Ford Galaxy MPV
Price £26,695 - £37,195
- 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.”
The Ford Galaxy is the largest MPV Ford makes. It's a supremely practical car that can seat seven in a spacious, bright and comfortable cabin. The Ford Galaxy also comes with decent standard equipment while offering a reasonable quality of finish. For buyers after a smaller car that can still transport seven occupants there's Ford's own S-MAX, while alternative, full-sized rivals include the Volkswagen Sharan and SEAT Alhambra. Buyers who consider seven seats essential might also consider SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Hyundai Santa Fe.
While its rivals offer seven seats as standard, what they can’t match is the Galaxy's sheer roominess: adults can comfortably sit in even the third-row seats. These fold flat into the floor of the boot when not needed, rendering the Galaxy's load area cavernous – perfect for trips to the dump or the DIY store. The second row of seats can also be folded down to free up a load area that would put some vans to shame.
Ford has geared the driving experience of the Galaxy towards comfort, but it's still an enjoyable car to drive: it grips nicely, without too much body lean in corners, while the steering is sharp and nicely weighted. The Galaxy's suspension, meanwhile, offers a well-judged blend of firmness and suppleness, giving good control while insulating you and your passengers from poor road surfaces.
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 recommend the 178bhp diesel – it's just as efficient as the 148bhp version, but much better at hauling what is a pretty heavy car – especially with seven people and a bootload 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. Although it's well integrated with the car and doesn’t eat into load or cabin space, it adds around £1,500 to the Galaxy's price. All-wheel drive also 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 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