What's the used Ford Galaxy MPV like?
Some may dismiss the humble seven-seater MPV as just something minicab drivers use to ply their trade on airport runs, or for transporting a large amount of smart-suited execs from suburb to city on workaday business mornings. But the Ford Galaxy deserves a bit more attention than that because it works as a great family car because of its flexible interior, civilised road manners, excellent refinement and surprising economy.
Being a product of Ford means there is a vast number of engines to choose from. Most Galaxys are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine of either 118, 148 or 178bhp outputs, and the 207bhp twin-turbo version. Revisions in 2018 tweaked the latter two to 187bhp and 237bhp respectively. There’s also a choice of 158bhp 1.5-litre (revised to 163bhp in 2018) or 237bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines.
On top of that, the Galaxy is good to drive and comfortable, too. Perhaps this dynamic competence is not surprising given Ford's success with the similar but slightly smaller S-Max. The standard six-speed manual gearbox is precise and slick, while the optional six-speed (later eight-speed) automatic 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 taking the edge off all but the harshest of bumps. Road noise is very well subdued and there's just the merest hint of wind noise kicked up by those big door mirrors.
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 forwards and backwards. Like the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, these sixth and seventh seats will fit full-size adults.
Removals businesses might go bust if you fold all five rear seats flat because there is a vast amount of space that you could easily move house with. Even in five-seat mode, the Galaxy has a bigger boot than most estate cars. However, when all seven seats are in place, the amount of cargo room shrinks to that of a small car. This is true of almost all cars in this class, and at least the Galaxy has a handy hidden storage compartment below the floor that liberates a bit more room.
Ford has included a good amount of standard equipment, too. Entry-level Zetec trim comes with 17in alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, climate control, an 8.0in touchscreen system with Bluetooth and DAB radio. Titanium adds rear-privacy glass, cruise control, lane keep assistance, sat-nav and automatic lights and wipers. Top-of-the range Titanium X has a rear-view camera, an electric tailgate, leather seats that are both electrically adjustable and heated in the front, and finally a panoramic sunroof.
Standard safety and security features include six airbags, stability control, an alarm and an immobiliser. Look for emergency city braking, though; it’s disappointing this isn’t standard in such a family-oriented vehicle.
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