If practicality and space are your main priorities for a new car, you can’t go wrong with an MPV. They have plenty of room for growing families while also offering impressive flexibility, comfort and – for some – surprisingly enjoyable driving characteristics. Here’s our list of the top 10 MPVs on sale.
1. Volkswagen Touran
The Touran is one of the best seven-seaters on the market. Cabin space is very generous and the third row of seats make the interior brilliantly flexible. The rear pair of seats is best suited for children but when they’re not needed, they can be folded away to create a sizeable boot.
Alongside sharp looks, the Touran also has robust build quality – important for a family car – and features a good amount of standard equipment. It’s also economical and has a comfortable ride. Basically, the Touran is a strong all-rounder.
2. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
The Grand C4 Picasso is proof a large family MPV can be both practical and stylish. The space-age exterior and modern cabin are sophisticated, and there’s plenty of room for five – plus the two seats in the back, which are roomier than many of its rivals.
The airy interior includes a good range of standard equipment, making the interior even more comfortable. The second row features three full-size seats for added flexibility and to stop arguments about how much space each of any younger occupants are taking up. It may not be the most exciting car to drive but the Grand C4 Picasso fulfills the main requirements for an MPV with ease.
3. Ford S-Max
The smart-looking S-Max is considered to be one of the first sporty MPVs. It combines impressive handling and a surprisingly fun drive with the practicality and space of a generous seven-seater. It’s also refined for motorway cruises and comes with plenty of equipment.
Interior materials let the S-Max down slightly but that shouldn’t put potential buyers off. There’s loads of space for five and a third row of seats in the back too for occupants six and seven. Even when they’re in use, there’s still a decent sized boot for holiday luggage or shopping.
4. Kia Carens
The Carens is a spacious seven-seater with a very appealing price tag. Undercutting the majority of its rivals, the handsome Kia provides a similar amount of cabin room for a considerably less money.
But with a lower price comes cheaper interior materials and less standard equipment. The interior is smartly designed and practical, but not particularly thrilling to look at. The Carens comfortably seats five and can fit seven – although the third row of seats is a little cramped.
5. SEAT Alhambra
The Alhambra is closely related to the Volkswagen Sharan and comes with the same clever interior, build quality and generous standard equipment, but for a cheaper price. It’s a slight step up in size compared to others on this list, meaning there’s a roomier interior and a large boot.
The third row of seats is more accessible than most rivals thanks to the Alhambra’s sliding doors and benefits from more legroom. It can’t match the Grand C4 Picasso for style or the Ford S-Max for its fun handling but the Alhambra represents good value and offers plenty of space.
6. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
Like the Grand C4 Picasso, the Zafira Tourer is another practical seven-seater featuring stylish design both inside and out. The smart exterior looks are complemented by the Zafira’s well-made and impressively flexible interior.
There are several ways to arrange the rear seats in case more space is required. The Zafira Tourer also gives the S-Max a run for its money in the handling stakes, with lively steering and limited body roll. Generous equipment levels and a lower price compared to its rivals make the Zafira Tourer an attractive alternative.
7. Volkswagen Sharan
The Sharan is a slightly bigger version of the Touran, adding more interior space, sliding doors and a roomier third row of seats. The conservative looks and lack of engine choice are made up for by the car’s vast list of standard equipment and practical cabin.
Interior quality is better in the Sharan than the closely-related Alhambra but you’d expect that given the higher price. A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard to all models but the slick-shifting six-speed DSG automatic is recommended option
8. Ford Grand C-Max
The Grand C-Max is based on the popular Ford Focus and couples the hatchback’s fun driving dynamics with a roomy cabin and space for seven. The third row of seats, which is a bit of a squeeze, and practical sliding doors set it apart from the standard C-Max.
Smart looks and a good range of engines make the Grand C-Max an appealing choice for growing families. Plus, the high-quality interior finish and impressive array of gadgets mean the cabin is a pleasant place to be.
9. Ford B-Max
The B-Max is the smallest car on this list and has only just five seats, but it still comes with plenty of positives and is well-suited to young families. One of the Mini-MPV’s biggest selling points is its clever sliding doors. There’s no centre pillar, so access to the back row couldn’t be easier.
Because of the B-Max’s smaller dimensions, it’s more nimble and keeps up Ford’s reputation for building people carriers that are actually fun to drive. The car is based on the Fiesta and carries over the hatchback’s stylish, well-built dashboard, although it’s a bit under equipped.
10. BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
From the smallest MPV on the list to one of the most expensive, the 2 Series Gran Tourer is the car for those who want seven-seater practicality with added luxury. The interior will be familiar to BMW drivers, with high-quality materials and plenty of standard equipment and gadgets.
But while it may have more style, the 2 Series Gran Tourer doesn’t compromise on space. It comes with a third row of seats, which opens up a large boot when folded, and there’s plenty of additional storage space. The step up in quality comes at a price, but that’s unlikely to put off those looking to BMW for a MPV.