Drivers with large families can often struggle to find a car that not only performs decently on the road but also has adequate room for everyone. Step up the seven-seat Ford Galaxy MPV, a new rival to Seat’s Alhambra. The largest of four MPVs produced by Ford, inside the fairly standard exterior of the new edition you’ll find plenty of benefits that really define the MPV class and build on the deserved success of earlier Galaxy models – let’s take a look!
A boxy silhouette may be a given when it comes to large MPVs, but what the Ford Galaxy lacks in shape it makes up for with the addition of super-slim, swept-back headlights and an Aston-Martin style chrome front grille. Its rear lights have now been re-sculpted to look more like the Ford Mondeo.
Sure, it’s a less sporty option than its sister, the S-Max (it’s been described as the S-Max’s “sensible twin”) but for an MPV it’s actually pretty sharp looking. With chrome detailing and a rear spoiler, it looks more sophisticated than many family cars. It comes with 17-inch wheels, and the top-spec Titanium X trim level benefits from optional 19-inch wheels.
Designed to be practical, the Ford Galaxy has a spacious interior and Ford has focused on making improvements to its refinement and comfort. Three rows of seats provide plenty of space for the whole family (actually, 7 full-grown adults if needed), whether you’re sticking to school runs or enjoying a summer road trip.
Flexible seating arrangements allow the rear seats to be folded down and back electronically, using a button in the boot, whilst the second row can be folded down via another boot-mounted button (although they need to be lifted manually). The rear seats are designed for children, but there’s enough room to seat adults too; with the second-row seats sliding back and forwards individually to create more leg room. People in the second and third-row seats get more headroom than in previous models too, by up to 40mm in the third row.
Boot space is something the Ford Galaxy can brag about too, boasting an impressive 300-litre boot when all seven seats are in use and a whopping 2,339 litres with just the front two seats in use; ideal for family holidays or that spontaneous camping trip! There’s even the option of a powered tailgate, which could come in handy given the door’s size.
Three trim levels are available: Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X, with dual-zone air conditioning, and an eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth provided as standard in even the entry-level Zetec model. The mid-range Titanium model (our model of choice) includes LED running lights, sat-nav, overhead storage cubbies, keyless entry and automatic headlights and wipers, whilst the top spec Titanium X model adds leather seats, leather and wood-effect trim, a stunning panoramic glass sunroof and powered tailgate to an already impressive list of creature comforts.
On the dashboard, the instrument cluster has been replaced with a new 10in digital display, which is customisable. The systems include Ford’s Sync 2 infotainment system, and their programmable MyKey security system is available.
Additional handy features include a storage bin under the front armrest, cup holders in the third row and a 3-point plug in the second row, great for charging all your family’s mobile devices to keep them entertained on long journeys.
Front and rear parking sensors make the stress of squeezing into an inner-city parking space a thing of the past, whilst the Galaxy’s raised driving position allows for clear views of the road.
On the road
For its size, the Ford Galaxy is really fun to drive and offers a comfortable experience that rivals the S-Max, even on long journeys. Supple suspension and well-engineered controls ensure a friendly driving experience for even novice drivers and a surprisingly quiet journey is a real pleasure, with near-silent driving conditions in town.
Safety comes first, with window airbags for all three rows of seats and airbags front and side for the two front seats, as well as knee airbags for the driver and there are impressive legroom and headroom, even with the flexible seating arrangements. Whilst the Ford Galaxy may paint a mixed picture when it comes to reliability, it scored a full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests and has ISOFIX child-seat mounts and electronic stability control.
Additional options worth considering are a blind-spot warning system and active cruise control, which allows the Ford Galaxy to automatically match the speed of the vehicle in front, maintaining a safe distance – it returns to pre-specified cruising speed on empty roads.
Available in an entry-level 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol or 114,138, 161 or 197 diesel engines, the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine allows for acceleration from 0-62mph in just 10.6 seconds, feeling faster than the 1.6-litre diesel. The 158bhp 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine can accelerate from 0-62mpg in an impressive 9.9 seconds, with a top speed of 125mph for comfortable motorway journeys.
The Galaxy can be ordered with four-wheel drive and there’s a choice of manual six-speed or Powershift dual-clutch auto gearboxes.
It’s worth considering the petrol models for lower mileage – the 1.6-litre EcoBoost boasts fuel economy of 35.3mpg and CO2 emissions from 149g/km and overall the CO2 emissions and fuel economy are impressive for an MPV of this size. The entry-level petrol model’s low list price also makes it a sensible choice for families sticking to school runs and shorter urban commutes.
It’s fair to say that large MPV cars like the Ford Galaxy will never be what dreams are made of; they exist to fulfil a need. But for those looking for a large people-carrier, this superb option should be a serious consideration. Offering impressive interior space, highly flexible seating options and as much luggage storage as most families could need, this MPV provides a surprisingly comfortable, quiet drive whether on short school runs or longer journeys.
Factor in a decent list price for the petrol models and a choice of trim levels and additional extras and the Ford Galaxy looks like an attractive option for families looking for a practical yet stylish MPV that’s extremely spacious, safe, and packs in some great tech features.
For more information on the Ford Galaxy or any of our other cars and vans, why not get in touch with your local Perry’s Ford dealership today!