When it comes to family cars, bigger is better. You need plenty of room inside to keep the warring factions in your family happy. You need space in the boot for shopping bags and pushchairs. And big cars also tend to be safer and sturdier.

For a long time, the family car of choice was the people carrier. More seats, bigger size, like having your own personal minibus. But the late-2000s, early 2010s saw a newcomer onto the market – affordable, sizeable crossover SUVs. Now every car company are producing their own crossover SUV models.

But which are better? The SUV or the MPV? Here we’ve picked the best four of each.

Crossover SUvs

Nissan Qashqai


The car that started it all. Before the Nissan Qashqai, SUVs were for those who lived and worked in the countryside or wanted to show off at the country club. The Qashqai was the first popular crossover model, combining the size of an SUV with the comfort and safety features of a family vehicle.

The key selling point of the Qashqai is the seating position for the driver. You have an excellent high view of the road, allowing you to spot potential dangers and obstructions – making it ideal for navigating the treacherous school run. The interior has also designed with comfort in mind, so your little ones will feel nice and snug inside. It’s a great all-rounder and, if you need more seats, go for the Qashqai + 2 model.

Audi Q5


For those seeking a more polished, classier crossover, then the Audi Q5 is up there with the best of them. German engineering gives the car a smooth, comfortable ride. It doesn’t drive like a big bulky vehicle. The sleek styling also gives it another big plus, those distinctive Audi curves making it seem like a futuristic vehicle.

The interior is well-built and finished – you might be a little reluctant to let your family loose on the inside because it is that nice. There are a whole range of technology options to choose from so you can upgrade to provide the entertainment system or climate control necessary to keep your family happy. All in all, a fantastic premium crossover.

Skoda Yeti


While the company may have recently launched the excellent Kodiaq, the Skoda Yeti is still one of the best crossovers in class. It’s a solidly built SUV, feeling sturdy and strong, giving you a sense that the car is safe and secure for you and your family. The seating position is not as high as some of the other crossovers, but you still get a great view of the road around you.

It’s a very practical, no frills vehicle that is perfect for those with a younger family who might be messy passengers. But if you do keep it clean and in good condition, the Yeti is one of the best SUVs for keeping its residual value – so it won’t lose too much of its worth over the years.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV


If you are a bit more eco-conscious as a driver, the thought of a crossover SUV might make you feel a little guilty. But one of the best SUVs on the market is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid that will reduce your carbon footprint and lessen the impact in your wallet. On tax alone, you can save thousands of pounds per year.

Aside from its green credentials, the car is great to drive with excellent handling. It also looks good, having benefitted from a recent facelift. And if you are using it for the school run, you have an electric-only range for 25 miles.

People carriers (MPVs)

Renault Scenic MPV


People carriers tend to be big and bulky beasts, like cars made from lego. But the only lego in the Renault Scenic MPV would be the toys your children play with, as you drive around in one of the most striking people carriers on the market.

Big and robust, the Scenic MPV is not too heavy to drive despite its size. The cabin interior has been designed with practicality and families in mind, especially the seats that flip and fold into a variety of different combinations. But it’s the exterior styling that is likely to appeal most of all.

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Spacetourer


The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso made a big impression on its launch thanks to the distinctive art-themed television advert. But it wasn’t all style, no substance, and the Spacetourer version of the Picasso has gone on to become one of the best people carriers in class.

The clever, practical touches that populate the interior show just how much thought the designers have put in for families. With a range of different trims available, there are versions to suit those who love technology, adaptability, or a bit more panache. For example, the ‘Feel’ trim gives you a beautiful panoramic windscreen for excellent views of the road and your surroundings.

Volkswagen Touran MPV


Another car to choose practicality over flair and style, the Volkswagen Toruan won’t set your heart-racing. But you can look forward to a less stressful drive as your family enjoys the spacious, roomy interior where conflicts are kept at an arm’s length – even in the full seven-seater model.

The Touran also benefits from one of the best safety ratings of any car, receiving the full five stars from Euro NCAP for adult and child passenger protection. As with all Volkswagens, there are a number of different engine sizes to choose from, so you can tailor the power and performance to fit your needs.

Ford Grand C-Max MPV


Anyone who remembers the Ford Galaxy will know just how good the American car manufacturer is at producing high quality family cars. The Grand C-Max is the spiritual successor, with the practical yet compact build. Sliding rear doors means you can get your family out even in a tight parking space. The car also benefits from a range of economical diesel engines, although you might want to consider any potential diesel tax before choosing this option.

So... People carrier or SUV?

Whether you want your own mini minibus or a car that was built for off-road that’s now been tamed for city driving, Creditplus can help you find the perfect family car for you and your little ones.

Apply online today, and you’ll soon be behind the wheel of a fantastic family car tailored perfectly to your needs.

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