The Ford Galaxy ticks all the right boxes for anyone looking for a sensible, practical used family car. With seven seats and lots of space, it’s ideal for big families. Unlike most seven-seat MPVs, the Galaxy has plenty of space for bags, even when the car is full of passengers. It’s good to drive, too – yes, we’re as surprised as you are.
If you’re shopping for a seven-seat MPV, it’s probably safe to say that looks aren’t top of your priority list. You’re looking for a dependable, long-term relationship with a car that’s good with kids – not a fling with an unreliable, impractical vehicle.
Well, the Galaxy may not turn too many heads, but we think it’s a handsome car in an understated way. With its swept-back headlights and sharply creased bodywork, it looks taut and toned rather than plain and podgy.
Not convinced? Take a look at the Ford S-Max. Ford’s other seven-seat MPV is sportier-looking than the Galaxy, although it’s not quite as practical.
We think it’s a handsome car in an understated way.
What’s it like to drive?
The Ford Galaxy is one of the very best MPVs to drive, whether you’re on the school run or hauling along the motorway to visit the in-laws. A comfortable ride means your passengers won’t be jostled around, even when the road is bumpy. Surprisingly nimble handling makes the Galaxy fun to drive as well as comfy.
Anyone shopping for a Galaxy will have a wide range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from. Take your pick to juggle performance and running costs – one of the 2.0-litre diesels hits the spot for many buyers, with enough performance to cope with a fully loaded car while keeping fuel bills low.
The Ford Galaxy is one of the very best MPVs to drive.
Space is what people carriers are all about, and the Galaxy has more than most. The cabin is brilliantly thought out, and hugely roomy. Every Galaxy has seven seats, and even the pair in the back have enough head and legroom for adults.
There’s more to the Galaxy’s cabin than sheer space though – it has lots of clever tricks up its sleeve. There are individual seats rather than a bench in the middle - and they slide, recline and fold independently. In fact, there are enough seating permutations to make your head spin.
Here’s an example – let’s say you’ve got a long load to put in the boot but you need space for five passengers. Lower the outer seats in the second and third rows and you have space for your lengthy luggage and five people.
The cabin is solidly made as well as practical, and all the controls are logically laid out. Most drivers should find the driving position comfortable, and there’s enough adjustment to the seat and wheel for both short and tall drivers to get settled.
Every Galaxy has a digital radio and touchscreen. Step up from the entry-level Zetec to Titanium for sat-nav, although the nav and entertainment system isn’t the slickest to use.
Most seven-seaters have little luggage space when all the seats are occupied. That’s not a big problem if you drive a Galaxy, as it still has enough room for lots of shopping bags.
With the back seats lowered, a family of five should find space for all their holiday luggage. Fold the middle seats away as well and you could moonlight as a removals company.
Storage is taken care of, too. There are big door bins in the front of the car, a usefully large glovebox, and plenty of cupholders and cubbies throughout the cabin – there are even compartments under the seats. Picnic tables on the back of the front seats are handy for snacking on the go.
Running costs and reliability
Today’s Galaxy has been around since 2015, and over the years it has been offered with a wide choice of engines and gearboxes. Most of them promise affordable running costs, especially compared with seven-seat SUVs.
The 2.0-litre diesel with various power outputs has been the mainstay of the range. The latest EcoBlue version with front-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox should return around 45-46mpg on the combined cycle. The same engine with an automatic gearbox achieves 43.5mpg in the official tests.
The more powerful 2.0-litre diesel comes with no fuel economy penalty, so long as you stick with front-wheel-drive. The 4x4 model makes a very capable alternative to a big SUV and should return 40.4mpg.
What we love
Most seven-seaters ask you to compromise. You can have enough space for seven adults, but in a car that’s dull to drive. Or you can have head-turning looks, but at the cost of some practicality. Not with the Ford Galaxy. It’s a have your cake and eat it, then go back for seconds kind of car.
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Town and country drivers
The Ford Galaxy does everything a seven-seat people carrier is supposed to do, and then some. It has the space and practicality a large family needs, without falling into the trap of being dull to drive. This is a big MPV everyone can enjoy, whether they’re a driver or passenger.
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