Road test: Ford Galaxy

Posted on August 21st, 2015 by James Luckhurst

The new Ford Galaxy is extremely practical, and drives well, too.

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Road test: Ford Galaxy

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What is it?

The fourth generation Ford Galaxy is a large seven-seat MPV which shares some of its underpinnings with the latest Mondeo. It’s new from the ground up.

How safe is it?

There’s no Euro NCAP test for the current Ford Galaxy however the previous generation scored five stars for occupant protection. The new car has eight airbags and anti-skid control.

Who should buy one?

The Galaxy is aimed squarely at private hire business users and large families, we’re talking four or five kids, or those needing a massive amount of boot space on a regular basis.

Road test by Tristan Young published 21 August 2015

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Road test: Ford Galaxy
Ford knows how to make almost any size of car drive well on UK roads and the Galaxy is no exception. Despite the car’s size (it’s 4.8m long) as soon as you get underway it hides its bulk very well on the road, which is just what you want and makes both open-road driving and city manoeuvrability easy.
The suspension is on the comfortable side, but it’s far from sloppy. You retain comfort and control on twistier roads, helped by accurate steering.
Engine refinement in all conditions is first rate but a small amount of wind noise at motorway speeds can be heard if the radio’s off.
Power delivery from the 180PS (178bhp) diesel is very linear and strong. Hauling seven adults around wouldn’t pose the Galaxy any difficulty. The 0-60mph time of 9.6 seconds for this car seems believable.
The 150PS (148bhp) diesel sees this figure drop to 10.9 seconds which should still be plenty for such a large car. However, the 120PS (118bhp) diesel may be a bit sluggish and struggle on hills when loaded. Its 0-60mph time comes in at 13.6 seconds.
Other engine options include a 210PS (207bhp) bi-turbo diesel and a 160PS (158bhp) 1.5-litre petrol. There are four-wheel-drive versions of the 150PS diesel manual and the 180PS diesel automatic, which could well appeal if you tow regularly or live out in the sticks and need to stay mobile in all weathers.
Despite the additional cost of the automatic gearbox (£1600) it suits the large MPV far better than manual. The manual ‘box isn’t bad, it’s just that the smooth-shifting auto is a better fit with the Galaxy’s urbane and refined character.
The driver has good visibility for the most part, mainly due to the high driving position. However, the A-pillars can still obscure the road somewhat at turnings.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Road test: Ford Galaxy

If a car as visually huge as the Ford Galaxy isn’t getting five out of five for space and practicality then something would have been very wrong in Ford’s vehicle design and engineering department.
In seven-seat mode there’s still just about enough room to get a week’s shopping in the boot. Folding the rear row of seats – which can be done at the touch of a button – increases the boot to a whopping 700 litres below the parcel shelf. Fold the middle row too and use the Galaxy as a van and you’ll get 2339 litres of space. No one really needs more.
If you’re carrying people rather than luggage then there’s plenty of room for the first five occupants and even the third row of seats can easily take two adults – it’s just that they won’t be quite as comfortable as the first five thanks to smaller seats and less leg- and shoulder-room.

SAFETY
Road test: Ford Galaxy

Being based on the new Mondeo (which scored five stars overall in Euro NCAP testing) the Galaxy should perform strongly when it’s tested. At extra cost you can choose seatbelt airbags to further improve occupant safety – although these aren’t suitable for use with child seats secured by the seatbelt rather than ISOFIX mounting points. Talking of ISOFIX, we’re surprised that a family-oriented car like this doesn’t have mounting points in the front passenger seat.

EQUIPMENT
Road test: Ford Galaxy

Standard kit is good across the range with highlights including DAB radio, front and rear parking sensors, steering wheel controls, keyless start, dual-zone air conditioning, a heated windscreen and Bluetooth connectivity. Higher trim levels are very well specified with navigation, power-fold rear seats and power-fold door mirrors. We spotted one notable omission, though – there’s no USB connection for passengers in the middle or rear seats, so the kids could struggle to charge their phones on the move.

COSTS

Road test: Ford Galaxy

Avoid the petrols and four-wheel-drive versions and pick all but the highest (210PS) diesels and both fuel and tax costs will be good for the sector. The 120PS, 150PS and 180PS with the manual gearbox all come in for Band D VED and return an official combined figure of 56.5mpg. The auto gearbox is better to drive but adds £1600 to the list price and drops the consumption to 52.3mpg.

WE SAY

The new Ford Galaxy is extremely practical, and drives well, too.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £50,185
Performance: 0-60mph in 9.8 seconds
Economy: 56.5mpg combined
Insurance: Group 24E
Tax: Band D (£0 first year, £110 thereafter)

Figures for the Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCI 180 Titanium