Best large MPVs

Last updated: Nov 6, 2014

The MPV (multi purpose vehicle) has traditionally been the ultimate family car. They are designed for easy access, can haul around seven – or sometimes eight - people in relative comfort and have seats that can be folded down to create van-like boot space.

They've become less popular in recent years, partly because buyers have begun to prefer the sportier looks and higher seating positions of SUVs, and partly because the recession has seen a lot of families choosing smaller cars that offer lower running costs.

But the MPV still has a lot to offer. No SUV can match it for versatility and space. And the latest crop of MPVs are better-looking and cheaper to run than ever before.

So if you’re in the market for a family car, don’t make a choice before taking a look at our top 10 large MPVs.

SEAT Alhambra MPV

The SEAT Alhambra is a hugely practical, good to drive and very well made despite its low price tag. It offers seven seats, a good range of economical engines and plenty of standard equipment alongside a quiet and smooth ride. It’s surprisingly good to drive for a big heavy car, and the most frugal engine can manage 50.4mpg and 146g/km emissions, which means road tax is affordable. It’s a little bit more expensive than some of its rivals but it's unmatched for comfort, practicality and economy, making it our choice as the best MPV. Read more.

Key points

4.8 / 5
Price 
£25,630 - £33,705

Renault Grand Scenic MPV

Being longer than the standard Scenic, the Renault Grand Scenic has much more room and even another row of seats in the back, meaning it can seat seven. It’s great value for money compared to the SEAT Alhambra and Ford Galaxy, with sat nav and LED daytime running lights as standard. The steering is light and the ride is quiet, and there’s loads of room inside for passengers or luggage. There’s even a very efficient 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine that can return 68.9mpg, though we prefer the more powerful 1.6-litre diesel. Read more.

Key points

4.5 / 5
Price 
£20,585 - £24,115

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso has incredibly low running costs for an MPV. The 1.6-litre diesel engine will return 74mpg and has sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, making it free to tax. And even the most powerful diesel engine in the line-up returns 67mpg and emits just 110g/km, which is still remarkably good for a car of this size. The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso also comes with loads of equipment as standard – including an excellent touchscreen display, air-con and a Bluetooth phone. There's loads of space, the seats can be easily folded away and it's comfortable, too. Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£19,460 - £28,110

Ford S-MAX MPV

Despite being a big, seven-seat MPV, the Ford S-MAX has a sporty image few other cars of its type can muster. It has a comparatively low-slung stance, but incredibly this doesn't impact on interior space to any great extent. You still get seven seats and a big boot (which makes it easy to load large objects), as well as a comfortable ride that takes the edge off those long motorway journeys. All models come with most of the equipment you'll ever need, and as there are only three versions on sale, choosing between price, comfort or sportiness is easy. Read more.

Key points

4.2 / 5
Price 
£23,310 - £33,085

Ford Grand C-MAX MPV

It's not as big inside as the Galaxy, but the Ford Grand C-MAX is a very credible alternative. With all seven seats in place, the boot is small, but how often will you need all seven seats plus a big boot anyway? Like the Galaxy, the Grand C-MAX has a pair of sliding rear doors that make it far easier to climb in and out in tight parking spaces. Running costs are low and most models are capable of returning more than 50mpg. More than almost any car in this list (the S-MAX aside), the Grand C-MAX is also huge fun to drive. Read more.

Key points

4.2 / 5
Price 
£19,745 - £27,000

Volkswagen Sharan MPV

Unlike a lot of people carriers, the Volkswagen Sharan provides car-like handling without sacrificing practicality. The stylish and good-quality interior is very spacious and can seat up to seven (though the back row of seats is only really suitable for children). The engines available for the Sharan have good performance and economy, with the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel returning 50.4mpg. It’s more expensive than its rivals, especially the SEAT Alhambra, which offers similar quality and driving satisfaction without the hefty price tag. Read more.

Key points

4 / 5
Price 
£25,320 - £34,790

Ford Galaxy MPV

The Ford Galaxy is a spacious MPV that can seat seven adults easily in its luxurious and comfortable interior. It balances a comfortable ride and fun handling very well, making it a great choice for nipping about in town or on country roads. It can be hard to park due to its large size, but that does mean there's a huge amount of space inside for anything you need to carry, especially with all the rear seats folded down. The Galaxy feels like a quality product thanks to its standard equipment being so good - there’s climate control, parking sensors, Bluetooth and all-around electric windows. Read more.

Key points

3.9 / 5
Price 
£25,670 - £34,335

Ford Tourneo Connect MPV

The fourth Ford on this list is a very different proposition from the others. The Ford Tourneo Connect is closely related to the Ford Transit Connect, which is a small van. Despite this, it's actually quite nice to drive and is generally well equipped. You don't buy a Tourneo Connect for car-like plushness (if you do, you'll be disappointed), rather you buy it for the cavernous interior space on offer. It's smaller on the outside than a Galaxy, but it offers more space inside. Plus, you can get a longer Grand Tourneo Connect that offers the chance to increase the seat count from five to seven. Read more.

Key points

3.9 / 5
Price 
£14,245 - £20,245

Peugeot 5008 MPV

If you're looking for an MPV that provides a cosseting drive, then the Peugeot 5008 could be the answer. The suspension set-up provides a relaxed drive, and the interior is as attractive and elegant as any other car here. The clever seating arrangement means each seat can be folded individually, or the middle seat in the second row can be stowed, providing more space for two rear passengers. The engines are mostly quiet, but running costs are little more than average for a car of this size. Read more.

Key points

3.8 / 5
Price 
£19,350 - £26,715

Hyundai i800 mpv

The versatile Hyundai i800 is based on a van, but designed for families. That means it’s got lots of room - enough for up to eight people. There are some neat touches inside, such as an MP3-compatible stereo and seperate air-conditioning for the front and rear. The styling is boxy and the 2.5-litre diesel engine is a bit underpowered, but the i800 is still good value for buyers looking for huge amounts of space to transport people - or anything else. Read more.

Key points

3.4 / 5

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