What's the used Ford Galaxy MPV like?
Few and far between are the seven-seater MPVs that we can actually call groundbreaking. The original Renault Espace was one such; this Ford Galaxy is another. It has, in the course of its long life, become almost the default choice for minicab drivers plying their trade on the airport runs, as well as those transporting a large amount of smart-suited execs from suburb to city on workaday business mornings.
This is the fourth generation car, and, like its predecessors, it offers the usual exceptionally roomy and airy interior, adding along with that seven seats that slide and fold individually. There’s also a magnificent boot.
On top of that the Galaxy is good to drive and well equipped, as well as being well finished and smart in appearance. It’s comfortable, too, and refined for such a large and practical car. Perhaps this dynamic competence is not surprising - it shares its underpinnings with the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, two cars that also head our list of favourite MPVs.
Engine options include a 2.0-litre diesel 118, 148 or 178bhp outputs, plus a 207bhp twin-turbo version. The 178bhp version was uprated to 187bhp in 2017. There’s also a choice of 158bhp 1.5-litre or 237bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines.
Meanwhile, three trim options are on offer: Zetec, Titanium or Titanium X. All are well equipped, with even the basic Zetec receiving alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, climate control and Ford’s own 8.0in touchscreen system complete with Bluetooth and DAB radio.
On the road, of the four diesels available, the 2.0-litre 148bhp engine is the most popular choice because it represents a good blend of performance and efficiency for a reasonable price. It returns lower fuel consumption and emissions than the equivalent diesels in the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, while achieving similar performance.
The 187bhp version of this engine 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.
The 118bhp version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine feels a bit weak in the bulky Galaxy. The top-powered 237bhp unit is, typically, much more expensive to run with higher CO2 and worse fuel economy figures – it's also only available in the top spec Titanium X trim, so naturally gets a higher price tag.
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 kick down for more acceleration.
The handling is also excellent for such a tall car, 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. Ride quality is smooth; with the Galaxy's suspension takes the edge off all but the harshest of bumps.
Climb inside and it feels supremely spacious, no matter whether you’re in the front, middle or rear. The middle row of seats has room for three six-foot adults in reclining chairs that individually slide forward and backwards. Like the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, these sixth and seventh seats will fit full-size adults.
The boot is huge. According to Ford’s figures, there's 300 litres of boot space with the third-row seats in place. Convert it to a five-seater and the boot transforms to a vast 1301 litres, and a van-like 2339 litres with only the front seats in use.
Overall, the Galaxy is an extremely practical and capable car that manages to be as much fun to drive as you could expect an MPV to be. Now it also makes an interesting used car proposition.