Ford Galaxy (2015) Review

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Ford Galaxy (2015) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Don’t be put off by the fact that the Galaxy is the default choice for private hire firms and airport taxi operators. This simply highlights the practicality, flexibility and efficiency of the car.

+As big and as practical as ever, excellent refinement and ride quality, plenty of modern technology, affordable running costs, five star Euro NCAP rating.

-Expensive particularly in upper trim levels, options add even more cost, S-MAX is cheaper.

Insurance Groups are between 17–28
On average it achieves 69% of the official MPG figure

We could mount a strong case for the Ford Galaxy being the perfect seven-seat MPV. Over many years, Ford has honed the Galaxy to within an inch of perfection, making it the ideal choice if you’re after an MPV with seven proper seats. Not five seats with a couple of cramped excuses for seats in the third row. A proper seven-seater. 

Looking for a Ford Galaxy (2015 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Ford has a habit of building cars that could stake a claim for being the brand generic in their respective segments. Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Transit, even the Mustang. Then there’s this: the Ford Galaxy. It is, without question, one of the best seven-seat MPVs you can buy.

Launched in 2015, and facelifted in 2019, the Galaxy is a genuine seven-seater. That’s seven seats for seven adults, not seats for five people and a couple of grumbling children in the very back. Little wonder the Galaxy has become the choice of private hire firms across the land.

It’s not in the least bit exciting, but if you want some flair to go with your seven-seater – at the expense of some practicality – the S-Max is a ready-made alternative. Not that we’d steer you away from the Galaxy, because this is the kind of vehicle designed to make family life as stress-free as possible.

Even in seven-seat mode, the boot offers 300 litres of luggage space, which is roughly the same amount you’ll find in a spacious supermini or a small family hatchback. There’s a massive 1,301 litres available in five-seat mode, or a cavernous 2,339 litres if you don’t need the five rear seats. Throw into the mix three Isofix points, plenty of storage bins and pockets, plus the ability to slide the middle row of seats back and forth, and you’ve got the hallmarks of the perfect family transport.

It gets better, because the cabin has a surprisingly upmarket feel, while even the entry-level Zetec trim packs a generous level of standard equipment. You could find that you don’t need to upgrade to the Titanium trim.

While it’s not as nice to drive as the Ford S-Max, you’ll appreciate the lofty driving position and the comfortable ride. There’s very little wind and road noise, even on a motorway, while the fact that it’s based on the same platform as the Mondeo means that it doesn’t turn to blancmange when you reach a corner.

The petrol engines were ditched as part of the 2019 facelift, so you’re left with a 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine available in a choice of outputs. The 150hp version should be adequate for your needs, but a more powerful 190hp version and all-wheel-drive are available if you need them. We think the 150hp engine in Zetec trim and the eight-speed automatic transmission is the Galaxy range sweet-spot.

Everything is shaping up to be a perfect review, then? Almost, but not quite. The dull styling lets the side down, as does the drab cabin. There’s also the image, with the Galaxy associated with private hire firms and taxi operators.

If such things matter little to you, then you’ll find much to love about the Ford Galaxy. Why cram your family into a ‘5+2’ SUV or MPV when the Galaxy allows everyone to enjoy plenty of headroom and legroom? You’ll also be the most popular person on the street when your neighbours need a lift to the airport… 

Ask Honest John

Are there any cars with sliding doors that fit three child seats?
"I want a car or MPV with sliding doors for a family of three kids and two adults. I currently have a Ford S-MAX and we can get three child seats in the middle row but obviously that doesn’t have sliding doors. I’m considering the Mazda 5 but want to know if the middle row will hold three seats. We don’t want to go as big as the SEAT Alhambra. Hope you can help."
Unfortunately, the Mazda 5 is not compatible with what you want. It's very unlikely to seat all three kids in the back - and it only has two Isofix anchor points in the second row anyway. That leaves you with two options (unless you can think of an alternative model I haven't): 1) a larger car like the Sharan or MPV with sliding doors, 2) a slightly smaller car without sliding doors. You're unlikely to get a smaller car with sliding doors, essentially. Here are some models that fit three child seats across the back (but not all have three Isofix points): 1)Audi Q7 2) Peugeot 5008 3)VW Touran 4) VW Sharan/SEAT Alhambra 5) Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 6) Ford Galaxy 7) Renault Grand Scenic 8) Citroen C5 Aircross (two outer seats get isofix mounts) 9) Vauxhall Combo Life/Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Rifter (second row gets 3 isofix points and fits 3 child seats, but the third row with two seats isn't suitable for car seats. It has sliding doors but is obviously much larger than your S-MAX as it's van-based). 10) Volvo XC90
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Is the Ford Powershift gearbox reliable?
"I am a fan of the Ford Galaxy - I am currently driving my fourth manual model. However, I am thinking of changing to an automatic as I get older. What are Ford automatics like? "
Like a wet clutch DSG, the 6-speed wet clutch Getrag Powershift in the Galaxy requires a change of transmission fluid every three years or every 38,000 miles whichever comes first and if they don't get this they are prone to failure. Since the current model was introduced in 2016 they have had 6-speed torque converter autos and these were replaced in late 2018 with 8-speed torque converter autos, identified by a rotary selector.
Answered by Honest John
Is the Powershift in the Ford Galaxy reliable?
"Would a 2012 Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi with a Powershift transmission be prone to suffer expensive transmission repair bills in the future? I have read adverse reports on the Powershift transmission, but not sure if they apply to the dry plate transmission as in the Fiesta and Focus or the wet plate transmission as fitted to Ford diesels?"
The high torque wet clutch Powershift in the Mondeo, Galaxy and S-MAX is reasonably reliable. But, like a wet clutch DSG, absolutely has to have a change of fluid and filter every three years or 38k miles, whichever comes first, or it is prone to failure. Because this costs £200 to £400, many people neglect it and that's where the Powershift's reputation for failure came from.
Answered by Honest John
Our car won't start and no one seems to know why?
"I have a 2011 Ford Galaxy and it has just stopped starting. It is currently sitting at our local Ford garage who have run two diagnostic tests - one mechanical and one electrical test - and have come up. They have apparently emailed the Ford technical department for further advice and what to do next. Can you help with any advice? When we tried to start it, it didn't turn over at all. There was just a lot of clicking and a slight smell of electrical burning from under the bonnet."
If a diesel engine fails to start from cold then either the fuel is not getting through (possibly low pressure tank sender pump or injection pump failure) or the glowplugs are not glowing. It reads like the starter motor and ring seized together. The clicking is the relay opening. The smell of electrical burning is from persistently trying to make a connection to a failed, seized electrical component.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Ford Galaxy (2015) cost?

Buy new from £26,360 (list price from £33,395)