New Ford Galaxy - An affordable family MPV
The Ford Galaxy is a spacious multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), designed to be able to transport large families and their luggage at an affordable price. The Ford Galaxy is not just a fantastic vehicle for those with growing families, but also private hire companies, as they make ideal airport transfer vehicles and taxis.
With the recent surge in buyers wanting trendy SUVs rather than large bulky MPVs, there is less direct competition for the Ford Galaxy but more overall competition with many SUVs now offering a 7-seat option. The Galaxy's direct rivals include the Volkswagen Sharan, SEAT Alhambra and Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, along with its sportier stablemate the Ford S-MAX.
One area where the Ford Galaxy stands out is its ability to carry seven adult occupants with ease, with no compromise to space and comfort. Most other 7-seater vehicles do not offer the same levels of space, and predominantly, the additional two seats at the rear are only suitable for small children, not adults. This is a massive thumbs up for the Ford Galaxy.
Ford has improved the styling characteristics of the current Galaxy, taking subtle hints of sportiness from the S-MAX as well as improving the technology package. The Galaxy is now a more appealing MPV and fits nicely into the modern world. Ford have currently cut the trim levels down to just two, Zetec and Titanium, as well as reducing the engine selection down to just two diesel offerings. It's expected that Ford will release a premium Vignale trim level at a later date which will offer more luxury and potentially a new engine.
Engines, Power and Performance
There was a selection of diesel and petrol (EcoBlue and EcoBoost) engines available during 2019; however, Ford decided to reduce the engine options to just a single diesel unit with varying power and torque outputs.
The entry-level engine option is a 2-litre EcoBlue with 150hp and 350Nm of torque. It is available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. The manual has a top speed of 123mph and the automatic 122mph, while they will both race from 0-62mph in 10.9secs.
The other engine choice is the same 2-litre EcoBlue unit, but with increased performance levels of 190hp and 400Nm of torque and is exclusively mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Opting for the more powerful unit gives the option of having all-wheel-drive (AWD) rather than the standard front-wheel-drive (FWD). When in FWD guise the 190hp Ford Galaxy will hit 0-62mph in 9.6secs while the AWD version takes a full second longer coming in at 10.6secs.
Although the Ford Galaxy is not designed to be as sporty or offer as much driver enjoyment as its smaller relative, the Ford S-MAX, it is by no means inadequate. It still gives a generous amount of feedback when you're driving, and it has a surprising amount of grip for such a large car. The Ford Galaxy is designed to give maximum comfort and space for up to seven adults, even on long journies.
Interior Quality and Technology
The interior of the new Ford Galaxy is where you will notice one of the most significant improvements, with a wider variety of premium plastics and aluminium trim pieces, combined with an improved list of standard technology features.
The entry-level Zetec model comes with the latest Ford Sync 3 infotainment system, controlled through an 8-inch colour touchscreen and voice control. Some of the other features include; dual-zone climate control, sports seats, front and rear parking sensors, eCall and smartphone connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
If you decide to opt for the top-spec Titanium model, you will also get sat-nav, Ford's KeyFree system and a 10.1-inch colour TFT driver display cluster. You can also select the Titanium Lux Pack for a small additional fee, adding a few useful features such as Adaptive LED Headlamps, leather seats and power-assisted tailgate.
Front to back, the interior of the Ford Galaxy is a marked improvement over the outgoing model. Not only is it better equipped with an increase in quality materials, but it's also more comfortable; feeling solid and well put together. Ford has also reduced the amount of exterior noise by increasing the levels of soundproofing, allowing for a more pleasant journey for all passengers front or rear.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Ford Galaxy is one of the most spacious seven-seater vehicles available today. Thanks to its vast interior space, the Galaxy will seat seven adults with ease. In contrast, many rivals claim to be able to seat seven but actually have very limited space in the third row and can only suitably accommodate a couple of kids.
In the front, headroom and legroom are abundant, along with adjustable seats and steering wheel, creating a comfortable ride. The second row of seats again offer a good amount of head and legroom and slide backwards and forwards individually to increase legroom if needed.
The rear two seats (third row) will fit a couple of adults with a generous amount of legroom and headroom, to allow for a relaxing and comfortable journey no matter how long it is. There is a selection of storage cubbies throughout the cabin including generous door pockets, multiple cupholders and a couple of picnic tables on the back of the front seats for those seats on the second row to use.
The Galaxy has one of the more impressive boot spaces of all current seven-seater MPVs, with a standard maximum capacity of 300 litres with all seven seats in place. When you fold the two rear seats down capacity climbs to an impressive 1301 litres and an impressive 2339 litres with all the rear seats folded away.
The Ford Galaxy scored a top 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety test back in 2015 and, given the improvements and increase in safety features, it would be safe to assume the latest model will also achieve a top rating when next tested.
Some of the standard safety features across each model include; cruise control with speed limiter and intelligent speed assist, Pre-Collision Assist with cyclist and pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition and front and rear parking sensors. There are additional features which come as part on optional extra packs such as Blindspot monitoring, a rearview camera and Active Park Assist.
Overall the new, updated Ford Galaxy is a fantastic and practical large MPV and should be a strong contender for anyone who is in the market looking for their next large family cruiser.