In-depth reviews

Ford Galaxy review - Engines, performance and drive

The Ford Galaxy is smooth, refined and has a good range of diesel engines

Ford has a reputation for building cars that are fun to drive, and the previous generation Galaxy handled well, given that it was such a large MPV. However, the brand’s most recent large car platform (the same architecture that underpins the Ford Mondeo and S-MAX) is geared towards comfort rather than fun.

In the S-MAX, the new platform delivers a softer and more comfortable ride, and the Mondeo was a disappointment in comparison. Unfortunately, the Galaxy’s extra weight and size mean the driving experience is more like the Mondeo than the S-MAX.

Take it easy, however, and the Galaxy is nicely comfortable. The steering has a reasonable amount of weight (arguably not enough, but nobody buys an MPV based on this need), while stability and grip are superb, especially if you go for a four-wheel drive version. You can feel the body tipping from side to side in corners and the soft suspension is easily unsettled by any bumps, but that’s only when you’re really pushing on, which is pretty rare for MPV drivers.

The Galaxy now cruises along in near silence at town speeds and is remarkably hushed on the motorway. In fact we'd go as far as saying that the Galaxy is within touching distance of the most expensive luxury cars in terms of refinement, which is no mean feat. The suspension works well on smooth surfaces – it’s just firm enough to contain the Galaxy’s mass but not so hard that you can feel any small imperfections in the road.

The Ford S-MAX is still the go-to Ford MPV if you like to drive briskly, even though neither car is as sharp to drive as their predecessors. Fortunately, the Galaxy is still infused with enough of Ford’s handling expertise.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard but pay about £1,550 extra for the Powershift automatic gearbox and the Galaxy becomes even smoother.

Engine

Two turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engines were available: a 158bhp 1.5 and 237bhp 2.0 petrol, but these have both been replaced in recent years by a 1.5 EcoBoost 165PS. It manages 0-62mph in 10 seconds, although this will give fuel economy a pounding. It only comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive.

The diesels will take the overwhelming majority of sales. The 148bhp 2.0 TDCi 150 will be the best seller – it takes 10.9 seconds to reach 0-62mph and has plenty of acceleration in the mid-range. A lower powered 119bhp version is also available but it doesn’t offer any economy or emissions benefits and is a lot slower from 0-62mph, at 13.6 seconds, so it’s really just a cheaper option.

If you can stretch to the 187bhp 2.0 TDCi 190, the extra pulling power is worth it, especially when you’ve got a fully loaded car. The 237bhp variant of the 2.0 TDCi is the most powerful model in the range and is really quick for an MPV – it’s good for 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds – and offers heaps of mid-range punch.

Every version of the TDCi engine revs freely and there’s hardly any clatter that you might typically associate with a diesel, so it complements the Galaxy’s refined nature. Both the 150 and 190 engines get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of an auto box available - this is standard with the 240 motor. Four-wheel drive is available with the 150 manual, while the 190 can be had with 4WD with the auto box and in Titanium X trim only.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 EcoBlue Zetec 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £33,750

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.5 FHEV 190 Titanium 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £39,650

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 EcoBlue 190 Titanium 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £37,900

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