The entry-level engine is a quiet and flexible 1.6-litre Ecoboost petrol, while the turbocharged 2.0-litre is smooth and incredibly strong. However, most buyers will go for one of the TDCi diesels, which give either 114, 138, 161 or 197bhp. The more powerful ones have plenty of low-rev pull, but the 114bhp unit will struggle if you've got a full complement of passengers.
The Galaxy is almost as good to drive as the closely related S-Max, which is high praise indeed. Once you're on the open road, it seems to shrink around you, thanks to informative steering, plenty of grip and good body control. When family duties take priority, the suspension is supple enough to provide good comfort.
Although the Galaxy’s large glass area creates quite a bit of wind noise, the rest of the car does a great job of shutting out road and suspension noise, so it's an impressively quiet cruiser. The engines are quiet and silky-smooth, and all the controls work with well-engineered precision.
The Galaxy isn’t overly pricey, but it shares most parts with the S-Max, which costs a lot less. It is better equipped, though, and similarly priced to rivals such as the Renault Espace and Chrysler Grand Voyager. Diesel versions are economical, but resale values aren't particularly strong.
The interior is conventional, but it's stylish, solidly built and there are appealing soft-touch materials on the top of the dash and doors. Lower down and further back in the vehicle, the plastics aren't as plush, but the Galaxy should stand up to the rigours of family life. However, the 2012 JD Power Survey revealed that owners has some reservations about the car's mechanical reliability.
Every Galaxy comes stuffed with airbags - there are front and side airbags for the two front seats, while window airbags cover all three rows. There's also an airbag to protect the driver's knee. Stability control and emergency brake assist are standard, and an alarm and deadlocks are fitted to all models.
The Galaxy has a high-set driving position that combines with slim pillars to provide good all-round visibility. There's plenty of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel, and the seat is supportive, too. The dashboard is stylish, but logically ordered and easy to use.
The Galaxy's impressive headroom and legroom mean that five people can sit in comfort, and its width comes in handy if you're fitting child seats in the middle row. Access to the rearmost seats is good and there's enough space for adults to get comfortable. The five rear seats fold flat, and when the Galaxy is used as a five-seater, there's a huge, well-shaped boot. Even with all seven seats in use, there's still space for a couple of bags.
Every Galaxy has lots of kit, and even the entry-level Zetec cars have dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, a heated windscreen and four electric windows. Titanium trim adds cruise control, rear air conditioning, automatic lights and wipers, a USB input socket and a DAB radio, while extras on Titanium X include leather upholstery, xenon headlamps and glass panels in the roof.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
With this model, you get what we reckon is the best engine in the range with the best-value trim. Little wonder it's our pick of the range.