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Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi Ghia

Date: 30 August 2006

Category: MPV
Prices: £19,495-£23,995
Key rival: Renault Grand Espace

In the first six months of this year Ford's Galaxy was toppled from its first place in the full-size MPV fleet sales chart by newcomer Kia with its Sedona. Kia should enjoy this class-leading experience while it lasts, because the new Ford Galaxy is now on sale and heading back to the top of the pack.

With the full costs, UK pricing and spec now available for the Galaxy we can see how it will go about reclaiming its top spot.

From our first drive of the car at the international launch in Spain we know the Galaxy is a great vehicle to drive and features a simple fold-flat seat system, while its design pushes the quality image. Our first drive in the UK has reaffirmed this but highlighted a couple of niggles - the boot of our test car often refused to close properly on first slam and the driver's interior door handle surround was loose. It's also a disappointment to see that anti-skid control is an option across the range and not standard, even on the top-spec Ghia model we tested.


Ford has, however, clearly worked hard to make the Galaxy a costs winner. Although the P11D price is higher than its rivals listed below, the running costs are the lowest. It is also interesting to note that the equivalent Renault Espace - the vehicle that founded this sector and now only the sixth best seller - costs £2500 more than the Ford and would come last for cost per mile.

The Galaxy's low whole-life costs are thanks in main to a low SMR figure and excellent fuel economy of 43.5mpg. The CO2 figure of 172g/km is low, too, and means drivers qualify for the 24% benefit-in-kind tax band.