Ford Galaxy 1.6 TDCi 115 review

  • New entry-level diesel engine for Ford's big MPV
  • Price £25,445, on sale now
  • MPG 54.3, CO2 139g/km
What is it? The cheapest Ford Galaxy with a diesel engine.

Don't confuse cheapest with cheap, though: this 1.6-litre Galaxy starts on the wrong side of £25,000. In fact, its vital figures aren't significantly different from those of our favourite model, the 2.0-litre TDCi 140.

It costs just £250 less, does an extra 4.7mpg and emits 13g/km less CO2, so sits three company car tax bands lower. So far, so slightly better, but there's a big difference once you start the engine.

What's it like to drive? An MPV is designed to be loaded with people and luggage, but do so in this Galaxy and you won't get anywhere remotely quickly.

Even with just you on board, you'll find yourself pressing the accelerator to the floor or using a lower gear than you'd expect just to keep up with traffic.

It's a decently smooth and refined engine, just not powerful enough for such a large car.

At least the rest of the driving experience is as good as ever; there's a firm edge to the ride at low speeds (felt most in the middle and rear row of seats), but the suspension is so well controlled that you're rarely bothered by bumps.

The handling is also impressively neat for something so tall, and the steering feels reassuring at all speeds, although it's a little heavy around town.

Top-spec models with the standard glass panorama roof let in too much wind noise on the motorway, but otherwise the Galaxy is hushed.

What's it like inside? This is where the Galaxy excels. There's masses of stretching room for front- and middle-row passengers, and even the two rear seats are spacious enough for adults if those in front are slid forward slightly.

With all the seats up, the boot is large enough for a few grocery bags, but fold down the rear two (you have to flip the bases flat first, then the backs) and you'll have no 'will this all fit?' fears when you're shopping. If you need even more room, the middle seats fold flat as well.

You'll find it easy to get comfortable behind the wheel, but although most of the materials around you feel decently upmarket, those towards the back aren't nearly as plush.

Should I buy one? No. The Ford Galaxy is an impressive MPV, but it's a compromised one in this 1.6-litre diesel guise.

If you (or your employer) can afford it, go for the 2.0-litre TDCi 140 instead. It should be almost as efficient as the 1.6 in the real world because you don’t have to rev it as hard. What’s more, its punchier engine makes it easier and more relaxing to drive. Whether your Galaxy is on the way to school or the airport, that counts for a lot.

Rivals
Peugeot 5008
Seat Alhambra

What Car? says


Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com
 
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