Review

Ford Galaxy MPV

Price  £26,445 - £35,395

Ford Galaxy MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Lots of space
  • Strong engines
  • Comfortable and fun to drive
Cons
  • Boxy taxi-like looks
  • Pricier than many rivals
  • Ford S-MAX cheaper and nearly as big

At a glance

"The Ford Galaxy is massive, luxurious and better value than a 4x4. It also gets the balance between driving enjoyment and ride comfort spot-on."

The Ford Galaxy is one of the best people carriers you can buy: a genuine seven-seater with masses of seating configurations (32 to be precise) and a van-like load area when the seats are folded away. It's also fun to drive, being based on the same platform as the sportier but less practical Ford S-MAX. In fact, it's so good that it trumps the highly regarded Volkswagen Sharan and its sister car, the SEAT Alhambra.

That pair makes up ground by having sliding rear doors that give easier access to their roomy interiors. However, the resulting door runners along their sides are fairly unsightly. The Galaxy's conventional doors help to make it feel more stylish and upmarket.

So far, so good, then, but there's a fly in the Galaxy's ointment in the shape of an all-new model coming in summer 2015. It'll have Ford's new front grille, its new SYNC voice-recognition technology, a remotely controlled third row of seats and a more spacious cabin, while being powered by a new range of more efficient engines. Counting in the current Galaxy's favour is the fact that it's still an impressive MPV and as the new model approaches, the deals offered on remaining old examples should be very good.

Buyers can choose from a range of petrol and diesel engines. Our favourite is the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which offers a good balance of performance and fuel economy. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds yet manages to return 53.3mpg and has an annual road tax bill of £180. It also generates a lot of pulling power for easier overtakes when fully laden. In fact, because the Galaxy is a heavy, bulky vehicle, the diesel engines really are the ones to choose.

The petrols, although quieter and smoother, just aren't powerful enough to pull a loaded Galaxy without badly affecting their fuel economy. They're cheaper to buy, however, so could be worth considering if you do low annual mileage.

Visibility from the high-riding Galaxy is very good. Surprisingly for such a tall vehicle, it doesn't lean too much in corners. Instead, it feels quite comfortable and composed, while the steering is pleasantly quick and direct.

Trim levels are the familiar basic Zetec, mid-range Titanium and top-spec Titanium X. All have Ford's excellent Quickclear windscreen (which can de-ice itself at the flick of a switch), front and rear parking sensors (essential for such a big vehicle) and air-conditioning. Titanium X spoils you with luxuries including leather and wood-effect trim, but our pick is Titanium for its more useful extras, among them cruise control and automatic headlights.

It's a mixed picture for reliability, but owners seem generally satisfied with their Galaxys. The model scored the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests and is equipped with seven airbags, electronic stability control and ISOFIX child-seat mounts.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.5 / 5

The Ford Galaxy can be specified with a 2.0-litre diesel engine that provides good power and fuel economy

Engines, drive & performance

3.4 / 5

Go for the 2.0-litre diesel Ford Galaxy and you get a decent blend of performance and fuel economy

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

The Ford Galaxy has a comfortable interior and well judged suspension

Practicality & boot space

4.4 / 5

The Ford Galaxy has plenty of room inside for seven adults plus luggage

Reliability & safety

3.5 / 5

The Ford Galaxy is well like by its owners and should be safe in a crash

What the others say

3.6 / 5
based on 4 reviews
14 / 20
"Ford has really raised the game with this car and its engineering levels are very high. The quality of the materials that make up the dash are truly impressive, as is their fit and finish. Sure it cheapens as you migrate backwards, but if you ain't paying Audi prices, you can't expect Audi finesse in the third-row ashtrays."
3 / 5
"Whichever version of the Galaxy you choose, you'll find confidence-inspiring handling and a composed and well-controlled approach to corners. Compared to softer competitors, this nimble, dynamic attitude reinforces the Ford's car-like feel. Yet while noise levels are all but a match for the class best, the Ford's firmer ride does make it less relaxing. Petrol and diesel engines should all be familiar, and it's the TDCi oil-burners that offer the easier-going performance."
4 / 5
"Quality grumbles include bits of trim falling off. Sidelights failing. Info system saying alarm needs servicing. Failure of brake vacuum pump on 2.0 TDCI has been reported by several readers. Electric windows sporadically either will not operate at all or close and then immediately re-open by themselves. However, Addison Lee runs about 2,000 Galaxy 2.0TDCI automatics as private hire cars in the London area and has very little trouble."
4 / 5
"The Ford Galaxy is a very popular people carrier and it's not hard to see why. Practical, spacious and car-like to drive it comes with a great range of engines including some very economical diesels. All models come with seven independent seats and the rear five easily fold flat to create a huge load space while there are more than 30 stowage compartments on board."
What owners say 
4.177868852459
4.2 /5 based on 122 reviews
60%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
12 May 2015
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