Ford Galaxy MPV
Price £26,445 - £36,760
- Versatile seating arrangements
- Immensely practical
- Spacious interior
- Interior not quite as plush as some
- Boxy, uninspiring styling
- Lacks rear USB socket
At a glance
“In terms of practicality, the Ford Galaxy is tricky to fault. The boxy styling belies a car that’s remarkably good to drive, too.”
The Ford Galaxy is the biggest people carrier (MPV) in this popular brand's range. It has seven seats across three rows, a very roomy cabin, plenty of technology and a fairly high-quality feel.
In terms of rivals, there's the Ford S-MAX (a lower, sleeker seven-seater that sacrifices some practicality for style), as well as full-size MPVs such as the Volkswagen Sharan and SEAT Alhambra. The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and even seven-seat SUVs such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Hyundai Santa Fe are other alternatives.
However, not all of these rivals offer third-row seats as spacious as the Galaxy's – even adults will be reasonably comfortable in them. They fold flat into the boot floor when they’re not needed, too, which means you free up an absolutely vast load area for trips to the DIY store or recycling centre. An added bonus is that with just the push of a button, you can fold the second-row seats away, too, leaving a storage area as big as many vans’.
While there's no doubt the Galaxy's main focus is ride comfort, it's actually surprisingly fun to drive, too. Body lean is nicely controlled and the steering is well weighted and accurate. Its suspension, while firm enough to keep everything in check, still manages to absorb most lumps and bumps to give a comfortable ride, too.
You can choose from a range of petrol and diesel engines. The petrols are 1.5 and 2.0-litres in capacity and are reasonable enough, but we prefer the diesels. We’d advise you go for the 178bhp diesel – it's just as efficient as the 148bhp version and much better at hauling what is a pretty heavy car – especially with seven people and a boot load of luggage on board. It's also only slightly more expensive to buy than the less powerful diesel.
There's also the option of four-wheel drive, although we wouldn’t recommend this unless you regularly need extra grip, as it makes the Galaxy more expensive to run and doesn’t really add anything to the driving experience.
Of the three trim levels available – Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X – we’d recommend the mid-range Titanium. This gets you satellite navigation, cruise control with a speed limiter and lane-keeping assistance (which stops you from veering out of a motorway lane unintentionally), as well as automatic headlights and wipers.
That's not to say that entry-level version is poorly equipped, however. All models get alloy wheels, DAB digital radio and climate control, as well as Bluetooth and USB phone and MP3 player connectivity.
Ford's reputation for reliability has never been the best, but the Galaxy is built using well-proven parts, which should have had most bugs ironed out of them by now. In terms of safety, Euro NCAP awarded the Galaxy five stars, and it comes with standard equipment such as seven airbags, seatbelt reminder buzzers and ISOFIX child-seat mounting points, as well as electronic stability and traction control.
Running costs for the Ford Galaxy are reasonably low all round, but it's worth sticking with a diesel
The Ford Galaxy is surprisingly good to drive for a car of its size
The Ford Galaxy is classier inside than ever, in addition to being well laid-out
The Ford Galaxy has space inside for seven adults and a vast boot with the rear seats down
Ford has a mixed reliability reputation amongst owners, but the Ford Galaxy should prove very safe