Spacious cars

Need to transport a lot of people and their luggage on your travels? Check out the most spacious used cars of different types

Chris Rosamond
Jan 29, 2021

Not everyone needs nine seats and a mammoth boot, but even if you're shopping for a two-door sports car, having plenty of space for passengers and a bit of luggage can be a real selling point - and a reason to choose one car over a less practical alternative.

So whether you have a big family, a business or a hobby that means you have a lot of stuff to haul, making sure that the car you end up with is spacious can be very worthwhile. With that in mind, we've rounded up some of the most practical and best value cars from people carriers to SUVs and sports cars, that are both desirable and roomy, so you should never have to waste hours trying to pack and repack the boot to get everything in or have to put up with cries of 'are we nearly there yet?' soon after leaving home due to cramped rear seats.

These days even small hatchbacks and city cars can have tardis-like interiors with a surprising capacity for fitting in passengers and load-lugging. All well and good, but we’re here to help drivers with more demanding requirements for maximum luggage capacity and cabin space in family-sized cars and SUVs.

So we’ve picked some of the outstanding performers for practicality and value, and suggested a range of cars that we think offer some of the best deals for drivers who want to join the space race with their next nearly-new or used car purchase.

Check out the two impressively practical van-based people-carriers below if you're after serious space or look at the more upmarket SUV options for high-riding and desirable alternatives. Meanwhile, if you're on a tight bugdet, the surprisingly spacious and affordable Skoda Octavia could be a great choice, while the BMW 4 Series offers four-seat comfort in a much more sporty package. Keep reading to find the best spacious car for you.

Spacious cars

1. Skoda Octavia

Used deals from £7,495
Monthly finance from £145*

The Skoda brand has become a watchword for practicality in recent years, and for its mix of value and space the Octavia hatchback is one of the best of the bunch. It’s no wonder the Octavia is so popular with minicab drivers, as it offers a terrific amount of legroom in the back, and a very large boot to, er, boot. Despite being a very sensible purchase, the Octavia is still enjoyable to drive and packed with standard kit if you bypass entry-level S models and go for trim levels including SE Drive, SE Technology and SE L.

While the Octavia shares engines, a range of mechanical parts and in-car tech with the VW Golf, Skoda delivers it with a much roomier body that competes on space with models in the class above, like the Ford Mondeo. That’s why the Octavia knocks the Golf for six on boot space, with a hefty 220 litres more than the closely-related Golf.

A used Octavia should also be a very economical car to own and run, thanks to a range of highly-efficient VW Group 'TDI' diesel engines in older models, and advanced petrol 'TSI' engines which offer the prospect of strong fuel economy when driven gently and could be a good option for those who don't cover many miles but want to cut their fuel bills.

SKODA OCTAVIA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

Used deals from £7,790
Monthly finance from £170*

Estate cars offer loads of space for your money by their very nature, and few can match the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer for its all-round practicality. It may not have the biggest boot for a car of this size - see the estate versions of the Skoda Superb and VW Passat for that - but the interior accommodation for passengers is cavernous. Rear seat passengers in the Vauxhall have limo-like levels of legroom, and while the boot may not win a hand of Top Trumps it still beats already spacious rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6.

The Insignia Sports Tourer isn’t available new anymore, but that’s potentially another factor in its favour when you’re shopping for a nearly-new or used bargain. Running costs shouldn’t be too bad either, as most cars have fuel efficient and reliable diesel engines, that are relatively cheap to service.

Since the Insignia isn't available new anymore, you can find good deals on relatively recent models, with even late-2019 models available from as little as £15,000. Meanwhile, models that are less than three years old could be yours from just £12,500. Big, relatively recent cars don't come much cheaper.

VAUXHALL INSIGNIA SPORTS TOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Ford Tourneo Connect

Used deals Limited stock

When maximising space for your money is the critical factor in your search for a new car, it’s hard to argue with the concept of a van-based people carrier. Vehicles like the Ford Tourneo Connect may not boast quite the level of creature comforts or swish styling of their passenger car cousins, but it’s hard to argue with their credentials for carrying people and luggage.

If the idea of driving a ‘van with windows’ makes sense to you then the Ford Connect based Tourneo - and its bigger brother the Tourneo Custom - should be at the top of your list. Consider the fact that a brand new Tourneo Connect is nearly a third cheaper than a Ford S-Max, and it’s no wonder they look such good value used.

With fuel-efficient diesel engines they’ll be cheap to run, and while the boxy van body means you get a bit of extra wind and road noise on the move, the Tourneo has all the essentials you'd want in Zetec trim, and feel quite luxurious in Titanium form.

And if you need seven seats, Grand Tourneo Connect models offer a very good blend of passenger and luggage room, compared with most car-based people carriers.

4. Skoda Kodiaq

Used deals from £16,900
Monthly finance from £251*

No apologies for squeezing a second Skoda into our spacious cars selection, especially when it comes in the shape of the popular Skoda Kodiaq seven-seater SUV.

The Kodiaq is a large off-road style car that competes with the Land Rover Discovery Sport and VW Tiguan Allspace, although it’s designed primarily for road use and would flounder behind the Land Rover if you were to leave the tarmac.

Not an issue for most owners, of course, who will find the spacious Kodiaq to be one of the most practical cars around for day-to-day family use. The third row of seats has plenty of legroom for adults, albeit headroom is a little tight for taller people, but fold them down and the boot is enormous.

Well built, handsome and comfortable, the lack of a prestige badge means the Skoda is off to a good start for bargain hunters the moment it leaves the showroom. It’s not just competitively priced though, as a great suspension and steering setup plus decently punchy engines make the Kodiaq a pleasure to drive too. 

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Citroen SpaceTourer

Used deals from £15,555
Monthly finance from £243*

If you’re a fan of ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ then the Citroen Space Tourer is a shoe-in for a slot in our most spacious cars round-up. It offers oodles of space for people and luggage and its comfy suspension setup makes it well suited to relaxed cross-country tours.

It’s another van-based people carrier in the mould of the Ford Tourneo models. Under the relatively sleek exterior is the boxy outline of the Citroen Dispatch delivery van, which means a cavernous interior and room for up to nine passengers if you can find one of the rare XL models. The standard M version will carry seven, although like most people carriers the luggage space is a little compromised when all the seats are in play. Fold the back row down, though, and you could hold a rave in the boot - it's huge.

The Space Tourer has suspension that’s significantly upgraded over delivery van versions, so the ride is much more comfortable and it handles corners neatly too, in spite of its size. Wind and road noise are on the high side, but by no means bad, and the interior is surprisingly well fitted-out and equipped.

Diesel engines are efficient too, and with prices for a year-old model with low miles starting at around £18,000, the Space Tourer really does make a lot of sense for those after space on a budget.

CITROEN SPACETOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mercedes GLE

Used deals from £24,429
Monthly finance from £336*

If you like the SUV-style practicality of the Skoda Kodiaq but want to drive something with a bit more class, then the Mercedes GLE is a very attractive option.

It’s a big road-focused car with unmistakeable presence, and a very spacious cabin where five people can stretch out in comfort and luxury. Seven-seater versions are popular too - the third row is optional when new,. so if you need seven seats make sure any model you're looking at has this - but as with many SUVs, the rear chairs are best for kids.

The seven-seat option does give the GLE added flexibility, but the Mercedes really shines for its leg and headroom in the front two rows where five people could happily sit for hours at a time. It also has a massive boot, so it’s perfect for active families who like holiday road trips.

As you’d expect from an upmarket model, there is a wide range of engine options, including high-performance petrol offerings. Nearly new GLEs start at comfortably over £50,000, but you only have to pay half that to get into a three-year-old, four-wheel drive diesel model.

MERCEDES GLE BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Peugeot 5008

Used deals from £17,000
Monthly finance from £242*

The Peugeot 5008 is a fashionable crossover-style seven-seater SUV which offers even more space than its five-seat 3008 sister model with people carrier-style practicality.

Don’t confuse the new 5008 model introduced in 2017 with its rather ordinary people-carrier predecessor. The two are like chalk and cheese, and the revamp catapaulted the 5008 from worthy but dull people carrier to one of the most desirable cars of this type.

The stylish design grabs your attention first and gives the 5008 a quite upmarket feel. It’s certainly more fun to look at than the Skoda Kodiaq, and the theme continues inside where an unconventional design features a digital dashboard with instruments you look at over the top of a small steering wheel - a bit of a Peugeot party piece.

As befits a large people carrier/SUV there’s leg and headroom a plenty for five adults - unless you’re looking at a model with the panoramic glass roof, which compromises headroom in the second row. Again, as with many rivals, the rearmost pair of seats are best for kids or occasional use for adults, but fold them away and the 5008 offers a truly vast boot.

PEUGEOT 5008 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. BMW 4 Series Coupe

Used deals from £12,716
Monthly finance from £227*

Not everyone wants to drive a bus, so what can you do if you’re a sporty soul but you need a bit more space than the average sports car has to offer? Welcome to the world of the sporty four-seat coupe, where cars as diverse as the Audi TT, Ford Mustang and Toyota GT86 attempt to convince you that practicality and fun do go hand in hand.

If you want a spacious sporty car that’s genuinely fun to drive - and genuinely practical too - then the BMW 4 Series coupe should be on your radar.

It’s closely related to the 3 Series saloon which means in spite of only getting two doors and that swoopy rear roofline, there are proper seats in the back. Headroom isn’t as good as a 3 Series, but it’s not too claustrophobic and adults can ride there in relative comfort. Sadly you can’t say as much for many of the similarly sized cars touted as full four-seaters.

The BMW 4 Series is also blessed with a sensible and practical boot. There’s a wide range of engine options, from economical to seriously high-performance, so a wide range of prices to match. If you need more practicality you can even get the 4 Series Gran Coupe, which offers two rear passenger doors and a hatchback, which provides access to a decently large boot. Few cars offer such sleek style and space for people and luggage.

BMW 4 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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