If you’re looking for an MPV there’s plenty of options on the market from compact 5 seater MPV’s to large 9 seater vehicles. Here’s a review of our top five recommended MPV’s:
The New Citroen C4 Picasso
Available as the Citroen C4 Picasso (5 seats) or Citroen C4 Grand Picasso (7 seats), this MPV has built a very strong following combining stylish looks that set it apart from other MPV vehicles with practicality, space and excellent levels of equipment.
The Picasso comes in four trim levels the Citroen C4 Picasso VTR, VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+ with even the entry-level model offering very good levels of equipment including front and rear electric windows, 16 inch alloy wheels, panoramic windscreen, six speaker audio with Bluetooth, music streaming, USB and AUX support, seven inch touch-screen, steering wheel mounted controls, immobiliser, cruise control and speed limiter, daytime running LED lights, automatic door and boot locking, electronic child locks and indicators.
Safety is excellent in the Picasso with the following as standard on all models: emergency braking assistance (EBA), electronic stability control (ESC) with traction control, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) , automatic electronic parking brake, driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with cut-off device, front lateral and curtain airbags (including second row seats), air compressor with puncture repair kit, high-frequency plip remote control, central locking with deadlocks and an anti-theft immobiliser.
Two petrol and three diesel engines are available. If you’re looking for good performance then the THP 155 turbo petrol will offer 0-62mph in 9 seconds with a top speed of 130mph. The most frugal is the e-HDi 90 diesel that offers a combined fuel economy of 74 mpg and CO2 emissions of 98g/km although it might be a bit too sluggish for some people. The likely most popular engine will be the e-HDi 115 Airdream 6-speed manual which offers a good trade-off between performance and low running costs with a power output of 114 bhp, it offers 70 mpg fuel economy and 105 g/km of CO2 output whilst being capable of doing 0-62mph in 11.8 seconds.
The New Peugeot 5008
The 7 seater Peugeot 5008 won What Cars award for best mid priced MPV and has a reputation for refinement. The interior for example offers a little more quality than other rival MPV’s and ride quality is very smooth regardless of the engine choice.
Good levels of equipment are available with entry-level new Peugeot 5008 Access models equipped with alloy wheels, air-con, front electric windows, CR/Radio audio system, heated and electric door mirrors, the SR trim notably adds sat-nav and the Active model adds rear electric windows, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Although entry-level models may not be quite as well equipped at the Citroen Picasso the Peugeot trumps the Citroen with a classier interior and a smoother ride.
There are two petrol engines, a 118bhp 1.6 unit and a 1.6 turbo although we expect the HDi diesels to be the choice for most as they offer superior fuel economy and good performance. There are two 2.0 litre diesel units in a 148bhp and a nippier 168bhp option, but the 113bhp 1.6 diesel should be powerful enough to satisfy most buyers with the added attraction of lower running costs.
The New Toyota Verso
The Verso is perfect for long journeys with the family, it offers an ultra smooth ride with improvements in cabin noise meaning even on the motorway you’ll find it very quiet inside the car.
Inside this latest Verso there have been efforts to improve the quality of materials. Equipment levels are adequate on the entry-level Verso Active model with steel wheels, daytime running lights, fog lights, heated electric door mirrors, air con, front electric windows, a four speaker radio/CD/MP3 player.
Likely to be a popular choice is the next trim-level up, the new Toyota Verso Icon which adds styling and equipment options to the Active model including 16 inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, electric retractable mirrors, piano black front grille, chrome surround front fog lamps, rear view parking camera, Toyota's multimedia touch screen system with six speak audio system, Bluetooth and DAB radio, a leather steering wheel and gear stick, cruise control, aviation trays, cooled glove box and dual zone air con. From the long list you’ll appreciate it is well worth considering whether you want to pay the additional cost for the Icon model as the benefits and many over the entry-level model.
The top of the range Toyota Verso excel adds 17 graphite inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, smarty entry, automatic windscreen wipers, automatic headlights, silver roof rails, leather trim seats, keyless start, leather armrest and door trim, rear window sunshades and auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Depending on the trim level you choose the Verso is available with a choice of two petrol engines, a 130hp 1.6 litre petrol or 145hp 1.8 litre and a 122hp 2.0-litre turbo diesel unit. The diesel is expected to be biggest seller with this latest diesel unit being significantly smoother than it’s predecessor and more efficient with CO2 emissions of 129g/km and a fuel economy of 57.6mpg. It still manages a respectable 11.3 seconds for 0-62mph with a top speed of 115mph.
The New Vauxhall Zafira
The 7 seater Vauxhall Zafira has been a popular MPV on UK roads for many years, some critics say it’s a bit dated but Vauxhall have introduced the Zafira Tourer (larger version of the standard 7 seater Zafira) and new styling has given the Zafira some welcome new looks. It still may be some way off the stylish looks of some of it’s MPV rivals but that’s never been it's strong point anyway....
The strong point for the Zafira is when you get inside it .... It offers a solid and durable build perfect for families, probably the best amongst it's rivals in fact. THe Zafira delivers clever practicality and Vauxhall’s Flex7seating arrangement with the last two rows all folding flat to offer a van-sized loading space to make it the perfect, flexible MPV for the family.
Safety wise the Zafira got the full N-CAP five stars for adult protection and a reasonable four stars for child protection. All models across the range are equipped with anti-lock brakes fitted with cornering control to reduce any skidding, front and side airbags (with curtain airbags available on top-end models), electronic brake force distribution and collapsible pedals. Electronic stability control is available but only as an option.
Diesels are the big sellers as they are smooth, economical and quite punchy although the CDTi 130 may be a little sluggish and might be one to avoid. Two petrol engines are also available, a 1.8 and 1.4 turbo.
The New Volkswagen Touran
The Volkswagen Touran is a very good all-rounder that offers a solid build and smooth ride, it may not be quite as clever as some of it’s rivals when it comes to features but none the less it is a very solid MPV.
The entry-level model comes with a good level of equipment although as with the Toyota Verso you may want to consider the mid-range model (the SE) as it makes a lot of sense with the additional levels of equipment you’ll get. The Volkswagen Touran SE offers above the entry-level model; Bluetooth, MDI (Multi Device Interface), 12v socket for second row seats, flight tables on rear of seats, heated, insulated and tinted glass, roof rails with chrome finish, body coloured side strips and door handles, front comfort seats, rain sensoring wipers, automatic headlights, leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel, multi-function computer, park assist and rear parking sensors. As you can see that’s a lot of extra kit so you will need to consider the SE model if you don;t mind paying the extra cost.
There's an excellent engine line-up, the turbocharged 1.2 petrol unit should be adequate for most people. Performance is modest, especially when you’re loaded up, but it’s very affordable to buy and running costs are very attractive. High-mileage motorists and company car drivers will benefit from one of the diesel options with the 1.6 likely to be the big seller.