What is the Ford Galaxy?
It might look like a van, but the Galaxy’s smartly utilitarian body contains a large family car that drivers find surprisingly satisfying to drive. This big MPV is a seven-seater and an alternative to the highly regarded Seat Alhambra, Toyota Verso and Peugeot 5008. Like these rivals, it has a cabin configured for the long-distance comfort of seven adults or, with its seats folded down, a considerable cargo volume.
Ironically, the Galaxy’s biggest rival comes from within its own stable: the lower-roofed and altogether sportier seven-seat S-Max is even better to drive and to look at, less expensive and almost as versatile. Galaxy prices start at £25,670 and even the cheapest model is well-equipped, but the S-Max range starts at £24,545.
The Galaxy range offers a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines, and even the humblest petrol motor – the 1.6 Ecoboost – pulls impressively strongly. For long-distance driving it’s the mid-range 2.0 TDCi diesel that makes the most sense, though, as it has the kind of generous mid-range pulling power that’s needed to haul seven people and their luggage with relative ease. The smallest diesel, a 1.6, struggles when this big Ford’s many seats are filled.
The 2.0 TDCi cruises effortlessly at motorway speeds and in peace, although the sizeable windows can provoke some wind noise. On the move, however, the Galaxy’s best and most unlikely feature is its ability to slice through bends with reassuring accuracy, although indulging in this attribute will most likely cause rear-seat knuckles to whiten, despite the well-controlled body-roll and supple ride. The Galaxy’s precise cornering is nicely complemented by its slick major controls, and all in all it’s a pleasing machine for driver and passengers alike.
It may be built for the prosaic job of transporting a septet of humans, but the Galaxy doesn’t compromise creature comforts, and its interior is very inviting, not least because it’s finished in high-quality materials. The business-like dashboard is handsome and efficient, well stocked with features, and has logically laid-out instruments and switchgear. This big MPV might look Transit-like from the outside, but it’s anything but on the inside. The driver’s outward visibility is very good – as you’d expect with such a vast expanse of glass – the driving position is comfortable and the seats are well-shaped and supportive.
Unlike some people carriers, the Galaxy provides well-upholstered centre-row seats, whose occupants enjoy abundant space in every direction. Even the rearmost occasional seats are big enough for adults on short trips, and they leave room behind them for at least a couple of overnight bags. Fold them flat and the boot suddenly becomes big; drop the centre-row too, and the Galaxy becomes a load-carrier of enormous proportions.
So the Galaxy is a very effective and versatile carrier of both passengers and cargo, but if you don’t need every last cubic foot of load-space, you’ll find the sportier and more affordable S-Max makes the better buy. Or, for ultimate space, the highly accomplished Seat Alhambra – much the same car – is significantly cheaper than the Ford.
The one to buy
Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec
- 1997cc, 4 cylinders, diesel
- 138bhp @ 3750rpm
- 236 lb ft @ 1750-2750rpm
- 6-speed manual
- 0-62mph in 10.6sec
- Top Speed:
- Road Tax Band:
- L 4820mm, W 1884mm, H 1764mm