Ford's car-like

family mover

Ford Galaxy, action
Ford Galaxy, rear
Ford Galaxy, interior
Ford Galaxy, interior
Ford Galaxy, loading

I HAVE long been impressed by the Ford Galaxy's great range of abilities.

This is Ford's full-size seven seat people carrier but it handles and holds the road like a much smaller car, with very little roll and a very car-like feel.

However, this does mean that its ride is firmer than that in some of the opposition.

There was a very wide range of engines in the model built from 2006 to 2014, but latterly, there was a 1.6 turbo petrol with 157bhp and a 2.0-litre with either 142 or 200bhp.

Diesels started with a 113bhp 1.6, and then came a 2.0-litre with 140 or 163bhp. There was also a range topping 2.2 with 200bhp.

Obviously the diesels are the ones to go for unless your mileage is small, since they should better 40 miles per gallon with careful driving, and my best buy would be the 2.0-litre 140bhp version.

This has easily enough power for the weight and never feels short of urge even when loaded to the roof.

All are very easy to drive and, since most have parking sensors, they are also reasonably easy to park.

They are hugely family friendly and, of course, most garages can service them.

Inside, they are immensely practical and spacious, with seven independent seats. The rear five all fold easily down into the floor to create a huge load space and there are plenty of stowage compartments all round the cabin.

The inside is huge with loads of room for five and enough for seven without too much luggage.

Ford actually has twolargepeople carriers in its range - the S-MAX and the Galaxy. They're based on the same underpinnings, but the Galaxy is the more practical of the two.

FAST FACTS

Price: Pay about £10,200 for an '11 11-reg Zetec, or £14,900 for a '13 13-reg Titanium

Mechanical: 138bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 120mph

0-62mph: 10.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 51

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 139g/km

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