Best Of

Top 5 best MPVs

The best MPVs are super versatile, but don't skimp on style or excitement...

Words by: First published: 26th August 2016
If you think MPVs are for those people who’ve given up on life, then you’re dead wrong. Having lots of children doesn’t mean you have to settle for a car with no style or excitement, and these cars here are proof. MPVs are versatile enough to make everyday life with your brood a piece of cake, and with the family in tow, that’s exactly what you want.

This is our selection of the very best:
  • Citroen C3 Picasso – the small one
  • Citroen Grand C4 Picasso – the clever one
  • Ford S-Max – the enjoyable one
  • Volkswagen Touran – the classy one
  • Seat Alhambra – the massive one
Citroen C3 Picasso – the small one
The C3 Picasso proves you don’t have to be big to be clever. Even as our smallest offering, it provides generous space for all its occupants. And, with a rear bench that slides and folds, the seats are almost as versatile as those in many seven-seat MPVs; there are just fewer of them. The wacky, outlandish design – both on the inside and the outside – also means it has a hefty slice of style, while affordable prices, decent equipment levels and a comfortable and easy driving experience help immeasurably.

Expert review | Owner review
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso – the clever one
The C4 takes the merits of its smaller Picasso cousins, and builds on them. The three seats in the middle row can be slid, reclined and folded individually, and each comes with an Isofix child seat mounting point. Two extra seats can also be folded up from the boot floor, and with a bit of give-and-take on the position of the sliding middle row, these have enough space for a pair of adults, meaning seven grown-ups can travel at once. Of course, the space for smaller people is even more generous. The ingenious design of the windscreen gives you an unparalleled view of the road, and the compliant suspension and flexible engines make it comfortable and easy to drive.

Expert review | Owner review
Ford S-Max – the enjoyable one
With seven individual chairs – the rearmost five of which fold flush into the floor and have all sorts of sliding and reclining options – the seating arrangement in the S-Max is as clever and versatile as it is in any rival. It’s also very competitive for space. Where the big Ford stands out, is that it’s by far the most enjoyable car of its type to drive. It changes direction really keenly, with lots of grip and tight control over body movements, while the steering is responsive, accurate and nicely weighted. This agility doesn’t come at the expense of a comfortable ride, however, so your family will be as relaxed as you are excited.

Expert review | Owner review
Volkswagen Touran – the classy one
Clever seats? Check. Huge space? Check. Massive boot? Check. Yes, the Touran does all that MPV stuff we’ve been going on about as well as any other compact seven-seater rival, making it as versatile as any family could ever need it to be. However, it also has one or two other aces up its sleeve. The first of these is quality. With posh-feeling materials and solid standards of assembly, it feels like a plusher car than the majority of its rivals, and the image delivered by that VW badge does it no harm either. All five of the seats behind the driver come with an Isofix point, meaning lots of child seats can be tethered at once.

Expert review | Owner review
Seat Alhambra – the massive one
Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for size, and that’s why the Alhambra is one of the finest MPVs money can buy. It provides even more generous space than its more compact rivals give you – there’s even a decent amount of boot space when all seven seats are in place – and the car’s seating arrangement is just as clever. You also get sliding rear doors as standard, so getting in and out of any of the five rear seats is an absolute doddle. Chuck in a neatly finished and well equipped cabin, plus a driving experience that is comfortable, easy and a surprising amount of fun, and this is all the family car you’ll ever need.

Expert review | Owner review

Interested in buying a Citroen C3 Picasso?