Ford Galaxy MPV
Price £27,045 - £37,245
- Versatile seating arrangements
- Immensely practical
- Spacious interior
- Interior not quite as plush as some
- Boxy, uninspiring styling
- Lacks rear USB socket
At a glance
“It’s hard to think of a more practical car than the Ford Galaxy. It’s not the most stylish vehicle on the road, but it’s surprisingly good to drive.”
If you’re buying a Ford MPV and need the biggest they make, then the Ford Galaxy is the one to buy. It's an extremely practical car, with room for seven people in a large, airy and relaxing interior. The car features lots of kit as standard, and build quality and finish is very respectable.
Rivals include the SEAT Alhambra and Volkswagan Sharan, while Ford makes the slightly smaller S-MAX, which also accommodates seven people albeit less comfortably. If seven seats are a high priority, you may also want to consider the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Land Rover Discovery Sport if your budget will stretch to it.
Most of the Galaxy's rivals provide seven seats but most of them don’t offer the same space for everyone inside. The third row of seats in the Galaxy is capable of accommodating adults as well as children, which is relatively rare for sixth and seventh seats. Those seats handily fold flat into the boot floor when not in use, freeing up a decent space for shopping, luggage or flat-pack furniture. If you want the maximum amount of room, the second row of seats can also be laid flat; doing so makes the Galaxy feel like a van.
Comfort was clearly Ford's priority when they engineered the Galaxy but the firm hasn’t completely sacrificed the driving experience. The car grips well and doesn’t lean too much round bends, plus the steering is accurate and has a satisfying weight. The suspension is set up to absorb a lot of the imperfections on the road surface but it's not so soft that the car feels bloated and loose in corners.
There is a range of petrol and diesel engines on offer. The petrol choices include 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre engines, but we advise buying a Galaxy with a diesel engine because of the extra low down pulling power. The 178bhp diesel is our first choice, as it's just as economical as the 148bhp version but gives the car a very useful dose of extra power when the car is laden with people and luggage. It's not that much more to buy either.
It's possible to order the Galaxy with four-wheel drive but unless you live down a track or somewhere that it regularly snows, we don’t think it's worth spending the extra £1,500, particularly since it has a negative impact on efficiency.
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 your 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 from 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