Ford Galaxy Review
The Ford Galaxy is one of the best large MPVs, with room for seven in comfort, but you can buy something that’s sharper to drive and cheaper, if you’re willing to sacrifice a little space
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Seven full-sized seats
- One of the best drivers in class
- Lots of safety features
What's not so good
- No sliding rear doors
- Looks boxy
- Petrols' high running costs
Ford Galaxy: what would you like to read next?
The Ford Galaxy is the biggest and most practical of the three seven-seat MPVs that Ford sells. The S-Max has almost as much space inside, but is a little sharper to drive, whereas the Grand C-Max is the smallest and only suitable for people who only rarely need seven seats.
That makes the Galaxy an alternative to the biggest seven-seat MPVs like the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, but you might also consider seven-seat SUVs like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Skoda Kodiaq.
Admittedly, the Galaxy isn’t the sleekest vehicle, but you could say the same thing about many large MPVs. Naturally, you have to sacrifice a little style for its spacious interior, but there’s a good choice of trim levels, allowing you to choose between a sportier look or something a bit more upmarket.
In previous versions of the Galaxy, the quality inside has been below par, but it’s much improved on this model. The dashboard is dominated by an eight-inch infotainment screen that controls many of the functions, so there are relatively few buttons on the dashboard and it doesn’t look cluttered. On the top two trim levels, the Galaxy also has a digital instrument display, which is similar to Audi’s ‘virtual cockpit’, although the graphics aren’t quite as impressive.
So far, so similar to the S-Max, but where the two cars differ is in the amount of space that they provide inside. Particularly in the third row of seats, the Galaxy is much bigger than the S-Max – there’s enough room for even adults to stretch their legs and the big windows give a great view out.
Better still, the car is as versatile and comfortable as it is spacious. The seats are supportive, and the middle row can slide back and forwards, fold down as well as flop forward at the push of a button.
The Ford Galaxy proves you can still enjoy driving a car even when you have six passengers along with you
There are numerous extra storage areas and cubbies dotted around the cabin, while the Galaxy’s boot is also bigger than the S-Max’s. Even with all seven seats up, it has more luggage space than a Fiesta. When you fold all the rear seats down, you’ll have 2,339 litres to play with, while the opening is large and there is no lip to haul your groceries over.
All this is probably no great surprise, given that the Galaxy is an MPV, but what you probably won’t expect is that the Galaxy is far from boring to drive. It’s based on the same platform as the S-Max and inherits its well-weighed steering and a suspension set-up that soaks up bumps well.
True, there’s a lot of body roll when driving the Galaxy quickly, but the handling inspires confidence and the Galaxy is a very capable cruiser on the motorway. Last, but not least, you can specify four-wheel drive for added grip on slippery roads – which you can’t do in many of the car’s rivals.
When it comes to engine choice, it’s simple: go for a diesel. Although there’s nothing substantially wrong with the modern and powerful petrol unit, the diesels are stronger, cheaper to run and better suited to the Galaxy’s main job: hauling people and luggage.
The low-power version is specifically targeted at private hire companies and fleet customers, but the 150 and 180hp versions are better suited to the demands of family life.
If you are considering a Galaxy as a family car, you’ll be pleased to see that Euro NCAP awarded it a maximum five-star rating when it was tested in 2015. The car also comes with a range of safety systems, including Traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic parking.
There are three trim levels to choose from – Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X – and even the basic Zetec comes with almost everything a family needs: a touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth phone connectivity, among other things.
Titanium and Titanium X trim add luxurious features such as leather seats, LED headlights, keyless entry, electrically operated boot and a panoramic roof. However, if your budget won’t stretch that far, Zetec has sufficient kit for most family needs.
All in all, the Galaxy is one of the best large MPVs. Not only is it a genuine seven-seater, it’s comfortable, practical and also one of the most enjoyable cars of its type to drive.