Car Review: Ford - Galaxy  Series 06 (4 stars)

The accomplished Ford Galaxy shows there's life in the people carrier yet

The revolution started in the early eighties with the Renault Espace, but with so many niche cars around these days, has the traditional MPV had its time? Clearly Ford doesn't think so, as the Galaxy continues to be one of its big sellers. It has worked hard to make it look less like a Galaxy, though - gone are the relentlessly boxy lines but it is still far from the dynamic poise of the smaller S-Max.

The cabin is practical and spacious - the boot is huge when there are five in the car and still has room for a few things when there are seven along for the ride. Those rearmost two seats are really only suitable for younger children if you are travelling over a longer distance, though.

The interior does lack some of the more innovative touches of rival cars - the seats in the Vauxhall Zafira, for instance, can be put up and down almost one-handed. That said, the cabin is incredibly practical and there are cubbies and storage bins all over the place.

It's not all successful though - the aircraft cabin-style storage bins are clumsy to use and the plastics feel quite cheap in some places. While this does affect the perceived quality of the Galaxy, every model comes with a decent amount of kit as standard and the safety equipment count is good too, with plenty of airbags for the first two rows of passengers.

The ride is smooth and the cabin remains impressively quiet - refinement is excellent, and the Galaxy is quite at home on the motorway. It is certainly not a driver's car, but you would have to be resigned to that already if you were thinking about a car from this segment. The consolation is a very relaxing drive, however.

When it comes to the engines, the 2.0-litre petrol is a strong performer, but the vast majority of customers are likely to go for the torquey and more economical diesels and for good reason. The top 2.0-litre TDCI is the pick of the bunch, hustling the Galaxy along nicely.

The driver only partially resigned to miserable days behind the wheel of a family bus should have a look at the S-Max - it's almost as practical, cheaper and much better to drive - but the Galaxy remains an accomplished people carrier and deserves worthwhile consideration.

Ford Galaxy Series 06 StatisticsCar Reviews

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