Ford Galaxy Review 2023

Ford Galaxy 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.

New prices start from £39,940
Insurance Groups are between 17–28
On average it achieves 70% 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. 

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… 

Looking for a second opinon? Why not read heycar's Ford Galaxy review

Ask Honest John

Should I buy a Ford Galaxy to replace my Ford Mondeo estate?

"I am thinking of changing my Ford Mondeo estate for a more recent Ford Galaxy auto. Not more than four years old and, say, not more than 30,000 miles with full service history. Which is the top spec for the Galaxy, the Titanium X? Any particular advice I should be aware of? "
The top-spec Ford Galaxy is the Titanium X – highlights over the Galaxy Titanium include a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and a reversing camera. It's a good choice if you need a big car, although most are diesels. Be careful about buying a low-mileage diesel as it might be hiding issues such as a blocked diesel particulate filter (DPF) if it's mainly been used around town. Many are used for private hire (i.e. taxis), too. A SEAT Alhambra or Volkswagen Sharan could be a good alternative. Also consider the slightly smaller Volkswagen Touran – it's a very versatile MPV.
Answered by Andrew Brady

How reliable is the Ford Galaxy?

"I was thinking of buying a used post-2016 Ford Galaxy as we want something with seven seats and a large load area for camping trips and so on. It has to be automatic for my wife to drive. Almost all the vehicles I've seen are diesel and look like they're ex-private hire. Nearly every single one is black. Do you think there would be any particular issues with vehicles of this provenance and are there any long term issues to watch out for when owning a Galaxy of this age? What about the reliability of the automatic transmission and likely condition of the DPF? "
You'll find all the issues we're aware of, here: High miles are okay so long as the car has been properly maintained and they could also mean the car has spent a lot of time on the motorway, which is good for the DPF. Taxis aren't necessarily a bad thing so long as they have been maintained, although a lot of history check services can find out if the car had a past life as a private hire car. I believe the Galaxy has a conventional automatic that is more reliable than the dual-clutch.
Answered by Russell Campbell

My Ford has the same clutch issue reappearing as I approach the end of warranty. Any guidance?

"I bought a 2018 Ford Galaxy powershift with 25,000 miles on the clock in January 2020. Within 6 months, a strange noise was coming from the front and the clutch felt as though it was slipping. It mainly happened uphill under load. I took it back to the dealership and Ford said there was a problem with the clutch - which was fixed over three days under warranty. The car is now emitting the same noise and the clutch feels as though it’s slipping, but it's done 57,000 - mainly motorway - miles. The three-year warranty finishes at the end of July or 60,000 miles. I again took it back to Ford because, to me, it’s the same clutch problem. This time they've said it’s not a warranty issue, instead, that it could be something to do with the oil not being moved properly when going uphill. They want to charge £350 to look at the clutch and reset some things without any guarantee it will be fixed. Any thoughts would be appreciated. "
Reads like the dealer is arguing that the clutch assembly is somehow contaminated with oil due to a leak from the engine or transmission. Or it may be a leaky slave and/or master clutch cylinder. Either way, the car needs to be checked by a qualified mechanic. If you do not want to pay £350 then I would suggest taking it to an independent Ford specialist. They will charge you for the diagnostic work but the cost will be much lower.
Answered by Dan Powell

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
More Questions

What does a Ford Galaxy cost?