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Is There Still A Place For MPVs In The Market?

By raccars Published

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The MPV market is gradually being usurped by seven seater SUVs and even estates, largely considered more practical and comfortable. But if you need extra space and don't want too much bulk, does an MPV still make sense? Well the major manufacturers must think so, because they are still producing some very competent and smart seven seater MPVs.

Seat Alhambra

Its size is quite daunting when it comes to parking in smaller spaces but the Alhambra is a very comfortable and refined MPV. It's a cheaper option than the near identical Volkswagen Sharan and just as good a drive, and there's plenty of standard kit on all models. It's a good all rounder for big families where space and practicality are the priority.

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The French have traditionally been very good at making smart seven seaters and the latest effort from Citroen is no exception. The cabin is robust, spacious and very user friendly, with plenty of equipment and great visibility. It's not a car you buy for the driving pleasure, with staid performance and low running costs. However, it's a very practical way to carry large families around.

Ford S-Max

Easily one of the best MPVs on the market, the S-Max is stylish, clever and great to drive - it's one of the few MPVs which doesn't sacrifice driving pleasure for practicality, but manages to combine both very neatly. The sophisticated engine range is matched by a versatile and spacious cabin - although the third row of seats is best reserved for children. This is Ford at its best.

Kia Carens

If you can overcome any badge snobbery, the Kia Carens could be a very pleasant surprise. It's not a glamorous choice but is smart, competent and great value for money. It's unexpectedly composed on the road and built to a high standard. There's also plenty of equipment provided. The Carens is a medium sized MPV, meaning it's reasonably easy to manoeuvre but still comfortable enough inside.

Vauxhall Zafira

Vauxhall is apparently planning to overhaul the Zafira as an SUV, which is a shame as it works rather well in its current form. Like the S-Max, the first two rows are more comfortable than the rear but, overall, the cabin is well designed and nicely put together. The engine range is also clean and efficient, if not particularly smooth and refined. However, this is a sturdy choice when practicality is the priority over performance.

Citroen Berlingo Multispace

This is more of a van than a car but makes an astonishingly good MPV. It's vast inside and surprisingly civilised to drive, if rather spartan. However, for budget conscious families, it's the smart choice - cheap both to buy and run and very user friendly, with wipe down surfaces and a practical sliding rear door. The weaker engine choices are hard work and best avoided in favour of the punchier, higher output options.

Toyota Verso

This is one of the smaller choices, great for when you don't need all seven seats on a daily basis. On the plus side, the compact footprint means it's easier to drive and park than more traditional MPVs. The two front rows are very comfortable and the engines are rather basic but, as a Toyota, it's a reliable choice and competent enough in most situations.

Toyota Prius+

Easily the cleanest and greenest MPV on the market, the Prius+ hybrid also has plenty of space and inside and some clever design ideas. However, all this environmental friendliness and practicality will cost you, as the Prius+ is rather expensive.

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