DTW has prepared this side-by-side comparison of the 2007 Ford Galaxy and the “all-new” Ford Galaxy with its “latest global design language”.
You can read Ford’s lengthy description of the revised Galaxy here. Among the extensive field of words Ford composed is nothing about major dimensional changes or structural changes. Even the improvement in rear head-room was probably achievable by revising the seats.
The current Galaxy is a very fine vehicle. What is not very fine is Ford’s compulsion to pass off what seems to be a nearly comprehensive re-styling as “all new”. Here is their summary: “…with a sophisticated grille and slim-line headlamps, the all-new Galaxy offers seven full-size seats, enabling families to easily switch between seating or load space with a segment-first feature that raises third-row seats at the push of a button.” And furthermore: “The all-new Galaxy offers a contemporary and sophisticated appearance. At the front a raised trapezoidal grille is positioned above a distinctive full-width lower grille. The slim-line headlamps flow into the raised beltline that is designed to present a strong, mature and elegant character.” There is a very long list of enhanced safety features and extra electronic goodies plus improved sound-insulation. The engines are also revised.
What Ford seems to have done is something along the lines of the Opel Corsa: retain the underlying architecture and dress it up insome new clothes. This is what happens to houses over the years. A house built in 1910 will have changes in the wiring, piping, decoration and insulation but still remain the same house with the same walls. And with the Galaxy the walls have been retained but rendered while the sub-systems have been updated.
The dashboard is completely different in detail geometry but not noticeably different in its modernity. It is themed along the same lines as the Focus and seems to amount to a sideways move rather than presenting any fresh thinking or surprising new solutions. Is it better or worse? No, just not the same.
The last paragraph of Ford’s essay is this: ““Raised positioning for the centre console and instrument panel delivers a car-like environment that reflects the Galaxy’s driving character and refinement,” said Claudio Messale, chief designer, Ford of Europe. “These qualities are delivered alongside the enhanced visibility and confidence offered by a larger people mover – to deliver the best of both without compromise.”
I notice from this that Ford of Europe has a new chief designer. Or is he a new chief designer? In 2004 his title was Chief Designer, Exterior Execution and Feasibility. With Martin Smith on the retirement path and the new American chap not yet having had the time to make his mark, perhaps Messale is being allowed the credit for this revision – albeit very thorough – of the Galaxy.
Isn’t it interesting how both Ford and GM have opted for major revisions of cars at either end of the size-range? Ford’s case is easier to understand as the production runs of these MPVs are long. The last Galaxy was in production from 1995 to 2006. This one probably has another three to four years before a new body-in-white is prepared.