Ford Galaxy MPV
Price £26,445 - £36,760
- Spacious interior
- Good safety technology
- Boxy styling
- Not brilliant to drive
- No USB socket in the back
At a glance
"The Ford Galaxy offers huge practicality, with a comfortable, refined interior and a good choice of engines."
This is the Ford Galaxy, the carmaker's largest MPV – or people carrier – featuring three rows of seats in its roomy cabin, a high-quality feel and lots of technology. Ford makes quite a few MPVs, ranging from the small Ford B-MAX to this big Galaxy.
The Ford S-MAX comes closest to the Galaxy in terms of size, but it's lower and sportier-looking – and therefore a little less spacious and practical. However, like the Galaxy, it has seven seats, so if good looks and carrying capacity are your priorities, it may be worth investigating. Rivals from other brands include the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, SEAT Alhambra, Renault Grand Scenic and Volkswagen Sharan, as well as seven-seat SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery.
You realise just how roomy the Galaxy is when you consider that even a couple of adults will be comfortable in its third-row seats. That's not something you can say about most seven-seaters. When they’re not in use, the seats fold flush with the floor to create a larger load area. Not only that: press a button and the middle row folds away, too.
The Galaxy's focus is squarely on comfort, but that's not to say it isn’t fun to drive – well weighted steering plus smooth and powerful engines see to that. The suspension is pleasantly firm and keeps the car composed in corners, but it's supple and absorbent over rough surfaces, too.
There are just two petrol engines to choose from – a 1.5 and a 2.0-litre – as well as no less than four diesels. The latter are all 2.0-litre engines with different power outputs, and two of them are available with four-wheel drive. We recommend sticking to the two-wheel-drive versions, though, due to their better fuel economy.
Our favourite is the mid-range 148bhp diesel, although the more powerful 178bhp version is just as efficient while being punchier and better at hauling a fully loaded car. Plus, it's only around £800 more expensive.
There are just three trim levels and our pick is the mid-range Titanium. It has sat nav, cruise control and even lane-keeping assistance. However, if you can’t stretch to this, the basic Zetec is around £1,600 cheaper and features alloy wheels, dual-zone air-conditioning and sports seats, so it won’t leave you feeling short-changed.
Ford has a mixed record for reliability, but we think the Galaxy, which uses many tried-and-tested parts, should give little trouble. It's a safe car, too, demonstrated by its five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. In addition to the usual complement of airbags and ISOFIX child-seat mounts, it has front and rear parking sensors. And you only have to go to Titanium trim to get lane-keeping assistance, traffic-sign recognition and cruise control with a speed limiter.
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