Ford Galaxy MPV full 9 point review
The entry-level Galaxy has a 1.5-litre petrol engine that’s eager but not really up to the job in such a heavy car. The 2.0-litre petrol, however, is very gutsy. There are four 2.0-litre diesels. The least powerful is a bit breathless, so best avoided, but the others provide plenty of go; the highest-powered is very strong indeed. Our favourite is the 148bhp version, which balances pace and price well.
Ride & Handling
The only MPV that’s more fun to drive than the Galaxy is the closely related – and lighter – Ford S-Max. The Galaxy has similar attributes, although it’s geared more towards comfort. The ride is generally very smooth, yet body movement is well controlled, so the handling is remarkably agile. There’s plenty of grip, while four-wheel drive versions provide even better traction. The steering is the only let down – it’s responsive, but the weighting is inconsistent as you turn the wheel.
The engines that we’ve tested so far are impressively quiet, with the 2.0-litre diesel being especially hushed. The six-speed manual gearbox is slick and precise, while the automatic transmissions are generally smooth. There’s some wind noise and road noise at speed, but no more than in any of the Galaxy’s rivals. Suspension noise over larger bumps is the only real niggle, and it’s not a major one.
Buying & Owning
Perhaps the biggest mark against the Galaxy is its pricing – it’s expensive when compared with most rivals. Showroom discounts should be easy enough to come by, however, and residual values are likely to be reasonably strong. Running costs are no better than average. Fuel economy figures for the most efficient models – the 2.0-litre diesels – are good, but not class-leading; the higher-powered petrol model is distinctly thirsty.
Quality & Reliability
It looks and feels built to withstand family life, with sturdy materials and decent fit and finish. There are some appealing cabin materials, too, although the bland design and a few low-rent details mean the overall impression isn’t especially classy. The Galaxy’s predecessor performed poorly in our most recent ownership satisfaction survey but the Ford brand performed well in our latest reliability survey, finishing sixth out of 37 manufacturers. The warranty three years or 60,000 miles.
Safety & Security
The Galaxy scored a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating when tested in 2015. Every model comes with front and side airbags and one for the driver’s knee. There are window airbags, too, and these cover all three rows of seats. Lane-keeping assist is standard for all but Zetec models, while a blind-spot warning system is an option. City braking is an affordable option across the range, although it ought to be standard. All versions have a Thatcham category one alarm.
Behind The Wheel
The Galaxy offers a wide range of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel and the seats themselves are very comfortable, if a little lacking in side support. Visibility is good, although the windscreen pillar can obstruct your view on right-hand bends. Front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a heated windscreen. The simple dash keeps buttons to a minimum and the touchscreen control system is user-friendly, if not as intuitive as some.
Space & Practicality
The Galaxy is a proper seven-seater, with vast head and leg room for those in the front five seats and enough space for a pair of adults to sit comfortably in the third row. Access is excellent thanks to large door openings and outer middle-row seats that tilt and slide to provide entry to the rear-most seats. The boot is supermini-size in seven-seat mode, huge when the rear row is folded and van-like when in two-seat mode. Folding the seats is easy enough and in-cabin storage is excellent.
The Galaxy is pricey, but every model comes well equipped. Entry-level Zetec is our favourite trim – it includes dual-zone climate control, DAB radio, electrically folding door, front and rear parking sensors and a touchscreen infotainment system. The next step up is Titanium, which adds sat-nav, cruise control, keyless start, automatic lights and wipers, and a lane-keeping aid. Titanium Sport includes some impressive luxury features and tech, but it pushes the price uncomfortably high.