Top 5 Best New Family MPV Cars 2017

Published Date: 1st Nov 2017

A family MPV needs to offer space, comfort, practicality and low running costs. With the ever increasing demand for top Crossover vehicles that can offer most if not all of the aforementioned, the so-called traditional family cars like MPVs and large family hatchbacks/saloons face stiff competition.

However, MPVs still offer some advantages over a Crossover, arguably a Crossover will beat most MPV’s in the looks stakes but most MPVs can trump them on space and practicality and MPVs still offer a relatively high driving position favoured by many.

So here are our top 5 recommended MPVs for 2017:

Read on for the low-down on theses popular MPVs:


Citroen C4 Grand Picasso

Grand C4 PIcasso ExteriorThe C4 Grand Picasso ticks all the boxes for a large family MPV. It offers up to 7 seats (if you don’t need 7 seats you can look at its little brother the C4 Picasso), there is  lots of space and practicality in the cabin and the clean engines offer very low emissions. The latest model offers refinements and styling updates which add to what was already a very good looking MPV.

Inside the Grand Picasso is equally stylish and eye-catching yet it doesn’t shirk its responsibility to provide space and practicality. Leg space is good with the exception of the third row seats which are ideally suited to children.

 Citroen has had a history of providing something of a different look inside with its cockpit style dash and the Grand Picasso doesn’t disappoint with a 12 inch digital display immediately catching the eye whilst the now obligatory infotainment system operated by touchscreen sits centrally on the dash.

The BlueHDi engines are the most popular and offer low running costs,  the  BlueHDi 100 S&S manual is the best of the bunch for keeping running costs to a minimum with CO2 emissions as low as  99 g/km and fuel economy of 74.3MPG (combined), which Citroen say is in the best in class.

Some petrol models do have a lower price-tag and a smoother/quieter drive but won’t deliver the same savings week on week, so It may be a case of doing your maths here. If you don’t clock up a lot of miles the puretech 130 petrol engine may be the one for you.

Citroen keep it simple with three trim-levels, the entry-level model is the Touch Edition with plenty of petrol and BlueHDi diesel options available, we recommend the BlueHDi 100 Manual for the best savings on running costs, it features:

  • Cruise control with speed limiter
  • Tinted rear window
  • Automatic dual-zone air con with pollen and charcoal filters
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Engine start button
  • Front fog lights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Automatic lights and rain sensing windscreen wipers
  • LCD central display
  • 16 inch alloy wheels

Next up is the Feel Edition which adds to the entry-level model with

  • Rear quarter light windows and rear windscreen
  • 'Aluminium' side profile with integrated roof bars
  • Automatic digital dual-zone air conditioning (with pollen and charcoal filters)
  • Front parking sensors
  • Front fog lights with cornering function
  • 12 inch Panoramic colour central display
  • 7 inch touchscreen drive Sat Nav, DAB/RDS radio with 6 speakers,
  • Bluetooth (handsfree support) and music streaming, USB/AUX support and Screen Mirroring

The top of the range Flair model offers a long list of equipment and safety features, some of the additions to the previous trim-levels are:

  • Blind spot monitoring system
  • A motorised rear tailgate
  • Kids Pack
  • Keyless entry/start
  • Driver's seat with electric massage function/ adjustable lumbar support
  • Park Assist

The entry-level Touch edition should offer enough equipment for most people, choose the BlueHDi 100 Turbo Diesel for class leading low CO2 emissions and fuel economy.

Very stylish looking large MPV, plenty of room, practicality and class leading diesel engines.

Not as much fun to drive as rivals like the Ford C-Max and S-Max.


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Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Zafira ExteriorThe Zafira Tourer is Vauxhall’s ‘slightly bigger’ brother of its predecessor the Zafira. With familiar Flex7 seating which enables seats to be folded and arranged in a number of combinations (something which has always been a selling point for the Zafira), it retains much of the core features of its predecessor.

In 2016 Vauxhall gave the Zafira a facelift which included improved exterior looks and new tech including the now obligatory infotainment system/touchscreen, whilst retaining what was always good about the Zafira.

Engine choice is a straight-forward business with the Zafira, there’s a 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine available with manual or automatic gearbox, a 1.6  diesel ecoTEC engine (manual transmission only) or a 2.0 litre diesel available with both manual and automatic transmissions, We think for a family car the 1.6 diesel ecoTEC is probably the way to go to keep running costs to a minimum offering CO2 emissions of 119g/km and combined fuel economy of up to 63mpg.

Picking a trim-level is unfortunately not as straight-forward with a confusing line-up of 8 models, you could literally spend hours trying to figure out which model has the features you need. Our recommendation would be to skip the entry-level model and choose the Tech Line Nav model which should meet most people’s expectations, it features:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Touchscreen/infotainment systems with sat nav
  • Climate Control
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • 17 inch alloy wheels

The latest Zafira Tourer offers improved refinement whilst retaining some of its best-selling points including Flex7 seating  and lots of clever and practical storage options inside. If you are in the market for a 7 seater MPV then it definitely an option you should consider.

The Tech Line Nav model should offer enough equipment for most, go for the 1,6 diesel ecoTEC and keep running costs to a minimum.

Latest models offer improved interior refinement, Flex7 seating.

The model line-up is confusing, diesel engines not as clean or frugal as some rivals.


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Renault Grand Scenic

Grand Scenic ExteriorThe Grand Scenic is the 7 seater bigger brother of the Scenic, space inside the cabin is generous with the exception of the third row seats, squeezing in the 6th and 7th seats does mean leg-room is ideally suited to children much like the Grand Picasso.

The Grand Scenic has evolved over the years into a very nice looking large MPV and we think it is up there with the Picasso in the style-stakes. Equally inside it is pretty refined for a MPV, you get a 7 inch infotainment system on the entry-level models whilst higher end models get a bigger 8.7 inch screen. 

There are four trim-levels, so it’s pretty straight-forward choosing a model, we recommend skipping the entry-level model and going for the Dyanmique Nav, which offers the 7 inch infotainment system with sat nav plus front and rear parking sensors over the entry-level model. Considering the difference in cost we think it’s well worth the additional outlay. Moving beyond the Dyanmique Nav trim-level sees a significant jump in cost which will be hard to justify for  lot of people.

There are a couple of petrol engines in the line-up  but we think for most the diesel engines are the way to go, if your primary aim is economy the dCi 110 diesel manual offers fuel economy of 70mpg (combined) and emissions of just 104g/km if you need a bit more grunt consider the dCi 130.

Skip the entry-level model and go for the Dynamique Nav with the dCi 110 to keep running costs to a minimum.

Good looking large MPV, practical, lots of storage compartments

Engines can be a tad noisy and not as smooth as some rivals.


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Ford Grand C-Max

Grand C-Max ExteriorThe Grand C-Max is the bigger 7 seater brother of the 5 seater C-Max, not to be confused with the S-Max which is bigger again, confused? The fundamental difference is the C-Max is built on the Ford Focus platform and the S-Max on the Mondeo platform. What they do have in common is refinement and a superior drive that’s unmatched by rival MPVs, if you’re looking for comfort, cruising on long journeys, look no further.

The main draw-back with the Grand C-Max is accommodating a driver, 6 passengers and luggage. When all the seats are up and in use boot space is minimum and leg room in the third row seat much like most 7 seat MPVs is ideally suited to smaller children.

Ford keep the model line-up simple with three trim-levels the Zetec, Titanium and Titanium-X and standard features on the entry-level Zetec are pretty generous and include:

  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Air con
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear stick
  • Radio/CD Player/ 4.2" colour display, DAB,  Ford SYNC with Voice Control
  • 16" alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights

Move up to the Titanium model and you see a generous upgrade in equipment levels with the addition of:

  • 8 inch touchscreen display
  • 17 inch alloy wheels
  • Rear parking distance sensors
  • Automatic headlights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Keyless Entry

The Titanium X adds more comfort and refinement with:

  • Part leather sports seats with contrast stitching
  • Heated front seats
  • Electrically adjustable driver’s seat
  • Panorama  roof with electrically operated blind
  • Bi-xenon HID headlights and  LED daytime running lights
  • Automatic headlight levelling

We like the Titanium model for the extra equipment at an additional cost from around £1400 over the entry-level model.

The engine line-up is a mixture of Fords 1.0 Ecoboost petrol engines and some diesel offerings. If you’re going all out to keep running costs as low as possible then the 1.5 TDCi  with fuel economy of 64mpg (combined) and emission of 113g/km is for you. If you prefer a petrol engine go for the 125PS Ecoboost as the 100PS feels a little underpowered. The 2.0 TDCi diesel offers a significant boost in power if you need some extra grunt (0-62mph in 9.2 seconds).

We like the extra equipment on the Titanium model, for low running costs the 1.5 TDCi diesel engine is a must.

Refinement, comfort and better to drive than rival MPVs.

Tight in the third row seats and boot space minimal when all seats are up.


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Ford S-Max

Ford S-Max ExteriorThe S-Max is the upper-end of the large MPV sector. If your budget can afford it and you want all the refinement and comfort a large MPV can provide then this is probably for you.

Ford offer four S-Max trim-levels, the Zetec, Titanium, ST-Line and the Vignale models.   We think the Zetec model offers a lot of equipment for an entry-level model which offsets the additional cost compared to some other large MPVs, there’s a long list of standard features including:

  • Radio/CD/DAB radio, SYNC 3, 8 inch touchscreen, media hub, 2 USBs and 8 speaker Sony sound systems
  • Ford Power Starter Button
  • Dual-zone electronic automatic air con
  • Sports-style front seats
  • Leather trimmed gear stick and steering wheel
  • Power-operated front and rear electric windows
  • 17 inch alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Electrically-operated and heated door mirrors
  •  Front and rear parking sensors

Engine wise there are 1.5 and 2.0 ecoboost petrol units and a range of diesels. We like the diesels; the S-Max is quite a hefty MPV so go for the 150PS diesel as a minimum.

Entry-level Zetec models offers good levels of equipment, go for one of the diesel engines (look at the 150PS engines and up).

Refinement, comfort, superb drive for a large MPV.

There are cheaper options


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