Galaxy on sale: May 2006 Price: From £20,000 (est)
SAV on sale: Summer 2006 Price: From £16,000 (est)
Ford won't just be launching just one people-carrier in the next 12 months, but two.
First to arrive is the all-new Galaxy, which goes on sale in May. It's longer, taller and wider than the current car, and that means there's enough room for seven adults to be comfortable on long journeys.
What's more, Ford has gone to great efforts to improve interior flexibility. The five rear seats can all be folded flat into the floor, and they recline and slide back and forth independently of one another.
However, the next-generation Galaxy won't have sliding rear doors like those on the rival Citroen C8, Peugeot 807 and Fiat Ulysse. Instead, it sticks with hinged rear doors.
Ford developed the current Galaxy with Seat and Volkswagen – which offer their own Alhambra and Sharan versions – but this time it has worked alone. Still, cabin quality has apparently taken a big step forward to give the Galaxy a luxurious feel, and the company's other new MPV will share many of its interior features.
The second MPV, codenamed SAV, isn't christened until February – goes on sale this summer.
Built on the same chassis as the next Mondeo family car, due in 2007, and, like the Galaxy, it will come with seven seats as standard. Its two rearmost seats can fold into the boot floor when not needed.
Both the Galaxy and SAV will be available with a wide range of engines, and this is likely to include the refined and powerful 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel already seen in Jaguar's S-Type and XJ saloons.
See the February 2006 issue of What Car? magazine for a free 100 Secret Cars of 2006 and Beyond supplement.