This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Galaxy review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The Galaxy comes with a good range of engines. There are two petrols, a 2.0-litre with 145bhp and a 2.3-litre with 161bhp, both of which are smooth and quiet with good performance. The larger engine is only available with an automatic gearbox so it's actually slower than the 2.0-litre from 0-62mph plus it's thirsty with average fuel economy of just 29mpg.

The diesel make the most sense however, especially if you regularly have to carry a full complement of passengers. There's a 1.8 TDCi which is available with either 100bhp or 125bhp. Emissions and economy are pretty much identical for both, but the more powerful engine has better pulling power, which makes overtaking a little easier. It's also the best choice for a combination of economy and performance with 0-62mph taking 11.4 seconds and 46mpg achievable.

The more powerful 2.0 TDCi has 140bhp and is also available with an automatic gearbox, although this does see economy drop from 46mpg to 38mpg. But the best engine in the line-up is the 2.2 TDCi with 175bhp. It can sprint from 0-62mph in just 9.1 seconds, has immense pulling power but is also smooth and refined.

It may be almost five metres long and have a high roofline, but the Galaxy doesn't handle like a typical people carrier. In fact it's incredibly car-like with a nimble nature that belies its size, reassuring steering and great composure in corners. There's very little body roll thanks to fairly stiff suspension, however the trade off is a firm ride which isn't as cosseting as some other people carriers.

The steering is well weighted at higher speeds, but light enough to make tight manoeuvres straightforward.