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8 airbags, anti-skid control, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, parking sensors front & rear, power-fold door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, DAB radio, satnav, LED lights, auto lights & wipers, cruise control
While there are a lot of seven-seat MPVs on the market, few can comfortably carry seven adults. However, the new Ford Galaxy can do just that.
Aimed at user-choosers with more than three kids, businesses that will use the car to transport people on a regular basis - we're talking about the private hire market here - and those that just need the largest boot, Ford hopes to sell 3000 Galaxys a year. Approximately 45% of these will be to businesses and a further 20% through Motability.
Given the relatively low (for Ford) volumes, the manufacturer is offering the Galaxy with a surprisingly large number of engine and gearbox choices. There are four diesels and two petrols.
The 120hp, 150hp and 180hp 2.0-litre diesels with a manual gearbox all come in at 129g/km for CO2, so won't have any trouble getting onto fleet choice lists. However, the automatic, and preferable to drive, versions, add a further 10g/km, pushing them over the 130g/km cut-off for the writing-down allowance. The manual isn't a bad choice, it's just that the automatic suits the comfortable, refined character of the car.
There is a 210hp diesel, and two petrol engines on offer - a 160hp 1.5 and a 240hp 2.0 - but both come in at driver-scarring tax bands. Ford has also said it will offer the Galaxy with a four-wheel drive option on the 180hp diesel, but this pushes the CO2 up to 149g/km.
Despite the car's size (it's 4.8m long), as soon as you get underway it hides its bulk very well on the road, which is just what you want. The suspension is on the comfortable side, but accurate steering means you retain comfort and control on twistier roads.
Engine refinement in all conditions is first rate, but a small amount of wind noise at motorway speeds can be heard if the radio's off.
Inside, there's plenty of room for the first five occupants, and even the third row of seats can easily take two adults, although they won't be quite as comfortable as the first five thanks to smaller seats and less legroom.
In seven-seat mode there's enough room for a couple of suitcases or half a weekly family shop. In five-seat configuration, there's a whopping 700 litres of space below the window line, which is more than any normal family needs for a holiday.
However, the interior isn't perfect. Some of the materials in the dashboard feel like lower-grade plastics, particularly the glovebox. There's also no USB connections in the rear of the Galaxy, although there are two in the front.
Ford is offering a Family Pack for £375 that adds a three-pin socket in the rear, side window blinds and power-fold/unfold third-row seats, which has to a desirable option.
With competitive pricing and strong residual values, the cost per mile figure from KwikCarcost puts the Galaxy ahead of its main rival, the about-to-be-replaced VW Sharan, which makes the Ford an easy class leader.
Ford Galaxy Titanium 2.0 TDCI 180
Model price range £26,445-£36,760
Fuel consumption 56.5mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 129g/km (23%)
BIK 20/40% per month £117/£235
Boot space (min/max) 200*/2339 litres
Engine size/power 1998cc/180hp
At the right points in the range, the Galaxy is hard to beat if you need the largest of MPVs