Last week I got the opportunity to drive the new Ford S-MAX and Galaxy models, which go on sale here in April. Renewing my acquaintance with both complete with their very complimentary enhancements proved a very enjoyable experience.
Both the new models have had a range of fresh interior and exterior design changes and also feature a further improved version of the TDCi 2.0 litre engine included in the range for both vehicles.
Ford also gave us the opportunity to drive both new models with a new high-efficiency EcoBoost four-cylinder advanced turbocharged petrol direct injection engine. Now that's a mouthful and will not be as popular here simply because diesel offers still better economy, lower CO2 emissions and better residuals, which all bring financial attractions for buyers.
The latest Ford PowerShift transmission also enters the range. It is standard with the 2.0-litre EcoBoost, and optional with 140 and 163 bhp 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi.
Ireland's most popular large MPV just got better
Driving the new Galaxy just served to reinforce my opinion that this is the quality big MPV that all competitors have to beat. It handles beautifully and the new engines give you better performance while improving mpg figures. It is also probably the best looking large MPV on the market, with style and functionality inside also among the best.
The new Galaxy will be available in three trim levels: Zetec; Ghia; and Titanium. Standard specification on the entry lever Galaxy Zetec includes: 16” five-spoke alloy wheels; front fog lights; silver-finish roof rail system; rear privacy glass; electric and heated door mirrors; front and rear electric windows; duel-zone air conditioning; Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS ); and their 'Easy Fuel' cap-less refuelling system.
The new Galaxy emphasises its premium-ness and, along with a number of significant other detail revisions, enhances its appeal as Ford's luxurious, full-size seven seat people mover.
In summary, you simply should not buy a large people-carrier without checking out the new Galaxy.
The new unique S-Max gets even better
As with big brother Galaxy, the S-Max offers a spacious interior, great driving dynamics, and eye-catching styling. But the S-Max has a real big appeal to a large group of people that might not fall for the Galaxy and/or practically all other MPVs.
It sets out to catch the eye of those that don't want to sacrifice sportiness just because their circumstance demand more space and functionality. The new S-Max takes this further with better performing engines and some additional styling enhancements.
But the real feature that swings so many drivers the way of the S-Max is the wonderful dynamism and handling that other people movers can't match.
It is true that the ride in the S-Max isn't just as smooth as the Galaxy but this is part of the sport appeal of this car.
The new model will be available in three trim levels: Zetec, Titanium, and Titanium S. Standard specification on the entry level S-Max Zetec includes: 16” 5x3-spoke alloy wheels; duel-zone air conditioning; sports style front seats; front and rear electric windows; cruise control; Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS ); and their 'Easy Fuel' cap-less refuelling system.
The S-Max is one of the few models from any marque that actually has and does entice buyers from higher premium models. When their needs change, executive coupe and saloon owners actually will cross the car compound to an S-Max because of its uniqueness. This attraction is even greater with the new model because its individual character is even more distinctive and its appeal has been enhanced. If you're a sporty type of driver and your family transport needs have you looking at an MPV, then start with the new S-Max - you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Both the S-MAX and Galaxy have established a loyal customer base here. New designs, technological innovation and other new features on both these new models will up the level in their respective segments. Prices for both models will be announced closer to the launch date here in April. More on both at that time.