Best cars

Top 10 best people carriers and MPVs 2022

Practical, spacious and well equipped, these are the best MPVs you can buy right now.

Dacia Jogger MPV driving - front

In the mid-1980s, when many people opted for a saloon or estate car, a brand new option made its debut. Though uptake was slow to begin with, people soon realised that the space and practicality offered by MPVs (Multi-Purpose Vehicles) and people-carriers was perfect for families. As a result, slowly but surely, cars like the Renault Espace soon became commonplace.

The advantages for passengers were clear to see: a raised roofline, higher seating, huge windows and plenty of interior space meant large amounts of comfort and practicality. Getting in and out was easy and there was a light and airy atmosphere inside. The open space made it easier for parents to keep an eye on children in the back, while the extra all-round space meant plenty of room for all the luggage a family could need.

Top 10 best 7-seater cars 2022

MPV sales picked up pace in the 1990s as more and more mainstream manufacturers launched their cars into the market, including the Ford Galaxy and Vauxhall Zafira. The latter was hugely influential, creating the mould for compact seven-seat people-carriers with clever seating arrangements. Its Flex7 seating allowed the third row to fold neatly into the boot floor when not needed – a selling point that saved space and is now shared with a multitude of MPVs and SUVs.

The Vauxhall Zafira lacked the style of modern MPVs like the Renault Scenic, but it pioneered many of the design features of the best people-carriers available today. It shared its chassis and engines with the Vauxhall Astra, so it drove like a smaller vehicle and had similar performance and running costs to a hatchback.

MPVs continue to come in different sizes, with plenty offering up to seven seats, multiple ISOFIX points and much more space than a similarly sized hatchback. The very largest even offer eight or more seats. Many customers are moving towards SUVs, such as the Volvo XC90, instead of MPVs for people-carrying needs, but MPVs are still usually more versatile. Check out our guide to the best large SUVs if you’re happy to sacrifice a little practicality for some extra style.

Practical, spacious and well equipped, these are the best MPVs you can buy right now.

Dacia Jogger MPV review

2022 Dacia Jogger
Carbuyer rating

3.7 out of 5

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While MPVs tend to be rather expensive due to their large size, the 7-seat Dacia Jogger breaks this trend with a starting price of less than £15,000. It’s the brand’s largest model, which shares several parts and engines with the latest Renault Clio. While entry-level trims are sparsely equipped, stepping up to the Extreme SE trim adds luxuries like heated seats, a reversing camera and a touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav. Unlike some rivals, the Jogger’s third row is large enough to accommodate two adults, and it boasts 213 litres of boot space with all seven seats in place, increasing to 699 litres with five seats, and a vast 2,085 litres with both rear rows of seats removed.

Dacia has tuned the Jogger’s suspension strictly for comfort, and it deals very well with rough road surfaces, but the car’s tall stance does mean there is a fair amount of body lean in the corners. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine producing 108bhp, which provides nippy performance, managing 0-62mph in just over 11 seconds. Officially, this engine can return up to 49.6mpg, meaning the Jogger won’t cost the earth to run.

Volkswagen Touran MPV review

Volkswagen Touran MPV
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The VW Touran is not the most exciting car in terms of appearance or driving flair, but it more than makes up for this in practicality, which really counts here. Despite its relatively compact exterior size – it’s a little longer and wider than a Golf – the Touran has seven seats, although truth be told, the rearmost seats are only suitable for occasional short journeys; it’s better as an extremely spacious five-seater.

Head and legroom are great, although the third row is cramped. With a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the Touran will protect its occupants well. There’s a wide range of trims and engines, so choosing your perfect Touran should be a simple affair.

Mercedes B-Class MPV review

Mercedes B-Class MPV
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The Mercedes B-Class doesn’t offer the versatility of other cars on this list but you should think of it as a taller, more spacious Mercedes A-Class hatchback. The boot is much bigger than the A-Class’s and rear-seat passengers have more space to stretch out. 

It’s a similar proposition to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, with both cars offering a more premium feel than your average MPV. From behind the wheel the B-Class feels exactly like the A-Class, both in terms of its driving experience and its luxurious interior. We’d recommend the B200 petrol engine if you’re mainly going to drive around town or the B200 d if you plan to go farther afield.

Volkswagen Multivan MPV review

Volkswagen Multivan MPV - front 3/4 dynamic
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Volkswagen Multivan is electric, given its futuristic-looking and quite blank front end. There’s no fully electric version yet (the upcoming Volkswagen ID. Buzz will fill that niche), but there is a plug-in hybrid that’ll suit business users. Private buyers looking for decent fuel economy may be best served by the recently introduced diesel engine, as the eHybrid is a good chunk more expensive than the petrol.

The Multivan replaces the Volkswagen Caravelle, and its base-spec Life version could replace the Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle too. Life includes alloy wheels and USB chargers, while Style and Energetic trims add more equipment; the latter even includes a 10-inch sat-nav display and a backlit grille.

As you’d expect, the Multivan is brilliantly practical, with up to 4,000 litres of luggage space and flexible seating and tables. It’s why you’d choose something like this over a similarly priced seven-seat SUV such as the Kia Sorento.

Citroën e-SpaceTourer MPV review

Citroen SpaceTourer MPV
Carbuyer rating

3.8 out of 5

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If you need a vehicle that can carry lots of people and still has storage room then the e-Spacetourer from Citroen - or the mechanically identical Peugeot e-Traveller or Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life -  are well worth a look. These vehicles can carry up to nine people and are available in extra-long models for those that need even more space. Headroom and shoulder room are excellent so even taller passengers should be able to get comfortable.

Although the e-Spacetourer is based on a van, the driving experience is similar to a larger car, with Citroen claiming the suspension is reworked for the passenger variant. The robustness of the van remains, though, and the e-Spacetourer feels like it will wear well against constant use.

Volkswagen Caddy MPV review

Volkswagen Caddy MPV
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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Another van-based MPV, the Volkswagen Caddy offers the vast amount of space that you would expect but is surprisingly car-like to drive. The Caddy has evolved into a vehicle that can now be fairly perceived as similar to a large Golf, and that definitely isn’t a bad thing. In fact, both cars sit on the same ‘MQB’ platform, meaning that the Caddy provides a surprisingly enjoyable driving experience for an MPV.

Sliding doors, removable second and third row seats, a 446-litre boot, and a choice of efficient petrol and diesel engines make the Caddy a practical choice, but the amount of optional extras on offer can push the price up very quickly.

Ford Galaxy MPV

Ford Galaxy MPV
Carbuyer rating

3.9 out of 5

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We can’t think of another company that sells as many seven-seat MPVs as Ford; there are four to choose from if you count the two van-based options, but the Galaxy is the flagship. Unlike many MPVs, seven adults can travel in genuine comfort, with those in the two rear seats not being too cramped.

The Galaxy is better to drive than it needs to be, and even the most powerful engine will return more than 43mpg – not bad considering its size. It gets a five-star safety rating and its reliability makes it popular with private hire and chauffeur firms.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer MPV review

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Carbuyer rating

3.9 out of 5

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The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is one of the few premium badged MPVs on the market. While it doesn’t offer the same sporty driving experience like the brand’s other models, it is more engaging to drive than a lot of other MPVs. The latest model features a more striking exterior design complete with BMW’s enlarged kidney grilles, giving it a more modern and premium look over the old car. There’s also a wide assortment of petrol and diesel engines available, all of which can return between 45-60mpg, alongside a flagship pair of plug-in hybrid models.

On the inside, BMW has given the latest 2 Series Active Tourer a thoroughly updated interior with plenty of high-quality materials and cutting-edge tech. Prices start from over £30,000, and every model gets a long list of standard equipment including LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a larger 10.7-inch infotainment touchscreen. Practicality is also decent enough for a five seat MPV, with plenty of rear passenger space and 406-litres of boot space.

Peugeot e-Rifter MPV review

Peugeot e-Rifter driving
Carbuyer rating

3.7 out of 5

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A van-based MPV is one of the most versatile cars on sale, and they’ve really come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. One of our favourites is the sharply styled Peugeot e-Rifter, which combines a 4x4-inspired design with a colossal boot and a similarly large amount of headroom.

The interior is light and airy, quiet and reasonably well-equipped, and we like Peugeot’s i-Cockpit digital instrument cluster. Once available with traditional combustion engines, the e-Rifter is now only offered with an electric powertrain featuring just over 170 miles of range. The same goes for the Peugeot's mechanically identical siblings, the Citroen e-Berlingo and the Vauxhall Combo e-Life.

Citroën e-Berlingo MPV review

Citroen e-Berlingo MPV
Carbuyer rating

3.7 out of 5

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Citroen has long been a front-running competitor in the MPV market. The Berlingo has now taken a step toward the future; it’s now fully electric and its petrol and diesel engines have been discontinued entirely. Citroen has aimed to separate the feel of the e-Berlingo from the van it is based on both with a stylish reworking of the exterior and upgrades to the interior.

With the e-Berlingo,  Citroen kept comfort on the priority list. That means a hushed ride for passengers and controllable and predictive handling for the driver. 100kW rapid charging can get the battery from 10-80% in half an hour for those longer drives.

Looking for a bargain? Take a look at our guide to the best used 7-seat cars

Top 10 best people carriers and MPVs

  1. Dacia Jogger
  2. Volkswagen Touran
  3. Mercedes B-Class
  4. Volkswagen Multivan
  5. Citroen e-SpaceTourer
  6. Volkswagen Caddy
  7. Ford Galaxy
  8. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
  9. Peugeot e-Rifter
  10. Citroen e-Berlingo

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