► All-new Ford Galaxy revealed
► Shares platform with new S-Max
► Smarter seating and latest tech
We’re already familiar with the new Ford S-Max, the latest iteration of the Blue Oval’s sporty(ish) seven-seat MPV. Now it’s time to meet its boxier, more sensible sibling: the new 2015 Ford Galaxy is here.
No surprises on the design front. The new Galaxy slots neatly into Ford’s current design family, with the nose a variation on the current Fiesta/Focus theme, and the tail-lights now with more than a hint of Mondeo about them. That’s not the only bit of Mondeo content, of course. Like the new S-Max, the majority of the Galaxy’s underpinnings are shared with the new Mondeo.
How good is the new Ford Galaxy at being an MPV?
It’s still a seven-seater, and this time the second and third rows are said to be easier to reconfigure than before.
A new control panel in the boot has five buttons, one of which can flatten all the seats in one go, and another with the ability to raise the third row remotely. An entirely flat load area is possible, and there's a 20-litre well under the removable boot floor.
As you’d expect, each second- and third-row seat can be individually slid and reclined and Ford's endeavoured to make it easier than before to clamber in and out. The second row now slide and tilt in a single movement to make it a slightly more dignified scramble to the third row. A lower floor than the old Galaxy should help in that regard too.
The rear doors swing open normally rather than slide, as Ford says this allows greater elbow and shoulder room. The same ‘hands-free liftgate’ system as the Ford Kuga makes an appearance too, whereby a waggle of a foot under the rear bumper opens the tailgate. Handy when your arms are full of shopping bags and toddlers.
There are all kinds of cubby holes within the cabin to conceal Lego and crisp packets, and a secondary ‘child watch’ mirror is standard on all models.
Will it still be good to drive?
Let’s hope so. Decent driving dynamics made the previous Galaxy a far less numbing experience behind the wheel than most people carriers, and signs are the new one won’t let the side down.
Rear suspension is a multi-link arrangement, same as the new Mondeo and S-Max. Ford says the wheels are allowed a greater amount of rearward travel with the new setup, helping make the ride smoother for those riding in the back. The rear suspension’s self-levelling, to help compensate for heavy loads.
The dampers are electronically controlled, and enthusiastic drivers can choose exactly how car-sick they’re willing to make their passengers with three modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
What engines does the new Galaxy get?
There’s a decent spread of petrol and diesel options. Starting with the green pump range, it’s a choice between Ford’s 158bhp 1.5-litre EcoBoost or 2.0-litre 248bhp Ecoboost four-cylinder turbos.
On the diesel front, there’s a 2.0-litre TDCi single-turbo unit available with three power outputs (118bhp, 148bhp or 177bhp) but the only choice for parents always late on the school run has to be the new 217bhp TDCi Bi-turbo with a thumping 332lb ft of torque from 2000rpm.
There’s a host of safety tech too, with more airbags than you can shake a stick at, a more sophisticated stability control system and the new ‘Intelligent Speed Limiter’ system, which uses the traffic sign recognition camera to automatically prevent the Galaxy from breaking the speed limit, in theory. The headlights get the latest LED tech, able to partially blank part of the beam to prevent dazzling traffic while illuminating the rest of the road.
Seems like the new Galaxy’s got plenty going for it. Question is, can it maintain buyers’ interests in a sector that’s dwindling as a whole?