Long before the Puma birthed a small SUV from beyond its coupé grave, another Ford performed a similar act.
The Galaxie, once a large saloon in the late 1950s, returned as the Galaxy MPV in 1995. The name stuck, too, as evidenced by the two generations that followed, including the latest one you see before you.
What’s more, the current Galaxy has been around since 2015, meaning there are plenty to choose from on the used market. You only need around £13,000 to get yourself an early car with a mileage of less than 60,000, while year-old examples go for a reasonable £35,000.
You will be choosing from fairly different cars depending on age, mind you, and this is due to some noteworthy changes that have been rolled out over the years. There was the facelift of 2020, bringing with it refreshed styling and an updated infotainment system. In 2021, the model also went hybrid-only, dropping all the previous petrol and diesel options for a 187bhp 2.5-litre petrol and electric set-up.
Look for examples prior to that and you’ll find most Galaxy models are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine of 118bhp, 148bhp or 178bhp outputs, and there’s even a 207bhp twin-turbo version. Revisions in 2018 tweaked the latter two to 187bhp and 237bhp respectively. You also have a choice of a 158bhp 1.5-litre (revised to 163bhp in 2018) or 237bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines.
Another decision you’ll have to make is which trim level to choose, but never fear because standard equipment is generous across all of them.
Entry-level Zetec trim comes with 17in alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, climate control and an 8.0in touchscreen system with Bluetooth and DAB radio.
Titanium adds rear privacy glass, cruise control, lane keeping assistance, sat-nav and automatic lights and wipers.
Go for top-level Titanium X and you’ll get a rearview camera, an electric tailgate, leather seats that are both electrically adjustable and heated in the front and, finally, a panoramic sunroof.
You’re probably waiting for us to address this large MPV’s USP: space. Climb inside and the cabin is supremely spacious, no matter whether you’re in the front, middle or rear seats.
The middle row has room for three six-foot adults in reclining chairs that individually slide forwards and backwards. Like the Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan, the rearmost sixth and seventh seats will comfortably take average-size adults.
If you fold all five rear seats flat, you’ll make available a vast amount of space, but even in five-seat mode, the Galaxy has a bigger boot than most estate cars.
Bear in mind, however, that when all seven seats are in place, the amount of load bay room shrinks to that of a small car. This is true of almost all cars in the class, but at least the Galaxy has a handy hidden storage compartment below the floor that liberates a bit more space.
On top of all that, the Galaxy is good to drive and a comfortable thing in which to travel. Perhaps its dynamic competence isn’t such a surprise, though, given Ford’s success with the similar yet slightly smaller S-Max.
The Galaxy’s standard six-speed manual gearbox is precise and slick, while the optional six-speed (later eight-speed) automatic flits between gears smoothly and reacts quickly when you kick down for more acceleration. The hybrid has a CVT.
Need to know
It’s worth noting that the 2.0 TDCi 150 is as economical as the lesser 2.0 TDCi 120, at a claimed (NEDC) 56.5mpg and 129g/km, or 52.3mpg (WLTP). The 1.5 Ecoboost petrol propels the Galaxy well, with a claimed 43.4mpg and 149g/km. The Hybrid averages 44.1mpg.
Insurance groups start at 17, for the lowest-powered diesel, rising to 26 for the 2.0 petrol.
Safety and security includes six airbags, stability control, an alarm and an immobiliser.
Interior wear and tear: The Galaxy’s reliable, practical workhorse credentials are irrefutable, so large families love them – as do minicab companies. Make sure all of the seats fold properly, including the rearmost row, and that the interior trim is in good condition.
Headlights turning off without warning: Some early examples fitted with optional adaptive LED headlights might suffer with a software glitch that can switch the headlights off. Any Ford dealer will be able to upload the updated software to prevent any future problems, free of charge.
Zetec: Not only is it more common at cheaper price points than higher trims, but you also get all the basics plus creature comforts such as climate control. Front and rear parking sensors are particularly useful, too.
2.0 TDCI 150: The popular 148bhp 2.0 TDCi offers a good mix of performance and economy for a reasonable price. It suits the car well, with the torque to haul a load of people, luggage, shopping or anything else.
2.0T Ecoboost 240 Titanium X: The Galaxy goes big on space and practicality. If you want the power to match, the most potent engine can be found in the Titanium X examples on Autocar’s used car buying pages.