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First Drive

Road Test: Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi 163 Titanium 5dr Powershift

£30,425 when new
Published: 19 Oct 2010


  • BHP


  • 0-62


  • CO2


  • Max Speed


  • Insurance


There's a posh cab company in London with a fleet of Galaxys just like this one. You'll often see them outside the BBC, just down the road from the TG office, waiting to smuggle Jordan and her assets across town. And just around the corner, there's a school, with another bunch of other Galaxys waiting to swallow children and satchels and sticky sweets.

As the big Ford has matured - this is the latest, facelifted version - so has its appeal. It'll do the bling thing and the kids thing, and sometimes both together, without ever feeling like a beige econo-box. Ford has sharpened and sculpted the front end, added some flashy chrome strips and inserted some LED rear lights. The overall effect is smart and limo-ish, especially with the optional gangster glass to keep out the paps.

It has a new 2.0-litre, 200bhp EcoBoost (that's greenspeak for ‘turbocharged') petrol engine and two new diesels, with 113 or 160bhp, along with an optional dual-clutch automatic. Despite the turbo, the petrol-auto combo feels slightly lethargic, which is irritating when you need to propel bulk of any magnitude. The high-power diesel-auto pairing is much more energetic, plus you get over 10mpg extra. And like before, there's a Mondeo chassis underneath, so it's surprisingly pointy for something so large.

All the cubbyholes and compartments remain the same, and the overall square footage is larger than some bedsits. The smaller S-Max might suit a medium-sized family, but more determined breeders will appreciate the extra room and flexibility of the Galaxy. Why squeeze three kids across one row when you can spread them over two? The Galaxy makes this possible with 32 seating combinations. And above the rear-view mirror, there's another smaller one, so you can keep an eye on squabbling nippers.

The joy of this thing is the flexibility. For hundreds of mums and dads - and the occasional minor celebrity - the Galaxy's poshification will make the people-carrier experience far more tolerable, perhaps even enjoyable. But if you don't want your shiny switchgear to become snot-encrusted, just de-spec it. And if you don't want little Timmy to ruin your expensive leather, go for the regular upholstery instead. You'll still be left with a hugely spacious and practical car that doesn't handle like a wonky bus.

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