Best used MPVs

The mainstream may be moving into SUVs, but the best used MPVs offer much better value for money

BuyaCar team
Mar 5, 2018

Despite car buyers’ love affair with high-riding SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicle) such as the Nissan Qashqai, MPVs (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), or people carriers, still have a lot going for them.

Doors that open wide, large boots, multiple storage solutions, up to seven seats that slide, tip and fold away, excellent visibility – just some of the reasons an MPV is worth considering.

It’s not as if their development has slowed down, either. In the past two years, many of the models we feature below have either been replaced or updated.

With the exception of the compact Ford B-Max, we’ve chosen to concentrate on seven-seat MPVs. After all, if an MPV is about versatility, why restrict yourself to a five-seat model with just two rows of seats and a modest boot?  

Still, if the prospect of a full-size seven-seat MPV is a little daunting, there are enough good five-seat models to choose from including the Renault Scenic, Citroen C4 Picasso and Ford C-Max.

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 

Best used MPV for flair with practicality

Typical example Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 BlueHDI Exclusive Age 2015 / 20,000 miles
Price £12,000 Representative finance payments £190 per month

The C4 Grand Picasso was updated in 2016, but earlier versions are no less capable and are certainly cheaper. The update brought a more responsive touchscreen with better connectivity; otherwise, the car’s essential ingredients remain intact. They include one of the most spacious and versatile interiors in this class (the rearmost seats fold easily into the floor) that is also refreshingly stylish.
The C4 Grand Picasso wasn’t tested by Euro NCAP but the smaller five-seat C4 Picasso was, when it earned five stars (in 2013).
The petrol engines are efficient but if you regularly travel fully laden, go for one of the diesels, such as the 1.6 that will cruise comfortably and return up to 70mpg.

Renault Grand Scenic

Best used MPV for hiding places

Typical example Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCi Dynamique TomTom Energy Age 2014 / 15,000 miles
Price £11,500 Representative finance payments £177 per month

Renault has a lot of experience in the MPV sector and it shows in this previous-generation Scenic. An all-new version was launched in 2016 but you’ll pay around £6,000 more for a 2016-registered example, which seems a lot when the old car still has a lot going for it.
All but its front two seats are removable (they only slide and fold in the new car). They’re individual affairs so you can create any number of seating layouts. Kids will love that and the secret storage compartments in the floor. Safety isn't compromised, either, since the old model achieved the full five stars from Euro NCAP, albeit in 2009.
The 1.4 petrol engine is a good choice if your mileage is on the low side, but if you plan weekend jaunts and holiday trips, consider the 1.5 diesel.

Volkswagen Touran

Best used MPV for toughness

Typical example VW Touran 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion SE Age 2016 / 10,000 miles
 Price £15,400 Representative finance payments £230 per month

We were tempted to choose the old-model VW Touran, replaced in 2015 by this all-new version based on the current VW Golf. After all, a 2014-registered example is around £4,500 cheaper and can still carry seven in comfort.
However, the new Touran is safer (it has five stars from Euro NCAP), more versatile (the individual seats all slide as well as fold into the floor) and not only roomier than the old Touran but also current rivals including the Ford C-Max and BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.
Being a VW, its interior is tough and trim is solidly anchored. There’s a choice of engines but our vote goes to the 1.6 TDI for its refinement, economy and pulling power.

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Best used MPV for value

Typical example Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTi EcoFLEX SRi Age 2015 / 30,000 miles
Price £11,500 Representative finance payments £168 per month

The Zafira Tourer is one of the UK’s top-selling MPVs and received a facelift in 2016. It deserves a place here for its sheer value with prices starting from £10,000 for a pre-facelift 2015 2.0 CDTI.
Its Flex7 seating system is more awkward to use than rival solutions but it certainly makes the most of the available space. The model isn’t the most entertaining MPV to drive but it is refined and comfortable. It earned the full five stars from Euro NCAP for safety, although that was back in 2011.
The big 2.0-litre diesel engine is perfect for long-distance trips but the smaller 1.6 diesel is quieter and more frugal. If your driving is mainly urban, the 1.4 turbo petrol is perfectly adequate. A 2014-registered 1.4 SRI with 15,000 miles starts at around £9,500.

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

Best used MPV for luxury

Typical example BMW 216D SE Gran Tourer Age 2015 / 15,000 miles
Price £17,500 Representative finance payments £250 per month

Like the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, the Gran Tourer proves you don't have to accept dull styling when choosing an MPV. In fact, the BMW goes one better by feeling luxurious, too. But it should do, as it is the most expensive here.
It’s not all style without substance though, since the Gran Tourer is also very practical. The electrically powered seats fold to create a 1,820-litre load space, while the powered tailgate opens onto a low loading sill that’s perfect for loading heavy objects or a reluctant dog. A black mark goes to the rearmost seats which are quite cramped (those in a C4 Grand Picasso are roomier).
The options list is extensive so if you’re lucky you may be able to get a head-up display and remote-opening tailgate with your used Gran Tourer.

Ford Grand C-Max

Best used MPV for all-round appeal

Typical example Ford Grand C-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec Age 2014 / 30,000 miles
Price £9,995 Representative finance payments £160 per month

The Ford C-Max deserves its place here because it has sliding doors rather than hinged. These are especially useful in tight spaces and when loading children.
Like most of our selection, it’s a seven-seater but there’s really only enough room in the back for children. When all individual seats are in place (they can tip and fold), the boot is small, too.
The C-Max is genuinely fun to drive. Its steering lets you know precisely where the wheels are pointing, while the suspension is just firm enough to contain body lean in corners without being uncomfortable.
The 2.0 CDTI engine is powerful but for most occasions, the 1.6 diesel delivers a good blend of performance with low running costs, while the 1.0 125PS EcoBoost petrol is perfect for urban journeys and can do up to 54mpg.
Post-2014 facelifted models are worth seeking out for their attractive trapezoidal grille design and SYNC2 voice control technology.

Seat Alhambra

Best used MPV for practicality

Typical example Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI SE Age 2016 / 35,000 miles
Price £15,990 Representative finance payments £213 per month

The Seat Alhambra is a large, seven-seat MPV with sliding doors. It’s a close relative of the VW Sharan in terms of oily bits, and there’s not much between them in terms of price. So your choice between them may come down to specification and availability.
Both were facelifted in 2015, each receiving more efficient engines, new steering wheels and the latest generation of colour touchscreen. The Alhambra gained three-zone air conditioning and Bluetooth as standard.
Don’t feel short-changed if you choose to buy an older model, though. A 2014-registered 2.0 TDI SE with 35,000 miles is around £14,990 and is just as versatile (all five rear seats can fold individually into the floor), roomy (it has a total load volume of 2,297 litres) and capable of accommodating three child seats with Isofix mountings across the middle seats.


Ford S-Max

Best used MPV for sporty looks

Typical example Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec Age 2016 / 15,000 miles
Price £15,990 Representative finance payments £230 per month
The original S-Max of 2006 surprised everyone with its blend of MPV practicality and low, sporty styling. The current version, launched in 2015, retains the same seven-seat layout and has an impressive 2,200 litres seats-down load volume, but is even more stylish.
The rearmost seats are only suitable for children, so if that’s important to you, you should check out the – more expensive – Ford Galaxy. The tailgate is electrically powered and opens onto a low floor and there are no less than six engines to choose from, but the 2.0 TDCI is the best all-rounder.
Too expensive? An old-model S-Max of 2014 is around £4,000 cheaper.
Search all Ford S-Max deals

Ford Galaxy

Best used MPV for sheer space

Typical example Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi 163 Titanium Age 2014 / 35,000 miles
Price £14,999 Representative finance payments £256 per month

An all new Ford Galaxy arrived in 2015 but we’re focusing on the previous version here because at its heart, it’s just as practical and versatile but usefully cheaper. In fact, you’ll save around £3,500 buying a 2014-registered Galaxy rather than a new-shape 2015-registered model.
What’s more, you’ll get the same roomy interior (there’s almost 2,400 litres of load space with all the seats folded) and the same number of possible seating configurations (32).
True, it’s not quite as refined or as high-tech as the new model but it’s almost as good to drive and the 2.0 TDCi diesel engine will get the family to Cornwall or the south of France effortlessly and economically.

Ford B-Max

Best used MPV for pint-size brilliance

B-MAX Titanium X

Typical example Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Zetec Age 2014 / 30,000 miles
Price £7,680 Representative finance payments £133 per month

The Fiesta-based B-Max is so small it almost doesn’t qualify as an MPV. But look closely and you’ll see it ticks every box – and more.
For example, not only does it have sliding rear doors, but it also does without a B-pillar, the vertical centre post that supports the roof. This means that, with the sliding doors open, you can easily step inside the car to load children or awkward items.
Being based on the Fiesta means the B-Max is enjoyable to drive and comes with a wide choice of engines including the fun and frugal 1.0 EcoBoost petrol. With a light foot, it’ll return 55mpg.
There are only five seats but even with them upright, the boot is a useful 318 litres, enough for a buggy, but a week’s shopping on top of that will be a squeeze. Fold them flat and load space is 1,386 litres, which is much more than a Fiesta of the same vintage.


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