From £25,300
Petrol Galaxy is worth considering if you wince at price of superior diesel versions

Our Verdict

Ford Galaxy
The Galaxy no longer has anything in common with the Volkswagen Sharan

The Ford Galaxy is a seven-seat MPV that's surprisingly easy to place on the road, despite its size. It isn't cheap though.

8 October 2011

What is it?

Ford’s big MPV fitted with the new-generation petrol 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine.

The Galaxy and S-max were the first vehicles in Ford of Europe’s range to be fitted with the larger 2.0-litre Ecoboost unit and the seven-seater offers the toughest test of the abilities of this smaller engine.

The 1.6 Ecoboost is available in Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X trim, with prices starting at £24,645 for the Zetec example. Ford ceased production of the £23,845 2.0-litre, 143bhp petrol Galaxy in September 2010, so the 1.6 Ecoboost Zetec is the cheapest in the range.

Our test car was the Titanium X trim that starts at £29,045. Optional extras fitted to our car – such as touch-screen sat-nav, reversing camera, metallic paint, front variable climate control, a retractable tow bar and uprated seats – pushed the price up to £33,195.

That sounds like a hefty price tag, although Ford’s research indicates that Galaxy customers traditionally opt for high-specced models.

What’s it like?

Married to a slick six-speed manual gearbox, the Galaxy 1.6 Ecoboost is a capable, quiet and relatively efficient MPV.

If the Galaxy is to be used as Ford intended – as an efficient transporter of sprawling families and swallower of luggage – then wisdom suggests a smaller-capacity petrol unit isn’t best suited to the task.

But with 158bhp and 177lb ft, the petrol unit isn’t short of power and torque, however, if you’re likely to make regular use of all seven seats or the maximum luggage capacity of 2325mm (in two-seat mode – one of 32 possible seating configurations), there will be occasions when you are left yearning for the extra low-end punch that most of the diesels in the range possess.

The Ford Galaxy has fairly precise handling for a vehicle of its size – 4820mm long and 2154mm wide – and stability is impressive for a vehicle with such proportions. Not that B-road blitzes will be high on the agenda of many Galaxy drivers, but even on a family trip to the inlaws/seaside/shopping arcade (delete as applicable) it is nice to be behind the wheel of a large vehicle that feels relatively involving to drive.

The driving position and cockpit ergonomics are hard to fault. The driver has an upright seating position that allows clear all-round visibility. Ford resculpted the centre console during the most recent Galaxy redesign to incorporate an integrated armrest and even more storage space than most families could find use for.

Should I buy one?

Although the 1.6 Ecoboost is an impressive engine in isolation, it’s difficult to build a completely compelling case for this Galaxy over its diesel brethren. Most of the oil-burning variants offer considerably better economy against the claimed 39.2mpg of the 1.6 Ecoboost, which features stop-start technology.

On the 1.6 Ecoboost’s side is price: the Zetec version starts at £24,645 and the equivalent entry-level diesel is £25,445. It’s worth downloading the ‘petrol versus diesel’ calculator at our sister website, whatcar.com, to assess whether you’d save on a diesel in the long run.

If you yearn for the space and practicality of a Galaxy but the immediate impact on your wallet is a defining criteria, the 1.6 Ecoboost is worth considering.

Ford Galaxy 1.6 EcoBoost

Price as tested: £33,195; Top speed: 124mph; 0-62mph: 9.9sec; Economy: 39.2mpg (combined); CO2: 167g/km; Kerb weight: 1734kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1596cc, turbocharged, petrol; Power: 158bhp at 5700rpm; Torque: 177lb ft at 1600-4000rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
16

10 October 2011

I just cant get past the list price for these cars. About 1 years salary after tax for someone earning about £50,000. You get a 1.6 petrol people carrier. This is why people are buying premium brands because their equivalent vehicle costs less. This over an e class estate or for a few quid more a discovery.

10 October 2011

There is just no way i can imagine this being OK to drive once you put 7 people in it. Autocar should have taken a few extra bodies along for the brief test. A small petrol engine in a large car has never been a good way to achieve economy or performance. I am sure the extra grunt of the diesels will make them a much better choice. I doubt this will ever see much more than 25 mpg either, despite what the daft official tests say.

10 October 2011

Diesel is king in this sector. OK, I can understand why the odd person would wish a 2.5L if they're real anti derv, but who in their right mind would put a 1.6T in a car / load lugger like this? It makes no sense.

Would love to see the numbers sold after a year (that's sold to customers, not registered to a garage). If it's any more than 100 for the whole year I'll be truly amazed.

No word this engine has reached the S-Max. I couldn't see a case for the 2.0 ecoboost in that (Autocar has one on the fleet, the MPG is horrendous) so how the 1.6 will cope is any ones guess. Depreciation, not one of Ford's strong points at the best of times, must be mind boggling on a Galaxy 1.6 ecoboost

10 October 2011

[quote Autocar]

Should I buy one?

Although the 1.6 Ecoboost is an impressive engine in isolation, it’s difficult to build a completely compelling case for this Galaxy over its diesel brethren. Most of the oil-burning variants offer considerably better economy against the claimed 39.2mpg of the 1.6 Ecoboost, which features stop-start technology.

On the 1.6 Ecoboost’s side is price: the Zetec version starts at £24,645 and the equivalent entry-level diesel is £25,445. It’s worth downloading the ‘petrol versus diesel’ calculator at our sister website, whatcar.com, to assess whether you’d save on a diesel in the long run.

If you yearn for the space and practicality of a Galaxy but the immediate impact on your wallet is a defining criteria, the 1.6 Ecoboost is worth considering.

[/quote]

This vehicle is ideal for a certain sector of the market, a sector that is no less important than any other in the people carrier market - The school run mum.

For people who do short journeys but need the space, this car is a far better bet than the diesel equivalent, which is likely to suffer from DPF and other short journey related issues with this sort of use.

School run mum usually isn't worried about performance or concerned too much about her fuel consumption (within reason) because 9 times out of 10, she fills it up once a week and crawls to school, the park, or the shops and goes out at the weekend in her husband / boy friend / live in lovers car.

The only sticking point for me would be the price. This is a lot of money for this vehicle, no matter how well it is spec'd and because of the points above, there are plenty of competitors out there who will do the same boring job a lot cheaper and school run mum doesn't care if it has Ford or Renault or anything else slapped to the tail.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

10 October 2011

[quote PhilM4000]I just cant get past the list price for these cars. About 1 years salary after tax for someone earning about £50,000. You get a 1.6 petrol people carrier. This is why people are buying premium brands because their equivalent vehicle costs less. This over an e class estate or for a few quid more a discovery.[/quote]

Exactly. People carriers are getting more expensive because manufacturers feel the need to load these cars to the brim with expensive equipment. I thought that £25k was steep for a high spec diesel Zafira. Now we have a £33k Galaxy with a 1.6 petrol. I'm sure most MPVs are vomited in, have kids muddy shoes in them and are treated like a dump. A hose down interior would make the most sense. I know that Galaxys are used a lot for chauffeuring, but surely a 1.6 petrol wouldn't suffice for that; the diesels are much better suited to that particular job.

If I was in this market with £33k to spend, then I'd consider a seven seat E-Class Estate, a Zafira (the ongoing previous generation Zafira for a lot less), or a diesel Galaxy (or maybe an S-Max).

10 October 2011

[quote Fidji](the ongoing previous generation Zafira for a lot less)[/quote] I'm currently rolling around in a hired 1.8 petrol Zafira and looked up the list price out of curiosity - £23k! For an underpowered, poorly equipped, and poorly made box. If you can pick on up for under £15k fine, but not a penny more. As for the Galaxy, if you're doing a low mileage this will be fine; engine capacity doesn't mean much nowadays with popularity of turbos.

10 October 2011

[quote Will86] I'm currently rolling around in a hired 1.8 petrol Zafira and looked up the list price out of curiosity - £23k! For an underpowered, poorly equipped, and poorly made box. If you can pick on up for under £15k fine, but not a penny more[/quote]

Or do what some friends of our did and buy one at a year old for £10k.

My wife regularly gets Zafira's as hire cars and she hates them. Which is strange because she liked her old MK1 Meriva and loves her MK2 Meriva so she's not anti-Vauxhall. She just finds the Zafira noisey and uncomfortable and generally unpleasant to drive, and they have a stupid handbrake.

10 October 2011

[quote TegTypeR]school run mum doesn't care if it has Ford or Renault or anything else slapped to the tail.[/quote]My daughter's house is on a main road that is used as the drop off/pick up point for a junior and senior school and looking at the cars used I believe mums on the school run are just as brand aware as most posters on this website. My daughter, three sisters and nieces certainly have opinions on brands of cars they prefer and Ford and Renault are low on the list but Honda/BMW/MINI/Mercedes are at the top of their desires.

If it is considered more fashionable to drive a Mini convertible then the grandkids will just have to be squashed in, a bit like feet into fashionable shoes.

10 October 2011

[quote Lee23404]She just finds the Zafira noisey and uncomfortable and generally unpleasant to drive, and they have a stupid handbrake[/quote] It's engine noise that is really annoying me on the motorway, but it doesn't drive too badly (mines an SRI complete with useless Sport button). You're absolutely right about the handbrake, it's unpleasant and difficult to use and gets in the way of the 12V socket. Vauxhall should take a lesson from Ford on ergonomics.

10 October 2011

@TegTypeR,

School run mum? Seriously? Have you ever met one?

The Galaxy has many qualities, but appeal to the middle-class mummy set is not one of them.

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