Ford Galaxy MPV
Ford Galaxy MPV
Price £25,670 - £34,335
- Lots of space
- Strong engines
- Comfortable and fun to drive
- Boxy taxi-like looks
- Pricier than 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 mix of driving enjoyment and ride comfort spot-on."
The Ford Galaxy is a good-looking large MPV with a flexible interior that offers plenty of space for adults, as well as lots of useful storage spaces. Rivals for the Galaxy include cars such as the SEAT Alhambra and the Peugeot 5008.
The Galaxy is more fun to drive than you would expect of a big MPV, but its suspension also manages to smooth out the worst the road can throw at it.
It comes with a decent range of engines, including an economical 1.6-litre diesel and a fast, but expensive-to-run 2.0-litre petrol. The best engines are the 2.0 litre diesels, though, because they offer a good bslance between economy and performance.
Buyers can choose between basic Zetec trim, mid-range Titanium specification, and the top-of-the-range Titanium X models. All get Ford's useful quickclear windscreen, parking sensors, and air conditioning.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Diesels all offer good economy of around 45mpg
The most economical Ford Galaxy comes fitted with a 1.6-litre diesel engine that can get economy of up to 54mpg and emissions that mean road tax will be £130 every year. Unless economy is an absolute priority, though, we would steer away from it and opt for the mid-range 2.0-litre diesel. It feels nowhere near as slow, but still gets economy of 50mpg and affordable annual road tax of £145. The 2.0-litre petrol gives the Galaxy a surprising turn of speed, but it will be costly to run and doesn’t make a lot of sense in a big MPV.
Ford has one of the biggest dealer networks in the country and the Galaxy should be cheap to maintain. The company also offers services for a fixed price that come with free road-side assistance as part of the deal. We did, however, find that the Galaxy suffers from heavy tyre wear.
Interior & comfort
Not the best in class but still comfortable
Ford has become a master of gauging the suspension in its cars just right, and the Ford Galaxy has an interior that is well insulated from bumps and poor road surfaces. Road and wind noise is also kept to a minimum, and the Galaxy has a dashboard that is well laid out, easy to use, and constructed from good-quality soft-touch plastics.
Even the third row of seats is spacious enough to carry adults comfortably, and the car also offers plenty of adjustment for the driver's seat, so getting comfortable behind the wheel shouldn’t be difficult. Out on the road, the Ford's raised driving position means you get decent visibility and all Galaxys come with front and rear parking sensors.
Practicality & boot space
Loads of space with the seats down
The Ford Galaxy scores points over the smaller Ford S-MAX thanks to its extra headroom and a bigger boot. All the seats in the Galaxy offer plenty of space for adults and even accessing the back row is easy. With all the seats up, boot space is a useful 308 litres in size, but fold the rearmost seats down and there should be plenty of space for all of your luggage.
The Ford Galaxy can also double as a van, if need be, and the middle row of seats fold flat into the floor to reveal a huge 2,325 litres of capacity. Loading almost anything should be easy thanks to a huge boot aperture, with no lip.
As you would expect in an MPV, the Ford Galaxy offers plenty of useful storage areas including a deep cubby hole between the front seats, huge side door bins, and drawers that slide from underneath the front seats. All cars apart from the basic model get useful overhead storage areas that run the length of the car.
Reliability & safety
Reliability is reasonable, safety is excellent
The Ford Galaxy pulled off quite a turnaround in our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey to leap up 43 places, finishing a respectable 46th out of 150 cars in our model rankings, although, in terms of reliability it could only finish 128th.
Better news comes from Euro NCAP, which tested the Galaxy for safety in 2006 and awarded it the full five stars. The Galaxy gets seven airbags, including one for the driver's knees, and electronic stability control, while ISOfix mounts in the rear provide a safe anchoring point for a child's seat.
Engines, drive & performance
Good to drive despite its size
The Ford Galaxy may be a big car, but precise steering and suspension that resists body lean in the corners means it doesn’t feel anything like as big as you’d expect.
With an excellent mix of performance and economy, the basic 2.0-litre diesel makes for the best choice of engine. It can get from 0-60mph in 10.6 seconds, and feels much faster than the 1.6-litre diesel. Spend a bit more and you could have the top-of-the range diesel, which gets from 0-60mph in 9.8 seconds. If you’re looking for a quick Galaxy it makes the most sense because it doesn’t have the high running costs of the petrol engines.
Price, value for money & options
Expensive when compared to rivals but well equipped
All Ford Galaxy models are well equipped, with the basic Zetec model getting everything from climate control to a Bluetooth phone connection and fold-down trays on the back of the driver and front passenger seats. Mid-range Titanium models are the ones to go for, though, because they get the handy overhead storage areas, cruise control, as well as automatic headlights and wipers. The top-of-the-range Titanium X model gets luxury features such as a panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery.
Fords have good resale values compared to cars from Vauxhall and Citroen, and Ford dealers are known for their willingness to offer decent discounts.
What the others say
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."