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The Space Race – finding the best minivan for your budget

By raccars Published

Hyundai

We look at the best value people-movers for your budget

It’s the end of summer and back to school week – so a perfect time to consider the best Multi-Purpose Vehicles (I prefer the terms minivans or people-movers).

In many ways the conversation starts - and ends - with the Ford Galaxy. This MPV combines a great drive with comfort and space for up to seven people (and their bags!). Don’t be put off by its 20 year heritage – the fact it only required its third version change last year is testament to how strong the launch model (1995 – 2006) and subsequent second generation cars were. In some ways there is too much choice – six engines (four diesel, two petrol) and three levels of trim (Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X). We have over 600 to chose from on RAC Cars – my preference would be this car – View this vehicle – a 2013 2 litre Titanium trim on just 31,000 miles at under £16000

Ford themselves have some pretty strong competition to the Galaxy in the shape of the seven seater S-MAX, C-MAX and its little brother the ‘mini MPV ‘ B-Max. My preference would be the C-MAX – almost all of the benefits of Galaxy but slightly snugger, a more car-like driving position and lower buying / running costs. View this vehicle here at Birchwood Motor Company in Essex – another 2013 example, only £10,000 for a 17,000 mile 2 litre Titanium complete with RAC Approved Dealer reassurance

Higher up the price scale would be Hyundai Santa Fe, available as both 5 and 7 seat versions (just like the Nissan Qashqai). I have to admit to loving the design – ahead of all the Ford choices in my view – and I hear the drive is excellent. The challenge for Hyundai is that its ‘as new’ price point of above £30,000 puts it up against rivals like the Discovery Sport and that the refinement level is not quite enough to compete. However a used Santa Fe can be great value – View this vehicle here to see a 2013 automatic with under 40,000 miles on the clock

Lastly, and with an eye to the future, keep a lookout for the BMW 2 Series Grand Tourer. Launched in 2015 the car offers all of BMW’s expected refinement but in a great ‘mini MPV’ package that can still fit seven people (albeit a bit of a squeeze in the back seats). New prices were from £25,000 but expected to see those falling well below £20,000 used as we approach the new year.

Wishing you a week of happy, safe and economical driving

Robert Diamond

Managing Director, RAC Motoring Services

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