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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Space for seven, and good to drive

Against Diesel models expensive to buy

Verdict A roomy MPV that's good to drive

Go for… 2.0 TDCI 140 Zetec

Avoid… 2.3 Ghia auto

Ford Galaxy MPV
  • 1. Rubber door seals sometimes part company with the car
  • 2. There can be a mysterious clunking from the steering
  • 3. The alarm system can cause problems
  • 4. Power steering pumps have been known to fail
  • 5. There are reports of loose trim inside
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Ford Galaxy MPV full review with expert trade views

Like its smaller sibling, the Ford S-Max, the Galaxy is a seven-seat MPV, but with a bit more room.

Unlike the previous Galaxy ('01-'06), which was mechanically identical to the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, this is an all-new vehicle unique to Ford.

The Galaxy isn't as good to drive as the S-Max, but that's mainly down to its softer suspension and size.

That doesn't mean it drives badly, though, because it's composed over bumps and handles corners well. There's some wind noise at speed, but tyre noise isn't really noticeable.

There's plenty of leg and headroom for all passengers - even those using the rearmost seats. All five rear seats fold flat into the floor when not needed, creating a van-rivalling space to transport bulky items.

With all seats in place, the boot is big enough for a few reasonably sized bags.

Trade view

Not as trendy as the S-Max, so potentially better value on the used market if you shop around.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Your choice of engine may well depend on your annual mileage. Of the petrols, the 2.0-litre is acceptable, but if you want an automatic Galaxy, it'll have to be the 2.3-litre model.

If it's a diesel you want, the 138bhp 2.0-litre version is our favourite, but none is disappointing.

You'll get fewer miles per gallon with a petrol model, but it will cost less to buy on the used market, and will cost you less each time you fill up. Before you buy, carefully weigh up the saving you'll make on price of the vehicle against your expected mileage and the cost of fuel.

As with the rest of the Ford family, Zetec models combine a good specification at a realistic price. The entry-level LX has air-con, electric front windows and a heated windscreen, but Zetecs also get alloys, rear electric windows, and climate control.

The upper-class Ghia is very well appointed, but leather isn't standard.

In May 2008, the LX trim was renamed as Edge, and the range-topping Ghia X editions were introduced.

Trade view

Bigger than an S-Max, but still quite good to drive. Look out for low-priced petrol models.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

When it comes to emissions and fuel consumption, the petrol models let themselves down. All petrol models are in the higher bands for carbon dioxide emissions, with the 2.3-litre in the top band.

This will lead to steep road tax bills, and average fuel economy figures range from 34.4mpg to 28.8mpg.

The diesels do better, with models in the middle road tax bands, and average economy of between 45.6mpg and 42.2mpg.

Fords are rarely expensive to maintain or repair, but it's a little too early to know how the Galaxy will hold up after the warranty has expired, and what repair costs are likely to be.

Shop around for scheduled servicing work, because dealer prices can vary. Petrol models are slightly cheaper to service than the diesels.

Despite the cars' size, insurance is not excessive; most sit in groups 10 or 11, with only the 2.2-litre diesel stretching into group 12.

Trade view

Not as trendy as the S-Max, so potentially better value on the used market if you shop around.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Galaxy shares much of its design with the S-Max, so many of the reported problems are the same. However, so far it appears that Galaxy owners are overall happier with their cars.

The S-Max's mysterious clunking noise from the steering column is present in the Galaxy, and although dealers can fix it, it often returns. There are also reports of power-steering pumps failing.

Electrical gremlins are also reported, with the alarm system being singled out as a reoccurring fault. Poorly fitting cabin trim and questionable build quality are frequently reported, along with door seals that refuse to stay in place.

So far, there have been a few recalls that concern the Galaxy, but the most important cover overly stiff brake pedals and diesel engines cutting out.

Cars should have been recalled to address these, but get a franchised dealer to confirm that any model you're looking at has had the work done.

Trade view

Bigger than an S-Max, but still quite good to drive. Look out for low-priced petrol models.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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