Test: Ford Galaxy Hybrid, but why do we shun minivans?

The early 2000s were still good for people carriers of all kinds. The idea behind this tall format was indeed brilliant: to offer a car offering a maximum of interior space for a minimum of exterior space. In this little game, some manufacturers stood out from the crowd. This is the case of Ford with its Galaxy! But in recent years, it is the tumble. Large minivans only represent 2.6% of market share in 2020. Figures which have also signed the death sentence for the American who will not be renewed after this generation. In a last standstill, Ford however delivers a hybrid version of its large 7-seater wagon. But is it really interesting?

We meet once again

Under the hood of this Galaxy, we find a 4-cylinder 2,500 cm³ associated with a small battery of just over 1kW and an automatic gearbox. This block, we know it, since it was fitted to the Ford Kuga hybrid that we tested last March. An interesting point of reference, because if people carriers are shunned today, it is precisely for the benefit of SUVs!

In short: we very much appreciated this powertrain in the Kuga and the observation is identical in the Galaxy. The raises are correct, no problem getting into the traffic. But despite its 190 hp, the minivan is far from being a thunderbolt. Its 0 to 100 testifies to it since it is timed to 10 seconds sharp! The Kuga is a bit more dynamic. An advantage probably due to the difference in weight. While the SUV weighs 1.7 t, the weight of the Galaxy is indeed around 2 t, and you can feel it behind the wheel.

The MPV is more prone to understeer and sags more in curves. But we will not blame him. Indeed, it is above all designed to carry up to 7 passengers comfortably. What he does wonderfully!

Comfortable veranda on wheels

It is indeed in this area that he excels, comfort. The suspension is flexible and absorbs the roughness of the road very well. There is also a “visual appeal” to this silhouette. On board, you can see everything! Once installed behind the wheel, it feels like a rolling veranda. It must be said that the copy of our test was equipped with a huge sunroof, which increases this feeling. This whole glass surface is very nice, but there is a flip side. This veranda is a little less well insulated than the cocoon that was the Kuga. There is slightly more wind and rolling noise.

A sparrow’s appetite

Another point on which this great Ford excels is that of consumption. During our peaceful test, we noted an average consumption of 5.8 l / 100 km (on the on-board computer). Even less than in the Kuga, yet lighter therefore! Unlike the more dynamic Kuga, however, the Galaxy encourages you to adopt a smooth and anticipatory ride. Getting closer to the WLTP approval (6 l / 100 km) announced by Ford is obviously not impossible. With such figures, this hybrid engine is even less greedy than the other diesel units that complete the Galaxy offer.

But why prefer an SUV?

Since the beginning of this test, we have compared this Galaxy to the Kuga, as both are equipped with the same engine. But in terms of dimensions, the equivalent SUV in the Ford lineup would rather be the most imposing Edge. The latter is indeed as long as our minivan, to a centimeter! They also have the same height. But, while the Edge accepts 800 l of luggage in a 5-seater configuration, the Galaxy can swallow up to 1,206 l! With all the seats folded down, the Edge reaches 1,847 l. The Galaxy? 2339! Last but not least, the 7-seater minivan is simply non-existent in the Edge SUV. You must then pull up to the Explorer. But the price goes up.

In short: with similar comfort, equivalent fuel consumption and more space inside, why on earth prefer an SUV?

It is true that it does not make you dream …

Where SUVs are more attractive than this large MPV is because of their style. It must be said that our Galaxy is getting old. Presented at the end of 2014, the interior of this 3rd generation has not changed since. There is always a multitude of buttons and an imposing Sony signature right in the middle of the dashboard! An element that has long gone out of fashion … The central screen still accepts what is most recent in terms of connectivity, namely Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The counters are mostly digital, but unfortunately not entirely. Its last facelift dates back to 2019! It does not (more) dream this Galaxy, and that is its biggest problem.

Not cheap, but cheaper than an SUV

Equipped with its new hybrid engine, the price of the Galaxy starts at € 44,840, but it takes almost € 3,000 more to afford the Titanium version of our test car. It is a sum, of course, but it is still less than the 51,900 € of an Edge, SUV of equivalent size. Hop, another advantage for the minivan! Unfortunately, and just like the Kuga equipped with the same block, this hybrid Galaxy suffers from its large displacement at registration in Wallonia and Brussels.

Our verdict

This hybrid engine is perhaps the most successful offered under the hood of the Galaxy! Economical, comfortable and offering unparalleled roominess, on paper, this large monovolume has everything to convince, even SUV enthusiasts! Unfortunately, not only does he not make people dream, but he is even getting older, this great dadais. It is undoubtedly because of its image that the Galaxy is shunned today. But note that its version with a more sporty look, the S-Max, is now also available in hybrid. Notice to large families!

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