Price from £17,000 (est)
On sale September
What is it? New C-Max will be available in five- and seven-seat ‘Grand’ formats
An all-new C-Max is less than a year away from launch. It will be the first model built on Ford’s new mid-sized platform, and the same underpinnings will eventually be used as the basis for up to two million Fords a year, including the third-generation Focus.
Ford has decided to follow the direction taken by Citroën and Renault, and offer a seven-seat ‘Grand’ version of the next C-Max alongside a normal five-seat model. The two variants will have completely different door and seating arrangements, to ensure that both access and versatility aren’t compromised.
The five-seater will have conventional rear doors and a similar interior layout to the current car’s. The larger Grand C-Max will get sliding rear doors and a special chair in the middle of the second row, which can be stowed beneath either of the window seats to create a bus-like aisle running down the centre of the vehicle.
‘The current C-Max is excellent to drive, but it isn’t exactly a flexible MPV. The new car should address that and keep up the driving fun.’
Used car editor
As for the interior, it’s clearly been inspired by the latest Fiesta’s, and borrows the mobile phone-style dash layout. The easy-to-reach gearlever is mounted below the stereo and heater controls.
As you’d expect, the new car will also be greener and cheaper to run. Ford is developing a new direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine called the Ecoboost, which it says uses around 20% less petrol than a similarly powerful conventional engine. A 1.6-litre version is expected to make its debut in the C-Max.
Price from £16,895
On sale January
What is it? Redesigned and reworked Grand C4 Picasso could give sister Citroën a fright
Peugeot has based its new seven-seater on sister company Citroën’s Grand C4 Picasso. There’s no better place to start, because the Picasso is still our favourite MPV more than three years after its launch.
As well as a boxier exterior and a dash borrowed from the new 3008 crossover model, the 5008’s suspension and steering have been tweaked to make it more fun to drive. We’ve tested it and it’s more composed than the Citroën round corners, although the ride is fidgety on poorly surfaced roads.
Peugeot has followed Citroën’s clever seating system – which allows the middle row of seats to fold flat and the rear two to be hidden under the floor – but has done away with the huge up-and-over windscreen we love on the C4 Picasso.
Price from £17,500 (est)
On sale August
What is it? Less van-like Touran will arrivein the UK earlier than anticipated
The Touran has always been a sensible, solid and fine-driving MPV. If only it was a little bit more interesting to look at. Well, it will be. The latest incarnation of the Touran will get Volkswagen’s sleek new front end – seen on the Scirocco and sixth-generation Golf – and its shape will be less boxy. This computer-generated image shows what it may look like.
No surprise with the engines – they’ll be from VW’s existing line-up: 1.4-litre petrols, and 1.6 and 2.0 diesels should feature.
We’ve heard through the grapevine that VW-owned Skoda is also spreading its wings and will be launching an MPV based on the Touran. It’s likely to be a little cheaper than the VW version, and is set to go on sale by early 2011.
Price from £17,000 (est)
On sale Early 2011
What is it? The Orlando will offer flexible seating for seven, and with chunky SUV looks
We first saw the Orlando concept car at last year’s Paris motor show, but it won’t become a reality in the UK until early 2011. The good news is that the chunky SUV styling of the concept model won’t be dumbed down on the production car.
At least one engine promises more than 40mpg – perhaps the 148bhp 2.0 diesel found in the concept car – but there will be a wide range of options to choose from.
There are three rows of seats, and the rear two rows fold to create a 900-litre loadbay.