Ford Galaxy vs Citroen Grand C4 Picasso & SEAT Alhambra
We see if Ford’s new Galaxy can divert some of the MPV glare away from award winners from Citroen and SEAT
Ford clearly thinks two cars are better than one in the MPV class. Its Galaxy and S-MAX people carriers have been sold side-by-side for nearly a decade, and this year sees the launch of all-new versions of both.
We’ve already tested the S-MAX, where it came second to Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso. In that test, we thought the new Galaxy, with its bigger internal dimensions, might be a better pick than the S-MAX. Now we can find out.
Once again we’ve lined up the Grand C4 Picasso for a rematch – can our class champ’s price advantage make up for the fact it trails the Ford on space?
The Citroen retained its Best MPV crown at our New Car Awards 2015, plus we’re throwing into the mix the model that won the gong in 2013 – the SEAT Alhambra – to see exactly where the Ford fits in the seven-seat MPV market.
So, how will the new Galaxy compare against two of the best in the business?
Click the links above for individual reviews, and scroll down to see which large family holdall comes out on top...
Our measuring tape reveals the Galaxy has the largest boot floor area of these three, but the Grand C4 Picasso offers a lower lip, which makes loading easier. The Ford’s tailgate doesn’t open very high, so tall users may bang their heads, while the SEAT’s sliding doors mean you’re unlikely to suffer any car park dings when opening them.
All three cars feature a trio of Isofix mounts in the middle row, and enough room to fit three child seats comfortably. SEAT offers a pair of integrated child seats for £425. These feature pop-up seatbases and headrests with additional side protection, and use the standard seatbelts.
The Grand C4 Picasso is the cleanest car. It emits 105g/km, compared to 129g/km for the manual Galaxy and 158g/km for the Alhambra. Go for an auto, and the figures are 115g/km for the Citroen, 139g/km for the Ford and 154g/km for the SEAT.
1st place: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
It’s clear that the Grand C4 Picasso is very tough to beat in the people carrier class. It doesn’t have the outright boot space of the Ford Galaxy, but it more than makes up for it with a host of practical touches. Combine this with a relaxed and refined driving experience, low running costs and a long kit list at a great price, and it really is the only car to choose for big families.
2nd place: Ford Galaxy
The Galaxy is a refined and comfortable people carrier, and there’s no arguing with the vast boot space. However, the car has lost the driving pizzazz that made its predecessor so attractive. Plus, it feels cheap inside compared to the Picasso, despite its higher list price. Running costs are reasonable on the auto model, but we’d save even more cash and take the S-MAX instead.
3rd place: SEAT Alhambra
There’s a lot to like about the SEAT, including its spacious cabin, useful sliding doors and long kit list. It’s also surprisingly involving to drive, yet doesn’t offer a big enough space advantage over the Citroen to justify its price. The diesel is punchy, but high CO2 and running costs hold it back – although the imminent new model, with its cleaner engine, should be more competitive.
|Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 2.0 BlueHDi (150) Exclusive+||Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi (180) auto Titanium||SEAT Alhambra 2.0 TDI (177) SE Lux|
|On the road price/total as tested||£27,110/£30,680||£32,345/£37,265||£32,420/£37,060|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£10,925/40.3%||£13,067/40.4%||£12,093/37.3%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£1,028/£2,056||£1,608/£3,216||£1,867/£3,734|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,430/£2,384||£1,603/£2,672||£1,603/£2,672|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||25/£412/B/£20||24/£419/E/£130||22/£400/G/£180|
|Servicing costs||£499 (3yrs/35k)||£390 (2yrs)||£20p/m (24 months)|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,997cc||4cyl in-line/1,997cc||4cyl in-line/1,968cc|
|Peak power/revs||148/4,000 bhp/rpm||178/3,500 bhp/rpm||175/4,200 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||370/2,000 Nm/rpm||400/2,000 Nm/rpm||380/1,750 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd auto/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||55 litres/repair kit||70 litres/space saver||70 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity (7/5/2 seat modes)||165/632-793/2,181 l||300/1,206/2,339 l||267/658/2,297 l|
|Turning circle||10.8 metres||11.6 metres||11.9 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/1yr||3yrs (60,000)/2yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20k miles (1yr)/196||18k miles (1yr)/781||Variable miles/128|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||20th/9th||25th/26th||15th/27th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||86/88/68/5 (2013)||N/A||96/80/46/5 (2010)|
|0-60/30-70mph||9.8/9.2 secs||9.4/9.0 secs||9.4/9.2 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||4.0/6.9 secs||3.7 secs (kickdown)||3.6/5.5 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||7.9/10.9 secs||5.3 secs (kickdown)||7.1/8.9 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||130mph/1,900rpm||129mph/1,900rpm||129mph/2,100rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||45.5/10.0/550 miles||40.6/8.9/625 miles||40.6/8.9/625 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||166/105g/km/19%||186/139g/km/25%||186/158g/km/29%|
|Auto box/stability/adaptive cruise ctrl||£1,350/yes/no||Yes/yes/£900||£1,285/yes/no|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/part/£2,000||Yes/£3,050/£250||Yes/yes/yes|
|Met paint/LED lights/power tailgate||£520/£750/yes||£545/£1,000/£400||£585/no/yes|