What is the best MPV?

Tom Harrison / December 19, 2011

We take a look at the what is the best MPV. We’ve compared every new MPV and looked at the price range, number of seats and MPG.

We’ve ordered the list below by buzzScore, which is the average scores given by experts in reviews. The higher the buzzScore, the better critics reckon the MPV is. There’s also a link to where you can read reviews, see photos, watch videos and look up stats for each car. 
 

No. 10 - Citroen C3 Picasso 

C3 Picasso
 
The words ‘People Carrier’ and ‘Cool’ are seldom used in the same sentence. Except, of course, when referring to Citroen’s chunky C3 Picasso. The effortlessly chic wraparound front windscreen, faux Bakelite heater controls and chromed vents make the 5-seater C3 an attractive proposition for the style-conscious, while the capacious boot, airy cabin, and easy-fold rear seats create Transit-van rivaling practicality.
 
A good range of engines coupled with secure handling characteristics and a magic-carpet-esque ride compensate for the lack of standard equipment on base models and slack gear-shift. It’s not the cheapest mini-MPV, but Citroen dealers are always up for a barter... 
 
buzzScore: 8/10
Price range: £13,015 - £17,240
MPG: 40 - 61
Seats: 5
 
 

No. 9 - SEAT Alhambra 

SEAT Alhambra
 
Show me a bloke who wouldn’t enjoy being able to open his sliding-doors remotely, from a distance, and I’ll eat my socks. Yep, this takes central-locking roulette (a game, played usually by men, whereby we attempt to blip the remote locking on our car from as great a distance as possible…) to a whole new level. Aside from the doors, the Alhambra has advanced leaps and bounds since the creaky Galaxy-based original.
 
It may be a bit of a bus to drive, but that’s because it’s very nearly as big as one. Sheer size does have its advantages though, such as a cavernous interior and strong road presence. If not for keen drivers, the Alhambra certainly appeals to the MPV faithful; it’s big, excellent value compared to its VW brothers, and, in ‘Ecomotive‘ form, quite frugal.   
 
buzzScore: 8/10
Price range: £23,205 - £32,365
MPG: 37 - 50
Seats: 7
 
 

No. 8 - SEAT Altea 

SEAT Altea
 
The generously equipped Altea is a stylish alternative to more traditional, boxy MPVs. A good range of engines complement the sporty handling-though the dedicated ‘Sport’ model (An MPV, with a ‘Sport’ model? You’re joking…) suffers from an overly firm ride. The cabin feels solid, if not a little dark, while the VW-sourced oily-bits shouldn’t present any problems.
 
A raft of standard equipment like air-conditioning, an iPod compatible stereo and traction control make the comparatively low list price all the more impressive. A host of safety kit, loads of airbags and and ISOFIX child-seat mounts make the Altea all the more attractive to families.
 
buzzScore: 8/10
Price range: £14,875 - £21,575
MPG: 38 - 62
Seats: 5
 

No. 7 - VW Touran

VW Touran
 
Is anonymity a key factor in choosing your next car? Would you flinch at the prospect of being seen in a bright-orange Focus ST? Yes? Then the new VW Touran is just the car for you, since it’s probably the plainest looking car on sale today. The Touran continues the established German trend of quiet brilliance. It may look a bit dull, but that’s not to say it’s not a fantastically competent MPV.
 
A strong range of petrol and diesel engines, fluent handling, and plentiful standard equipment even in base ‘S‘ trim quantify the Touran’s slightly high asking price. It’s well screwed together, the user-friendly, if not a bit boring, interior is certainly versatile enough to meet the needs of the average family.   
 
buzzScore: 8/10
Price range: £16,805 - £25,380
MPG: 34 - 52
Seats: 7
 

No. 6 - VW Sharan

VW Sharan
 
The smart yet unadventurous VW Sharan is, well, just a bit boring. The Touran’s big brother suffers from the same foibles as its smaller sibling, i.e. Unimaginative styling and an asking price that’ll see your lower lip hit the deck. It’s a shame really, for the Sharan is an incredibly refined, competent and versatile MPV.
 
The rearmost five seats can be folded completely flat for those hardcore weekend DIY jobs, though even when all five are in place, unusually, there still enough room for a few bags. It’ll take you years to find all of the cubby-holes scattered throughout the incredibly well-built cabin, while the rear sliding-doors means getting the kids in and out couldn’t be any easier. Copious amounts of safety kit, as well as an iPod compatible stereo and electric windows are all standard.      
 
buzzScore: 8.2/10
Price range: £23,705 - £32,760
MPG: 33-50
Seats: 6-7
 
 

No. 5 - Ford SMAX

Ford S-Max
 
Dads, take note; the Ford S-MAX is the best handling MPV, period. Ford re-wrote the MPV rulebook when they launched the S-MAX way back in 2006, they demonstrated that a big car, with room for seven, can still be just as fun to hustle down a country lane as a car half its size. It grips well, the steering is informative, sharp and well weighted, it doesn’t roll as much as you might expect-yet still makes for a refined cruiser when it’s loaded up with luggage and people.
 
The S-Max benefits from a strong range of engines, and a well-built, flexible interior. The rearmost 5 seats fold flat, though the ‘occasional’ seats in the boot are really only suited to children. The svelte roofline makes the S-Max one of the most appealing cars on this list-but doesn’t affect headroom all that much.    
 
buzzScore: 8.2/10
Price range: £22,075 - £31,545
MPG: 34 - 54
Seats: 7
 

No. 4 - Ford Grand CMAX

Grand C-Max
 
It’s a 7 seater, but not as we know it. The two rearmost seats in the Grand C-Max are tiny, they’re not designed to accommodate adults-so if you need to seat 7 in comfort, look to a ‘full size’ MPV like the Galaxy. Otherwise, the Grand C-Max is near class-leading in its execution. As with all Ford products these days, it’s handles purposefully, with excellent steering that weighs up nicely with speed, yet is still light enough to make parking and town-driving easy as.
 
Though the C-Max is offered with a range of strong and efficient petrol engines, the smooth, refined diesels are the pick of the pack. The excellent stereo may look a bit daunting at first, but the interior’s largely well thought out and of a good quality. You get plenty of kit as standard, as well as a 5-star safety rating.  
 
buzzScore: 8.2/10
Price range: £19,325 - £24,025
MPG:  40 - 57
Seats: 7
 

No. 3 - Skoda Yeti

Skoda Yeti
 
The Yeti’s a bit odd. It may look as if Skoda’s welded two halves of completely different cars together, but it’s been universally praised as one of the most accomplished and best value cars in its class. Quite what class that is, I don’t know. Some kind of people-carrying pseudo-4x4 hatchback probably. But for the purpose of this, let’s think of it as an MPV. 
 
The quality of the interior is first rate, and should stand-up to the most violent of five-year-olds, while the rear seats can be folded or even removed altogether for a van-like carrying capacity. It’s decent to drive, both on and off road (Thanks to some serious off-road tech), but some critics think the ride’s a bit firm. It’s available with a choice of equally strong engines, and comes pretty well specced as standard.  
 
buzzScore: 8.2/10
Price range: £14,645 - £23,770
MPG: 35 - 61
Seats: 5
 

No. 2 - Peugeot 5008

Peugeot 5008
 
The 807, Peugeot’s last attempt at a full-size, seven-seater MPV, was awful. Which makes it all the more surprising, therefore, that the 5008 has been met with such evangelical praise. For such a big car, it acquits itself surprisingly well on the road, with well weighted steering and enough grip to keep the average driver out of trouble. Body roll is well contained, and the ride is excellent over all but the harshest of surfaces.
 
It’s available with a range of silky smooth engines, of which the popular HDi diesels are the most effective. Inside, the driving position is good, if not a little difficult to adjust, and the rear five seats fold easily to make one long, flat load bay. Entry level models make do without much equipment, but higher-trim levels have all the gadgets you’ll ever need, and some some you wont. It’s well priced, green and plenty safe enough.     
 
buzzScore: 8.3/10
Price range: £17,925 - £24,925
MPG: 38 - 57
Seats: 7
 

No. 1 - Ford CMAX

Ford C-Max
 
Drumroll please. The best MPV on sale today is...The Ford C-Max.
In short, it’s well deserving of its first place. The C-Max is the best handling car in its class, the steering is precise and well-weighted, while plenty of grip and minimal lean means the C-Max belies its bulk. It’s 140mm shorter than the ‘Grand’ version, and does without the two ‘occasional’ seats in the boot. This isn’t an issue though, the boot itself is massive, and the three rear seats can be tumbled forwards to add to load-space.
 
Though the C-Max is offered with a range of strong and efficient petrol engines, the smooth, refined diesels are the pick of the pack. The excellent stereo may look a bit daunting at first, but the interior’s largely well thought out and of a good quality. You get plenty of kit as standard, as well as a 5-star safety rating. 
 
buzzScore: 8.4/10
Price range: £17,225 - £22,560
MPG: 42 - 61
Seats: 5
 
 
To see every MPV on sale, use our car chooser tool. You can find all the new cars that suit your needs. It’s so easy! 
 

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