Best MPVs and People Carriers 2024

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Best MPVs and People Carriers 2024

  • What are the best MPVs?
  • We test and rate the contenders
  • Find an MPV for sale

The best MPVs deliver the kind of family-friendly practicality that no hatchback or SUV is capable of. But which should you be buying? Our expert guide tells all. 

A quick look at the sales charts will tell you that MPVs are not as desirable as they once were. Many new car buyers have traded outright roominess for style and ruggedness with big SUVs instead. 

However, if you've got a big family, or simply don't care about whether your car is considered fashionable, the choices in this best MPVs list are great options to buy or lease. Most are pretty affordable and cheap to run, while they're well-equipped and offer a refined and comfortable driving experience.

Arguably the most important factor is practicality, though. The boxier shape and reduced need for ground clearance means most offer a good deal more space than an equivalent family SUV. They've also got clever seat folding, useful storage areas and easy-to-use child seat mounting points. Not sexy stuff, but vital for a growing family.

Mind you, some are more desirable than you might think. We've included a choice of five-seat or seven-seat MPVs here, while some have even more chairs than that. There's also the option of petrol, diesel, hybrid and fully electric power to satisfy all needs.

And you don’t need to spend a fortune either with plenty available on a budget, so here are the best MPVs on the market you can buy right now.

If you're ready to buy we've got over 1000 Used MPV Cars for Sale, while if you want more choice, we have over 70,000 Used Cars for Sale. If you're looking to save money, check out our guide to the Best Car Deals.

Best MPVs 2024

  1. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
  2. Volkswagen Multivan
  3. Volkswagen Touran
  4. Vauxhall Vivaro Life
  5. Dacia Jogger
  6. Ford Tourneo Connect
  7. Mercedes-Benz B-Class
  8. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer
  9. Mercedes-Benz V-Class
  10. SEAT Alhambra

1. BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

Year launched: 2022

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Review 2023: rear static
9/10

Want an MPV that feels like a compact executive car to drive? You'll want the latest BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. The challenging design won't be to all tastes, but the quality, tech and driving experience are class-leading. 

The latest version, while far from the cheapest car on this list, offer so much to like for the driver and passengers alike. For starters there's that family-friendly cabin, with sliding and reclining rear seats that suit even six-footers, a big boot and useful storage solutions. But being a BMW also means you get a high level of fit-and-finish, a smart design and the very latest infotainment - you'll think you're in a taller BMW 3 Series.

There's a good variety of engines to choose from, although none are outstandingly fast until the 326PS plug-in hybrid version arrives. But you get smoothness, refinement and efficiency in abundance, while the keen, almost hot hatch-like handling means even the most exhausted parent can enjoy themselves. Sure the ride is on the firm side for an MPV, but it's never uncomfortable. 

Can't quite stomach the cost of the new one? The previous-generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is still a good value all-round choice, and can be had as the seven-seat BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.

2. Volkswagen Multivan

Year launched: 2022

2. Volkswagen Multivan
8/10

Never heard of the Volkswagen Multivan? Well it's the brand's crucial new replacement for the Volkswagen Caravelle. Crucial because the Caravelle was a big success and recognised as one of the finest van-based people carriers money can buy.

The Multivan is off to a good start, however, because it's based on VW's car platform underneath. While it still looks like a van on the outside this means that it's much less utilitarian to drive, with better refinement, handling and comfort. It also means you get the option of a plug-in hybrid version, giving you 31 miles of pure electric range and then a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine for longer trips. 

With a lower roof than the old Caravelle it'll fit into multi-storey car parks, but you still get plenty of space inside with up to seven seats that can be configured in different ways. Still not enough space? There's a 20cm longer version with a truly massive boot. 

You also get the latest gadgets and safety assist features you'll find in VW's cars, too. But you pay a privilege with prices starting at just under £44,000 and rising to over £60,000, and don't expect any used bargains for a while.

3. Volkswagen Touran

Year launched: 2015

Volkswagen Touran Review 2023: front dynamic
8/10

Like the bigger Volkswagen Sharan, the Volkswagen Touran comes with seven seats as standard and the extra two at the back fold flat into the floor when not in use, leaving you with a usable boot. The Touran is a smaller model, though, and has less space overall for your seven passengers and luggage.

There's plenty of upsides to the Touran's more compact size, though. For starters it's basically a last generation VW Golf underneath, which makes it not only easy, comfortable and surefooted to drive, but also much easier to park and thread through traffic than a full-size MPV.  

Most Volkswagen Tourans for sale come with either the 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines. They're not the most refined units by today's standards but offer punchy performance and very strong fuel economy. However if you want a smoother ride than the 1.2 or 1.4-litre TSI petrol models are worth a look. The later 1.5 TSI petrol, which replaced the 1.4, is even better. 

Good used examples of Tourans without high mileage start at just over £15,000, with nearly-new models likely to set you back over £25,000.

4. Vauxhall Vivaro Life

Year launched: 2019

Vauxhall Vivaro Life Review 2023: Front Side View
8/10

No, we can't pretend that the van-based Vauxhall Vivaro Life is remotely sexy or likely to turn the heads of other parents on the school run. But ask any parent of more than three children what matters most in a car, and it's rarely desirability. 

Getting the maximum amount of space and seating flexibility for the money is what matters for multi-child families, and you don't get much more of that than the Vivaro Life. You can choose five (don't bother), eight or even nine seats, with medium and long wheelbases available. Going for the full nine seats does cut back on boot space, however, which is (obviously) van-like in other versions. There's even the option of luxury captain's chairs on the Elite model. 

Van-based people carriers are far from sparse these days, and features such as adaptive cruise control, massaging seats and even a head-up display are available on the Vauxhall Vivaro Life. Plus, it's better than you might think on the road, although the ride only really settles with five or more passengers. 

The Vivaro's engine line-up is diesel-heavy, and either the 150PS or 180PS models offer plenty of pulling power. However, what adds to the appeal is the fully electric Vivaro-e Life, offering smooth, silent and local emissions-free transport - although a maximum range of just 143 miles isn't great for long family holidays

5. Dacia Jogger

Year launched: 2022

Dacia Jogger Review 2023: front dynamic
7/10

If you're after a seven-seater that won't break the bank, then stop scrolling. The Dacia Jogger is here and it's a bargain - even when bought new. 

There's a raised ride height giving you a better view of the road, and the two third-row seats can be easily removed when not required to expand the boot space to a suitcase-gobbling 699 litres.

It's not a huge car either, meaning the Jogger is still easy to navigate through town and down tight country roads - and parking sensors are standard across the range. If you want better efficiency (and an auto-box), there's a recently released full hybrid option available with a claimed combined mpg of 57.7.

We'd recommend going for the Comfort (or Extreme SE) trim, as you’ll get a number of handy extras such as a reversing camera and infotainment display, which will make driving and owning the Jogger far more pleasant.

6. Ford Tourneo Connect

Year launched: 2014

Ford Tourneo Connect (2014-2021) Review
7/10

If you’re after practicality and durability, the Tourneo Connect may be just what you’re looking for. Based on Ford’s Transit Connect van, the Tourneo has heaps of storage space and with sliding doors on either side access is easy for rear seat passengers - and parents wrestling little ones into car seats.

There’s plenty of cubby holes too, and the rugged interior means it can handle the rough and tumble of family life without the worry of ruining fancy carpets or plush upholstery. 

Ford’s also refined the cabin, and there’s less external and engine noise, making the Tourneo feel more like a car than its predecessor. If you need more seating, there’s the Grand Tourneo Connect which adds a third row of seats to take person capacity up to seven.

In short the Tourneo Connect offers you the best of both worlds between a van and MPV. If you need to move people or stuff, the Tourneo has you covered.

7. Mercedes B-Class

Year launched: 2019

Mercedes B-Class Review 2023: side
7/10

While the previous Mercedes B-Class was too flawed to recommend, this latest model is far superior in every respect. Based on the excellent Mercedes A-Class, Mercedes has designed a comfortable and high quality MPV with one of the best interior designs around. While there’s little in the way of excitement, it is very comfortable and relaxing, making this ideal for longer journeys as well as the school and nursery run of a morning.

There’s plenty of room in the back, so it’s ideal if you have toddlers in car seats or younger children with rear facing car seats. Here the flat seats are very helpful with the base of the child seat able to sit flush with the seat cushion. 

The B-Class also gets Mercedes’ excellent MBUX infotainment system which works like Amazon’s Alexa allowing you (and more likely your children) to shout commands at the car. “Mercedes, drown out the kids moaning with Radio 4” and so on...

8. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer

Year launched: 2018

Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer Review 2023: exterior rear three quarter photo of the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer
7/10

The Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer is the artist formerly known as the Grand C4 Picasso, but fundamentally its the same car that's been around since 2014 underneath bar a few tweaks. 

What hasn’t changed is the fact this is one of the best seven-seat MPVs on the market. It’s also one of the better looking ones, hiding its 4.5 metre length with a neat and modern design. This is no boxy people carrier.

But where the Citroen shines is when it comes to ride quality. Citroen has traditionally had a great reputation for comfort and the Grand C4 SpaceTourer continues that. The excellent suspension set-up smooths out rough roads and doesn’t crash over potholes.

There’s generous room inside too, which is noticeable in the second row. It’s impressively spacious with plenty of legroom, helped by the fact you can slide the seats back and forward and tilt the backrests There are three individual seats too and it's not too much of a squeeze with three abreast, while the big windows and light and airy feel really appeal. You can also have an extended windscreen to bring even more light in, plus luxury features such as a reclining passenger footrest and massaging seats.

9. Mercedes-Benz V-Class

Year launched: 2015

Mercedes-Benz V-Class Review 2023: frontright exterior
7/10

Want a lot of MPV for your money? Look no further than the Mercedes-Benz V-Class. This luxurious people carrier is enormous and will dwarf even seven-seat MPVs like the Ford Galaxy. If you’ve got a small driveway, this isn’t the car for you. But if you have the space, this is the best big MPV on the market, eclipsing even the Volkswagen Caravelle.

Yes it may look like a van (it is based on the Mercedes Vito panel van) but the inside is more like a Mercedes E-Class with plush materials, a high-quality dashboard and excellent refinement throughout. The standard model has seven seats while the Extra Long version gets eight and they can be turned around to face each other.

All models come well equipped and electric sliding doors are standard along with an electric tailgate. At £25,000 and above it represents great value when you consider the sheer space you’re getting. Just be aware you'll be mistaken for a high-end airport taxi. 

10. SEAT Alhambra

Year launched: 2010

SEAT Alhambra Review 2023 Left Side View
7/10

Far from the newest design around, the SEAT Alhambra looks like the kind of car you’d find at a minicab rank late at night, but it actually has plenty to recommend it. For starters, there’s the fact it has sliding rear side doors. No more worrying about the kids whacking the doors into that shiny new Porsche you’ve just parked next to.

The rearmost seats are a little tight for adults but children will be happy once they’ve clambered in. Folding and unfolding the rear seats is very easy, too, meaning it’s straightforward to free up huge amounts of van-like space for those trips to your favourite Swedish furniture shop.

You can of course go for the Alhambra’s sister car - the Volkswagen Sharan - but the SEAT tends to be cheaper or at least better equipped for the same money. Pretty much all models are the strong and efficient 2.0 TDI diesel, and while SEAT sold a 1.4 TSI petrol they are rare at this budget. It's not as sharp to drive as the S-MAX by any stretch, but it offers good comfort and decent refinement. 

Xcellence trim has everything you could want for in terms of kit, but none are truly sparse. It's not as cheap as you might think, though: a budget of around £25,000 will get you a 2019 example with an automatic gearbox and with roughly 25,000 miles. 

Best MPV and People Carrier FAQs

David Ross

Written by

David Ross

The best used MPV is arguably the Ford S-MAX. It has space for seven inside yet drives much like a car rather than a big boxy people carrier. The diesels are economical and ideal for long distances. We also recommend the Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer and Volkswagen Touran. 

It depends what you want. SUVs usually prioritise style and rugged off-road ability over outright space and value, whereas MPVs are boxier and less desirable but usually have more space for passengers and luggage. SUVs are definitely on trend right now, though. 

The Ford Galaxy offers huge amounts of space if you want an MPV - considerably more than a 7-seat SUV. There is also its sportier counterpart, the Ford S-MAX. There are plenty around on the used market. Also consider the Volkswagen Sharan and SEAT Alhambra.

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