The 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel is the popular choice because it represents a good blend of performance and efficiency for a reasonable price. It offers better fuel consumption and emissions than the equivalent diesels in the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, and similar performance.
The 178bhp version of this diesel is another good engine and actually offers the same CO2 emissions and fuel consumption as the 148bhp version, but with a bit more punch. It’s got plenty of low-down shove from 1500rpm and will continue pulling all the way to 4000rpm. It’s smooth, too.
There is also a 118bhp version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine that feels a bit weak in the Galaxy. Seeing as it has the same carbon emissions and claimed economy as the 148bhp and 178bhp versions, we’d avoid it. As for the twin-turbo 207bhp diesel, it’s expensive to buy and costlier to run than the single-turbo units.
Petrol options consist of a 1.5-litre 158bhp unit, which lacks the shove of the diesel variants, and a range-topping 237bhp 2.0-litre engine that, like the range-topping diesel, doesn’t have much of a financial case for it.
The standard six-speed manual gearbox is precise and slick, and the optional six-speed automatic gearbox flits between gears serenely and reacts quickly when you ask it to.
Ride quality is smooth, with the Galaxy taking the edge off all but the harshest of bumps. In fact, rather than feeling any harshness from large potholes, you are more disturbed by the noise as the wheels thud over them. You also hear a bit of road and wind noise, although it’s not intrusive.
For a tall car, the handling is also superb, making it one of the most agile seven-seat MPVs you can buy. The body leans a bit as you turn in to a corner but settles down to feel stable and controlled.
The only real issue is the steering. It’s nicely weighted when you’re tracking straight, but as you start to turn the wheel the weight drops away, making it quite tricky to judge your inputs.