far stuck in there.

People carriers are famous for coming up with all sorts of ways of storing 'stuff' and the S-Max has taken that to a new level. There's no lack of cup holders, sneaky wee storage areas and connectivity in the cabin.

The middle seats can also slide forward to give a bit more legroom in the back and they can fold and slide in one action, for access to the rear.

There's a fairly hefty tailgate, so just as well it's electric but when it opens up, there's nearly 600-litres of room with the front five in operation and even with the seven seats in play, there's 233 litres. But with the second and third rows folded down, there's a van-like 2200 litres of space.

Being the ST-Line version, there's sports seats and heated leather rimmed steering wheel and my favourite Ford invention, the ‘Quickclear’ electric windscreen made starting out on a frosty morning a dawdle.

You can also expect the electronic magicry of adaptive cruise control, lane keeping aid (my pet hate these days), front and rear view cameras, blind spot and traffic sign recognition and parking using hands-free parking modes.

The S-Max ST-Line costs £37,510, but with a metallic grey finish and Ford's 'Driver Pack' as added extras, the total 'as tested' price ticket was £39,760.