Best MPVs 2024

Looking for the most space for your money? You need a people carrier, or multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). Check out our pick of the best MPVs for larger families.

By Craig Cheetham Feb 6, 2024

Once upon a time, people carriers were all the rage. But as the car market has evolved, trendy SUVs have taken over leaving the traditionally boxy and van-like MPVs behind in the popularity stakes. 

And that’s a shame because today’s breed of MPVs, or multi-purpose vehicles, are a lot smarter and sharper than those of the past, and can make great buys.

 

Some are based on hugely spacious vans. Other use the same engines, chassis and suspension as saloon or estate cars, which means they’re generally sharper and more engaging to drive than SUVs, as well as being more affordable to run, with better fuel economy and lower cost insurance premiums. 

The best people carriers for sale are those which offer good visibility, loads of storage space, versatile seats that tip, fold and slide and plenty of luggage space, as well as safety equipment to protect your family. Here’s our list of the 10 best MPVs you can buy today.

 

Ford Tourneo Connect

Best MPV for functional practicality
Our pick: Ford Tourneo Connect 2.0d EcoBlue Active
Read our Ford reviews

The Ford Tourneo Connect is the result of a collaboration between Ford and Volkswagen, and is essentially the same vehicle as the Volkswagen Caddy. What that means is that it’s a solidly built and practical MPV that comes with a choice of five or seven seats and has a sturdy, well-trimmed cabin.

The Ford, however, offers a broader choice of models than the Volkswagen and is also fractionally cheaper to buy new, which makes it our favourite of the two. There are three trim levels available, of which by far the most appealing is the mid-spec Active model, which is well-equipped but not overpriced. 

The Ford Tourneo Connect is one of a number of van-based MPVs on the market, but don’t let that put you off, as it remains a civilised and refined vehicle with decent ride and handling.

Renault Scenic

Best MPV for chic styling
Our pick: Renault Scenic Dynamique S Nav 140 TCe
Read our full Renault Scenic review

It may only be a five-seater, but the Renault Scenic is a wonderfully practical companion with a huge boot and lots of clever storage solutions. It has a remarkably stylish design, and is one of the best MPVs to drive, with sharp handling and excellent levels of comfort. 

The Renault Scenic also has one of the best infotainment packages available on a compact MPV, which is guaranteed to go down well with the kids.

If you need seven seats and don’t mind buying second-hand, then there’s also a Renault Grand Scenic available, with a longer wheelbase and an extra row of seats, but this has been out of production since 2022. A new-generation Renault Scenic is imminent and will take the people carrier in a different direction, becoming more of an SUV, but this will make used examples of the current version even better value.

Dacia Jogger

Best MPV for new car value
Our pick: Dacia Jogger Comfort TCe 110
Read our Dacia reviews

The Dacia Jogger offers incomparable value for money if you want the peace of mind and reassurance of a brand-new car. With new prices starting below £20,000, it’s the least expensive seven-seater on the market right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s a compromise.

Admittedly, some of the interior plastics could be a bit better but the Dacia Jogger is a good-looking car, with distinctive front-end styling and a smart, well laid-out cabin. If you’re prepared to spend a little extra to move up the range, then there’s even a hybrid model available that’s bound to appeal to those looking to cap their motoring costs, reduce road tax or avoid congestion charges.

Overall, this is a new car for the same price as some of the more upmarket used models on this list, and in many respects it’s every bit as good.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Best MPV for going electric
Our pick: Volkswagen ID.Buzz 77kWh
Read our Volkswagen reviews

When it debuted in late 2022, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz had an instant waiting list, such was the hype. With retro styling that shamelessly echoes the iconic Volkswagen Type 2, the electric-only Volkswagen ID.Buzz remains very much the in-vogue MPV.

Under the skin, you’ll find the same 77kWh battery found in the higher-spec Volkswagen ID.3, Volkswagen ID.4, and Volkswagen ID.5 car models, but the range is a bit lower at around 200 miles, thanks to its heavier bodywork. The Volkswagen ID.Buzz is not quick, either, but at least it gets the powerful 207PS electric motor, which is the preferred choice in other ID models.

Not all Volkswagen ID. Buzzes are seven-seaters, so make sure you include the seven-seat option in your search parameters if you need the extra chairs. The five-seater, though, has a gigantic boot.

Ford S-MAX

Best MPV for driver appeal
Our pick: Ford S-MAX ST Line 2.0d EcoBlue
Read our full Ford S-MAX review

The Ford S-MAX is a practical seven-seater with plenty of room for five adults in the first two rows, and a slightly tighter third row of two seats that’s best left for children. Each of the five seats in the back can be folded flat, and you’ll need to sacrifice at least one if you have a lot of luggage, because there’s little space in the boot when all seats are in use.

There’s still plenty of storage space, though, including compartments in the floor. Children are also well catered for, with Isofix mounts for three child seats included.

The Ford S-MAX is very well-equipped – front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is Ford’s excellent SYNC4 infotainment set-up. The ride is comfortable and smooth, too, while precise steering makes the Ford S-MAX more satisfying to drive than most of the other cars on this list.

Vauxhall Vivaro Life

Best MPV for outright space
Our pick: Vauxhall Vivaro Life Ultimate
Read our Vauxhall reviews

Some people need more space than others, and if you’re one of them, the Vauxhall Vivaro Life could be the answer to all of your prayers. It can be configured with up to nine seats, and has an incredible amount of passenger space in the front, middle and rear rows, along with a pretty decent amount of luggage capacity. 

That’s because it's based on a van, but that doesn’t make it an unpleasant vehicle to drive. The Vauxhall Vivaro Life is actually rather plush inside and the rear end is properly trimmed with comfortable seats, decent soundproofing and thick carpets. 

It’s a civilised and comfortable way to move a large number of people around and there’s even an electric version, should you wish to go emission-free.

Volkswagen Multivan

Best MPV for space and quality
Our pick: Volkswagen Multivan 1.4 eHybrid Style
Read our Volkswagen reviews

The Volkswagen Multivan is the successor to the long-running Volkswagen Caravelle model, which was always one of the most spacious and practical MPVs you could buy.

It’s more car-like and civilised than the Volkswagen Caravelle ever was and is well-trimmed inside, while there is a flexible choice of engines, from a 1.4-litre turbocharged plug-in hybrid to a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol and a more traditional 2.0-litre diesel. All are extremely capable and the cabin layout is superb, with a smart digital dashboard and premium infotainment. 

The only downside is the price. The Volkswagen Multivan is a highly desirable and capable vehicle, but it doesn’t come cheap.

Citroen Berlingo

Best MPV for funky practicality
Our pick: Citroen Berlingo Flair
Read our full Citroen Berlingo review

Unusually dramatic styling apart, the Citroen Berlingo is one of the most no-nonsense MPVs that money can buy.

Square and boxy at the rear, it has a layout that maximises both interior and luggage space, with masses of head and legroom as well as a substantial luggage area. There is a choice of five or seven-seater variants, the latter of which is called the XL, while it also comes with an opening glass rear hatch so you don’t have to fully open the tailgate if just loading in bags or smaller items.

All of the seats can be folded flat into the floor to give true van-like carrying capability, and the practical interior is full of cubby boxes and storage areas, all carefully designed with family versatility in mind. There's also a choice of petrol, electric or diesel power.

Volkswagen Touran

Best MPV for traditonal practicality
Our pick: Volkswagen Touran 1.5 TSI 150
Read our full Volkswagen Touran review

The Volkswagen Touran might be best described as the ‘sensible shoes’ option in this group, with its nondescript styling. It’s smaller than most of the cars here, but is actually quite spacious for up to five passengers in the first two rows of seats. You’re best off leaving the cramped two rear seats for children, though.

The three middle row seats, which slide forwards and backwards, can be folded down individually, helping to boost the size of the boot. And every single rear seat – all five of them – has Isofix mounts to fix child seats securely.

A five-star maximum score in independent Euro NCAP crash testing will bring even more reassurance for parents, while the look and feel of the materials inside gives off a sense of quality, even if it feels a bit dated.

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

Best MPV for image
Our pick: BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer Sport
Read our full BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer review

The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is a well-made, seven-seat alternative for those buyers looking for more of an upmarket badge than that offered by the likes of Ford or Volkswagen. The cabin is more special, with high-quality materials and a solid feel, although trim levels can be a bit stingy unless you go wild with the options list, which can add a fair bit of cost. 

The BMW has comparable versatility with its rivals here, and a surprisingly large amount of load space when the second and third row seats are folded flat, almost matching the Volkswagen Touran. That said, the rear seats are very much for occasional use and are only really suited to small children. 

The BMW badge on the bonnet means that it’s not the cheapest option new, and used options are much better value.