Well, I have a slightly different story to tell about my experience of the Ford Galaxy and I'm afraid it doesn't make for great reading!
Firstly I would like to say that the layout of the car is fine, I have the rare 6 seater version with 3 rows of 2 seats giving the passengers extra room. There is indipendant heating for the rear passengers which is a plus.
The problems start with a rainwater problem. The galaxy has drainage channels that run from the sunroof, under the roof lining, down the inside of the car in line with the windscreen finally coming back outside by the front wheel arch. My car has been leaking rainwater in to the drivers foot well for some time due to the pipe that connects to the sunroof under the headlining not connecting properly. It's a nightmare to get fixed too as you have to strip the entire dashboard out!
The next problem is with the key. If you try to start the car too quickly it doesn't give the key time to communicate with the ECU and it thinks it's being stolen and refuses to start. The only way round this is to leave the key in the ignition for 10 mins to let them recognise each other again. This is quite annoying when your in a hurry and lately its been happening 4 to 5 times per week.
The temp guage only works when it feels like it.
The oil light illuminates when your reversing and have full lock on, but at no other time (there aren't any pressure issues).
I know this hasn't been the most positive review but I think people deserve an honest opinion and mine is stay well clear and save yourelf some cash.
THE CAR I am looking to buy an MPV, for my family. Before deciding whether to purchase it or not, I took a test drive of the Ford Galaxy 2.3 Ghia last weekend. MY IMPRESSIONS I found it to be spacious and convenient for 7 people to travel comfortably in. You can get the option of a 6 seater as well. The height adjustable swivel driver seat is convenient to get in and out of the car. The arrangement of 3 second row and 2 third row seats, allows you to remove the back 2 seats completely, whiuch in turn allows you to accomodate any excess luggage which I found there always is with 3 children. Electronically heated door mirrors are useful in the cold winter months. All the windows can be electrically operated with a single touch of a button, from the driver seat. Climatic control is a bonus for different weather conditions. The only snag with the doors, is they are hinged ,instead of having a sliding mechanism, which will be useful if you have to park the car in a small garage. Coming on to the driving experience, I found you don't feel like you are driving a bulky mpv once you start moving. The cruise control is an added extra, especially in long summertime excursions. The air conditioning is useful, now becoming more and more accepted as a default feature. Parking sensors are in terms of safety, extremely hepful, especially for those tiny parking spaces (that are the only ones available!).
At the time of writing, I have had my Galaxy about 2 months and so far I am very happy with it. I had a 1.6 litre petrol Astra before and I am very happy with the extra mpg that the Galaxy is giving me, which is around 28mpg for short town journeys and between 38 - 46 mpg for longer motorway journeys. I love the cruise control, which I find useful when I'm going through speed limits with cameras, as I have 6 points for speeding on my licence already, and the rear parking sensors are brilliant. I just wish they were all the way round and not just on the back. I've already had one argument with the corner of my neighbour's garage wall and I dented the panel above the driver's side rear wheel. I was trying to get out around his garage without hitting another car that he'd parked in front, but I do find it very disconcerting that you can't see the front of the Galaxy and it's difficult to judge where it is. I was too busy trying not to hit the neighbour's car in front and didn't notice in my mirror that I was about to clip the wall with my side. It's much easier to manoeuvre the Galaxy in reverse than it is going forwards ! I have taken the rear 2 seats out of my Galaxy and had a dog cage on legs custom-built and fitted. This gives me plenty of room for my 3 Collies and storage space underneath. I have climate control which is fantastic. I can get into the car on a hot day and the inside feels like an oven but after a few seconds, the car has sensed what the interior temperature is and puts the cold blowers on full until the temperature has come down to whatever you've set it for, then it just keeps it at that temperature. I like the fact that there are blowers in the back so I know that when I'm comfortable in the front, my dogs are also comfortable in the back. This wasn't the case with the air conditioning in my Astra which took ages to reach the back. I like the fact tha
t all 6 windows can be operated from the front, and I like the Global closing so that you don't have to remember to shut them all from the front. Just lock up with the key in the lock instead of using the press-button and the windows all close. Another nice touch is that the interior lights all come on when the key is taken out of the ignition. One thing I don't like about the Galaxy is the wasted space on the floor between the driver's and front passenger seat (either side of the handbrake). On most cars I've seen, there are handy little pen trays or somewhere to put your sunglasses, Polos etc but in the Galaxy it's just flat floor which is such a waste. I have bought a couple of pencil tins from W H Smith and stuck them to the carpet, but they don't look very nice and it would have been better if Ford had made a console that fitted there. (They still could make one that just fitted over the handbrake, so if anyone from Ford is reading this, how about it?) I HATE the front windscreen wipers. The are bowed and missed the driver's side edge of the window at eye-level by about 5 inches. This, coupled with the edge of the vehicle, gives you a huge blind spot. Recently I was driving in heavy snow, and to turn right or even go round a roundabout, I had to lean over to my left in order to see where I was going. It's a huge design fault in my fault. It's not just in snow that it makes visibility difficult. After the snow, we had gritty roads that made the windscreen very mucky, and the wipers don't clean right to the edge, so you're left with a huge 4-inch wide dirty edge and that also means that you have to lean to your right going around right hand corners and bends. The glove box is also quite small for such a big vehicle because most of the space is taken up with the passenger air bag. It would also be nice if Ford supplied fitted seat covers. I have bought some from Clima
te (f ound them on the net) but they're not a wonderful fit, even though they are suppose to be specially for the Galaxy. I have had terrible trouble getting a tow-bar fitted because of the rear parking sensors. My Ford dealer said I couldn't have one. A friend with a Galaxy told me they were wrong. Anyway, two companies came out to me and refused to fit one. The 3rd company said on the phone that the other 2 didn't know what they were talking about but when the guy turned up, he was also unhappy about fitting it. In the end he said that he would fit it but it wasn't his fault if it messed the parking sensors up. He fitted it and the parking sensors are fine. Basically there was a lot of padding inside the rear bumper whi ch had to come out in order to fit it, but it all works ok. All in all I'm very happy with my Galaxy.
I bought our Ford Galaxy Ghia X 2.3 almost a year ago and am still quite happy with it. We have had quite a few problems with the dealership and some with the car, but I am rtying to give the car a fair review. I will mention the dealer problems but they are expanded upon in another review in the Motors -> Suggested Items area. The Galaxy is comfortable to drive, it is a nice spacious compfortable family car. I have two very young children (still in car seats) and there is loads of room in the back for all the push chairs and shopping and room in the back seats for an adult to sit comfortably with the kids in the back seat. We have removed the back two seats though to give us plenty of room in the back. This is fairly easy to do but the seats are not light! I am strong and they weigh quite a lot. The front seats are very supportive and can move in most directions and can be rotated to help you in and out. The streering wheel can be adjusted as well. Electric everything for the mirrors, windows and sunroof. Heated mirrors are great when it is frosty, because you always forget to clear them. Plus the heated windcreen is a dream, clears in about a minute from a frost and clears condensations almost instantly. There are loads of other features that I find really good, such as the rear parking sensor - it is a wide long vehicle and it has saved us from several prangs. The heated front seats are just luxury on a cold day. Dual air conditioning does sometimes seem a little bit hard to control - the fan speed does not always have much relation to how high you have set it. But it does workquickly when you need to to and does keep the car a constant temperature. You can set different temerature zones for the front and back seats, so the children can be kept a bit warmer if they are asleep. The CD Changer is nice - but the stereo is not the best designed one I ahave ever seen. Cruise control is useful and makes long jou
rneys a lot less tiring. It can be a bit thirsty on the petrol especially around town, but on long journeys if you don't go too fast then it does go a lot further. The road holding is very good and the car handles a lot better than you think it is going to. I was expecting it to drive like a van but it is much more like a mondeo in it's feel. But putting your foot down often results in noise first and then speed a distant second, there is no real kick in this model. We have had some problems though. 3 recalls for brakes, compressor and something else(I forget). There were further problems with the brakes. The windows were unwindng themselves and the doors were unlocking. It also took along time to get the correct trim and the mats for this car. But the servicing has fixed problems as they have come up quite quickly and without quibble. This is obviously the benefit of a three year warranty. I like the car but I have gone off Ford. I would not buy another Ford in a hurry. Even though there have been problems the car meets our requirements and so we are happy with it.