We look at the 5 best MPV’s on the market as they battle it out to be the MPV that gives you that perfect combination of space, comfort and flexibility.
The Ford Bmax: This compact but spacious and practical MPV has two firsts in the Supermini MPV sector. Two sliding doors and no B pillars between front and back doors give easy, unrestricted access to the second and third rows – perfect if you’re wrangling a troop of toddlers! Despite it being compact, it has plenty of cubby holes and a spacious cabin. It has a small boot (318l), although with the second row down offers 1380l, but it is a compact after all. The Bmax also has the lowest CO2 emissions of any model in its class, and is the first Ford with a turbocharged 1.0 litre cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine, which makes it as cheap as £30 to tax… bonus points for that. On top of that its fuel efficiency is 70 miles to the gallon, which makes it an appealing little penny saver.
Volkswagen Sharan: Want the biggest MPV in town? Then the Sharan is the one for you. Getting in the back row is easy with its fold and slide seats, all the seats fold down easily leaving a flat load and a huge boot area big enough to fit a double mattress! The renowned high standards of VW can be seen throughout in the quality of the materials and the dashboard finish. There are four different engine options for the Sharan, two turbo petrol and two diesel engines. The best of these is the 140bhp model which manages 50mpg. The cabin is quiet, insulated and comfortable with great visibility. This MPV is cream of the crop when it comes to space and quality, which is why it makes our top 5.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso: This MPV is just a little bit sexier than the others, and aside from its super stylish exterior, here’s why. It’s got more gadgets and extras than, well, any other MPV. Ready? The C4 boasts bluetooth, DAB digital radio, and an optional 7 inch digital high definition touch screen with satnav. It even has a USB socket so you can upload images as backgrounds on the screen. Climate control comes as standard, but tricky on screen menu options are not really what you want to be focusing on while you’re driving. This Picasso also has armrests, a real luxury for long distances. The star of the show though is its ‘Relax pack’- a massaging seat that gives you lumbar support as you drive, almost making me want to buy one despite not having any kids. Continuing with the Picassos nifty kit, it comes with optional electronic skid control, self park and blind spot monitoring. Aside from all its gadgets, its petrol/diesel power 1.6 litre diesel with 115hp is a smooth ride that handles well – quick, comfortable and quiet. With its 70mpg fuel consumption, the Picasso has amazingly low running costs, which for most is pretty crucial when buying a much bigger vehicle, and it makes our top 5 thanks to all the innovative touches that you just don’t find in many MPV’s.
Renault Grand Scenic: Renault’s reputation for practical and stylish people carriers continues with the Grand Scenic. Let’s start with its seating system. Its mid row seats recline, and also slide, enabling you to increase the size of the already huge boot, providing you’re not using the back row. Although it must be said that the second row of seats need to be pushed all the way forward in order to leave any leg room in the back, so it loses points for roominess. The Scenic’s cabin has a high quality feel with soft touch components and a full colour display. Its curved windscreen and high driving position give fantastic visibility. So onto safety, this Renault is one of the highest scoring cars on the Euro NCAP safety tests with an amazing full 5 stars, a total of 8 air bags, ESP and anti-skid control, which makes it the strongest contender for safety in our top 5.
Seat Alhambra: Bigger and more eco-friendly than it’s predecessor, this second generation MPV stands out for its value for money, which is why we’ve decided to give it the top spot! Its electric sliding rear doors are great for parking in tight spaces and lead the way to a very roomy seating situation. The middle row can fit 3 child seats, whereas most of its rivals can only fit 2. This row of seats can also recline and slide leading to the back row, which is big enough for adults to sit comfortably in, making it come close to the finish line for one of the most spacious MPV’s around. It has immense boot space with all seats down. The Alhambra has a well built cabin with a quality feel to the dashboard and lots of cubby holes. The drive is an all rounder, smooth and quiet, making it perfect for long distances, and the added parking sensors are a nice touch to avoid you feeling like you’re trying to park a coach. Its fuel economy is decent and CO2 emissions are low too. There’s also the fact that it was voted best MPV in Whatcar? car of the year in 2011, 2012 and 2013- proving it’s popularity, and for that fact, it takes top spot in our top 5 MPV’s.
So whether you’re the Dad leaning towards the super-gadgety Picasso, or expecting baby number 4 and in need of some serious space, the MPV you choose is very much down to your individual needs. Any of these MPVs are available to you through Creditplus car finance, and you can find out more here.