Ford Galaxy: car review

Posted on February 28th, 2013 by James Luckhurst

A highly practical MPV that more than held its own on a long journey to the Alps.

Ford Galaxy: car review

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What is it?
Ford Galaxy 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi costing £29,950

James Luckhurst’s review: Good Motoring, Spring 2013

The Galaxy appeared to be exactly what we needed in terms of space; after all, transporting two adults, one adult-size teen and two children on a 1,400-mile return journey required something roomy and capable. Loading up; prior to departure, we were pleased to see that the car swallowed everything easily in its massive boot. Only later did we find out that the boot floor wasn’t flat. So, at 11pm in a chilly roadside motel in France, we had to deal with most of our luggage sliding out onto the ground once we lifted the enormous rear door.

We arranged the cabin so that 13-year-old Eliza (already 5ft 8) could stretch out in the middle, with William and Dylan on each side of her in their usual seats. Eliza gave the space and comfort a big thumbs-up. She was right; there was plenty of space for three grown-ups in the rear, so the presence of bulky boosters to flank her seat caused no issues whatsoever. I also owe my wife Abby a big compliment for ensuring there was video entertainment on tap throughout the journey. Nearly 10 years ago, she carefully packed away an in-car DVD player so that we forgot we even had it. But it worked perfectly, so the journey passed peacefully, with a succession of suitably long films for the children to watch.

Up front, things weren’t quite so perfect. Equipment levels were good, and we especially liked the seat heater with its five different settings. There was also an opportunity to set ‘seat chill’ rather than heat, but as it was New Year and we were going skiing, you’ll forgive us for not making good use of this £450 extra feature. A couple of niggles: it became annoying that we couldn’t appear to use any of the electrics unless the engine was running. Also, the front seats became uncomfortable after more than three or four hours on the road. I’m not given to backache but I found myself complaining on the outward and return legs. Ride comfort generally was good: firm but never uncomfortable. Corners posed no comfort problems as there appeared to be no appreciable roll. All in all, the car showed itself to be eager and up to the hefty task we set for it and the long distances we needed to cover in it.

Performance from the 2.0-litre diesel engine was wholly adequate, and the economy was very good… though not quite what we were expecting (we hoped for 40mpg, but averaged 36).

Our accommodation in Samoens meant a five-minute ride to the ski lift car park each morning. We began the week by hiring lockers at the ski shop higher up the hill, thus removing the need to lug skis, boots and poles to and from the chalet each day. But the great space in the Galaxy meant this was really no problem – and in the end it proved much less of a faff.

In conclusion, we felt we had given the Galaxy a pretty thorough test – except on snowy roads – and it performed well. The sloping boot floor was a nuisance, while the space and creditable economy were, for us, its finest features.