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Ford Galaxy 2010 road test report


The Galaxy gains a new turbo petrol engine and twin-clutch gearbox, while the diesel engine line-up is also revised. Upgraded trim levels bring more standard equipment, but the Galaxy’s impressive seven-seat space and comfort remain intact. With excellent economy and emissions from the diesels, the Galaxy maintains its place as a family and fleet favourite.

Road Test Reports Says4.5 star rating
A front-facing image of the Ford Galaxy

Image number 2 of the Ford GalaxyImage number 3 of the Ford GalaxyImage number 4 of the Ford Galaxy

Performance Performance - 5 stars

Ford has rationalised the engine line-up for the Galaxy as part of the MPV’s 2010 facelift. The engine bay is the part of the Galaxy that has come in for the greatest attention, playing host to a new turbo petrol engine and three revised turbodiesels. The entry-level engine remains the 143bhp 2.0-litre petrol with five-speed manual gearbox, though this engine feels underwhelming when the Galaxy is carrying more than a couple of passengers. The new 2.0 SCTi EcoBoost turbo petrol engine is a much better bet thanks to 200bhp and 221lb.ft spread between 1750- and 4500rpm to give broad shouldered shove. This engine is only available with Ford’s new six-speed Powershift double-clutch gearbox that does away with a clutch pedal yet offers manual or automatic gearchanges depending on the driver’s mood. Ford has done away with the 1.8-litre turbodiesel engines and in their place are three 2.0-litre turbodiesels in 113-, 138- and 161bhp, all with six-speed manual gearboxes as standard. The two more potent turbodiesels are also available with the Powershift transmission. All pull strongly and freely, so dropping the 2.2 turbodiesel from the Galaxy range is no great loss.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 4 stars

For such a large car, the Galaxy provides impressively controlled handling. This is a full-size seven-seat MPV but it makes light work of curving country roads thanks to suspension that keeps body lean to a welcome minimum. Accurate, well weighted steering is another contributor to the overall feel of nimbleness and it’s also light at parking speeds, while the turning circle is tight enough to make the large Galaxy easy to park. Over rut-addled roads, the Galaxy’s suspension is a little firmer than a Renault Espace’s, but it gives the Ford much superior handling, which helps avoid the body swaying in bends that can induce nausea in children. It’s also good fun for the driver when the car is empty of other occupants. Fully loaded, the Galaxy’s ride and handling are unaffected and remain supple and controlled. In town, the Galaxy is also comfortable and easy to see out of in all directions, while refinement is excellent at all speeds.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 4 stars

The Galaxy is hugely popular with private hire taxi firms and they put their cars through a stern test of high miles in short periods. The Galaxy has come out of this well and remains popular with business users, so there’s no concern over this Ford going the distance. The new turbo petrol engine and dual-clutch are unproven quantities, but given Ford’s ever improving quality and strong reliability record these should pose no worries. Build quality inside the Galaxy is generally very high, though some of the plastic trim to the lower sections of the seats could be a little more finished to avoid the occasional scuffed finger.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 5 stars

The Galaxy may have been facelifted but it’s five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating remains to make it one of the safest places you put the family while driving. There are twin front, side and full length curtain airbags, which extend to protect those in the third row of seats, as well as a driver’s knee airbag, and all as standard across the range. Anti-lock brakes are standard and most models have ESP traction control fitted. Other optional safety kit includes Ford’s new blind spot recognition system to tell the driver if there’s a car hidden from the driver’s view while passing or being overtaken. Ford Adjustable Speed Limiter Device also lets the driver set a maximum speed between 20- and 110mph the car will not exceed. Deadlocks, alarm, immobiliser and a visible VIN all deter thieves.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 5 stars

The Galaxy is one of the few remaining full-size seven-seat MPVs around and it is one of an even smaller group that truly can carry seven people, regardless of age. The key to this is the third row of seats, which offers generous space for two adults without cramping their style. This is down to the space under the bases of the middle row seats that allow third row passengers’ feet to sit underneath, freeing up more legroom and greatly improving comfort compared to most of the Galaxy’s rivals’. The middle row seats are also more than capable of carrying adults in comfort, and all seven seats have three-point seat belts for safety. The five individual rear seats all fold flat into the floor, so no need to remove them when you want to carry larger loads, and they offer a big choice of load- and passenger-carrying options. With the third row seats occupied, boot space is small, but the Galaxy comes with roof rails where a load box can be attached for added cargo space. Up front, the driver is well looked after for space and comfort and the driving position is much more saloon-like than most MPVs’ truck-like steering wheel and seat combinations.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 4 stars

The Galaxy costs similar money to some very good family estates or executive cars, but it’s worth the cash if you need seven seats. It’s also worth remembering that Ford dealers are likely to be up for some haggling on the price, plus the Galaxy does not suffer unduly from depreciation as there’s always a ready market in the used trade. The new diesels are very frugal and the latest turbo petrol engine makes sense for those who may not cover such a high mileage. Running costs are reasonable and Ford dealers are among the cheaper for labour rates and servicing. The revised range of Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X bring plenty of standard kit, including air conditioning, CD stereo, electric windows and alloy wheels.

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