Review

Ford Galaxy MPV

Price  £25,670 - £34,335

Ford Galaxy MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

At a glance

The greenest
Zetec 1.6TDCi 115 PS S/S 5dr £26,460
The cheapest
Zetec 1.6T 160PS EcoBoost S/S 5dr £25,670
The fastest
Titanium 2.0 203PS EcoBoost Powershift 5dr £29,235
Top of the range
Titanium X 2.2TDCi 200PS Auto 5dr £34,335

"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 uses many of the same parts as the Ford S-MAX, but while the S-MAX is pitched as a fun-to-drive MPV, in the Galaxy practicality takes priority. The Galaxy is still one of the better cars in its class to drive thanks to well judged suspension that's comfortable but also resists body lean in corners.

Inside, you get seven seats that can comfortably be used by adults. The Galaxy's seats can also be arranged in 32 different combinations, or folded down almost completely flat to reveal a huge, van-like load bay. 

Ford has given the Galaxy a strong range of engines, including an economical 1.6-litre diesel and a powerful 2.0-litre petrol. We recommend the 2.0-litre diesels, however, as they offer excellent economy and strong performance, especially when the car is fully loaded.

Trim levels include the basic Zetec, mid-range Titanium and top-of-the-range Titanium X models. All have Ford's useful Quickclear fast-demisting windscreen, parking sensors and air-conditioning, while Titanium X models have leather upholstery and wood-effect trim.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.5 / 5

Diesels all offer good economy of around 45mpg

If you’re looking for performance and aren’t bothered by big bills, then the 2.0-litre petrol is a decent engine, but it can’t compete with diesels’ running costs. The most economical engine is the 1.6-litre diesel, which can achieve 54mpg and costs £130 to tax every year. However, it’s quite slow, so we recommend the more powerful 2.0-litre diesel. It feels significantly quicker and can still return 50mpg, with CO2 emissions low enough for £145-a-year road tax.

Keeping your Galaxy well maintained should be easy thanks to Ford’s huge dealer network. Servicing is cheap, with prices starting from £125. The Ford will depreciate quicker than a VW Sharan, which might put some people off, while insurance ranges from group 16 for the 1.6-litre diesel to group 26 for the 2.0-litre petrol.

Engines, drive & performance

3.4 / 5

Good to drive despite its size

You wouldn’t expect the Ford Galaxy to be much fun to drive, but it actually is. The steering gives you lots of confidence and the suspension resists body lean well, while also ironing out bumps. It goes without saying that the car’s large dimensions make it tricky to drive around town, but it’s not as awkward as you might think.

As mentioned above, we recommend the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, which has enough power to get the car from 0-62mph in just 10.6 seconds. It feels much faster than the 1.6-litre diesel, which competes the same sprint in 13.4 seconds. The fastest 2.0-litre diesel can get from 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds, but the quickest model overall is the 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, which does it a hot-hatchback-like 8.8 seconds – but that engines costs quite a lot to run.

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

Not the best in class but still comfortable

Climb aboard the Ford Galaxy and you might be surprised to find a sporty dashboard with three centrally mounted circular air vents, along with a handbrake that looks like the throttle for an airliner. While it’s not quite as classy as a Volkswagen Sharan inside, the Galaxy gets pretty close, and most of its interior is made from high-quality plastics.

There’s also lots of adjustment for both the driver’s seat and the steering wheel, so getting comfortable is easy. The Galaxy’s raised driving position gives the driver a clear view of the road ahead, and all models have front and rear parking sensors that make it easy to park in tight spaces.

Practicality & boot space

4.4 / 5

Loads of space with the seats down

The Ford S-MAX is fun to drive, but if you want extra space, go for the Galaxy. All the seats in the Galaxy have enough room for adults and accessing them is easy – even the very back row. 

The Galaxy’s huge load capacity means that even with all the seats in place, you still have a 308-litre boot, which grows to 435 litres with the third row folded down and a huge 2,325 litres with all the passenger seats folded away. The boot is also easy to load thanks to a large opening and the lack of a lip – it’s possible to slide heavy items straight in. 

All models apart from the basic version have overhead storage, while there’s also a deep cubbyhole in the centre console, massive door bins, drawers underneath the two front seats and plenty of other useful spaces.

Reliability & safety

3.5 / 5

Reliability is reasonable, safety is excellent

The results of our Driver Power 2014 owner satisfaction survey showed Ford Galaxy owners are very happy with their cars – the model leapt 43 places from last year to finish 46th out of 150 cars. However, it could still only manage to finish 128th for reliability.

 When Euro NCAP tested the Galaxy for safety, it was awarded the maximum five stars. It’s worth noting that this test was carried out in 2006, and Euro NCAP has become even more stringent since then. Nonetheless, the Galaxy has seven airbags, including one for the driver’s knees, as well as electronic stability control. ISOFIX child-seat mounts in the rear provide a safe anchoring point for a child’s seat.

Price, value for money & options

3.7 / 5

Expensive when compared to rivals but well equipped

Any Ford Galaxy you choose will be well equipped. Even the basic Zetec has a Bluetooth phone connection, front and rear parking sensors, fold-down trays on the back of the front seats, plus electric windows all round. The mid-range Titanium is our pick, though, because it adds handy overhead storage areas and cruise control, as well as automatic headlights and wipers. The top-of-the-range Titanium X model boasts luxury features such as a panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery.

The Ford Galaxy should have decent resale values when compared to rivals from Vauxhall and Citroen. Ford dealers are also known for their willingness to offer decent discounts, so haggle hard when in the showroom.

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."
Last updated 
21 Oct 2014

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