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Top 10 used MPVs for less than £15,000

If you've got £15k to spend on a practical used family car, don't discount an MPV. Here we count down our top 10 buys...


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by
Max Adams

It may well have been comprehensively trounced in the sales charts and in people's affections by that young upstart the SUV, but the good old MPV is still well worth a punt on the used market. 

After all, if you're looking for a car at a reasonable price that can easily carry up to seven people and leave space for their luggage a used MPV is still a force to be reckoned with. Some are much better to drive than you'd expect, too, and some even look more stylish than you might think a car of such practicality should.

So, which one to choose? Fortunately, a £15,000 budget gives you plenty of options. Here’s our round-up of the very best this money will buy you.

10

Peugeot 5008

Peugeot 5008 MPV (09 - 16)

Though the current 5008 is now a smart SUV, the Peugeot 5008 of 2009 to 2016 was an MPV and one of the company’s most impressive offerings.

As with quite a few Peugeots, depreciation now makes it a great used buy, too, and our budget buys one of the very last ones. It's surprisingly good to drive, for starters, in its day almost a match for the peerless Ford S-Max, and on top of that you get a roomy, versatile interior with clever seating for up to seven. You'll also get a tactile, stylish dashboard, a comfortable ride with good handling and low noise levels, and a wonderfully practical car at a bargain price. Avoid the jerky automatic and go for a manual; also keep an eye out for electrical niggles, which alas aren’t unknown.

We found: 2017 Peugeot 5008 1.6 BlueHDi Allure, 22,448 miles, £12,350

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Pros

  • Versatile interior
  • Handles well
  • Low running costs

Cons

  • More expensive than rivals
  • Firm ride
  • Jerky EGS automatic
9

Kia Carens

Used Kia Carens 13-present

The second-generation Kia Carens fits into our budget here, and it’s worth looking at simply because of its seven-year transferable warranty. A 2017 car will still have many years of this left, as long as the car hasn’t gone over 100,000 miles – and that’s a huge bonus.

You’ll hopefully never need it, mind you, as our reports suggest the Carens is a pretty reliable thing. It’s also good to drive, with a choice of one 1.6 petrol or a 1.7-litre diesel in two states of tune – we'd look for the more powerful of the two diesel options. It's comfortable, well-appointed, economical and roomy, too, although not as large in the rearmost seats as some of the cars in our top 10.

We found: 2017 Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi 2, 30,580 miles,  £11,994

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Pros

  • Sliding second-row seating
  • Big door mirrors
  • Generous equipment

Cons

  • Diesel noise
  • Average handling
  • So-so interior quality
8

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Used BMW 2-Series Active Tourer 2014-present

The 2 Series Active Tourer is based on the Mini's front-wheel-drive mechanicals, and while that's a bit of a break from BMW tradition, it means that this MPV is better to drive than its contemporaries.

It's the five-seat version that offers the best value for our money compared with the bigger seven-seat Gran Tourer. It might be smaller on the outside, but a lot of effort has gone into making the most of the available space inside the Active Tourer. The raised roofline helps when putting children into their safety seats in the back, and the rear seats split 40:20:40, which improves flexibility should you need to carry both longer loads and passengers. Reliability is good, though watch out for some electrical issues. 

We found: 2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 1.5 218i Sport Nav, 19,988 miles, £13,650

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Pros

  • Plenty of rear seat space
  • High-quality interior
  • Good balance of ride & handling

Cons

  • There are more versatile five-seat MPV’s
  • 218d engine feels a bit flat at low revs
  • Expensive, especially top-end models
7

Seat Alhambra

Used Seat Alhambra 11-present

The Seat Alhambra is great to drive and comes with sliding rear doors – a boon in tight parking spaces because you shouldn't be able to clonk the car next to you when getting out. It also leaves a wide aperture that helps when strapping small children into the middle row. It’s a large car, of course, but it comes with a range of punchy engines that are more than up to the job of hauling it around. It rides and handles well, too, and is reasonably refined and efficient. 

We found: 2017 Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI Ecomotive SE, 38,364 miles, £14,490

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Pros

  • Superb space and practicality
  • Strong engines
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Unrefined diesels
  • Firm ride
6

Ford S-Max

Used Ford S-Max (15-present)

It’s no secret that we’ve always been big fans of the lively Ford S-Max, and it isn’t hard to see why. It looks great, for a start, and underneath that sporty-looking styling sits a people carrier that’s enormously enjoyable to drive. It’s also comfortable over long distances, plus it's highly fuel-efficient. And while you can’t fit quite as much into it as its sister car, the Ford Galaxy, there’s still more than enough room for seven people.

As with the Galaxy, ex-taxis are to be avoided and cars with automatic gearboxes need evidence of frequent fluid changes. On the whole, major reported problems are few, but overall reliability is a little mixed.

We found: 2016 Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium, 30,517 miles, £14,89

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Pros

  • Tidy handling
  • Comfortable ride
  • Standard Zetec trim well equipped

Cons

  • Third row seats best for children
  • Interior quality could be better
  • Petrol engine thirsty
5

Volkswagen Sharan

Used Volkswagen Sharan 10-present

As with the great Seat Alhambra, the Sharan is a tremendous MPV that's good to drive, with a range of strong and efficient engines. It's neatly styled, too, but it’s the huge interior and its quality that are the main selling points for the Sharan, and neat touches like the sliding rear doors (electrically operated on some trims) that makes getting in and out of the car in tight spaces so much easier. The two rearmost seats can happily accommodate tall adults, and there’s a reasonably sized boot even with all the seats up, and a positively huge one with the two rear rows of seats down.

We found: 2016 Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech SE, 31,578 miles, £14,998

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Pros

  • Strong engines
  • Superb space and practicality
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Unrefined diesels
  • Inconsistent ride
  • Expensive used
4

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Used Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 13-present

The original Vauxhall Zafira was the go-to choice for many families looking for a small seven-seat MPV for many years because it was great value, and in this later Zafira Tourer form, even better than ever it was.

It’s good to drive, with decent ride comfort and an involving chassis, but its biggest trump card must surely be its interior, which is spacious, versatile and feels quite classy to the touch. It’s reasonable to run and great value to buy, and with a lifespan that ran from 2013 to 2018, there are loads of used examples to choose from.

We found: 2018 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.4t SRi Nav, 28,319 miles, £12,698

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Pros

  • Spacious
  • Well equipped
  • Classy interior

Cons

  • Gruff diesel engines
  • Middle-row seats tricky to operate
  • Rivals are cheaper to run
3

Ford Galaxy

Used Ford Galaxy fcorn

The Ford Galaxy is, quite simply, enormous. It's got seating for seven adults and even a bit of space left over for your luggage. On top of all that, this version of the Galaxy, which dates from 2015, is good to drive and comfortable, too. Powershift automatics can be troublesome and need frequent fluid changes, so check the history for evidence of this, and avoid ex-taxis, which will have huge mileages. On the whole, though, this is one great all-rounder and a deeply impressive MPV.

We found: 2016 Ford Galaxy 2.0TDCi 150 Zetec, 29,235 miles, £14,602

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Pros

  • Practical interior
  • Good to drive
  • Plenty of neat options

Cons

  • Automatic emergency braking isn't standard
  • Infotainment system poor
2

Volkswagen Touran

Used Volkswagen Touran MPV (15 - present)

There isn’t much to dislike about the versatile VW Touran. It's a spacious, refined and classy all-rounder, with a dashboard and interior that is both elegant to behold and easy to use.

Perhaps most important of all, though, is how brilliantly clever the Touran’s seating flexibility is. For a start, the second row is made up of three individual seats so that it is possible to carry three child seats side by side, and these chairs all slide and fold independently of one another. With the third row stowed away, the boot is huge, too. 

We found: 2017 Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI SE, 36,809 miles, £14,498

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Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Versatile seating
  • Satisfying to drive

Cons

  • Rivals are cheaper
  • Base model lacks kit
  • Others beat it for economy
1

Citroën Grand C4 Spacetourer

Citroën Grand C4 Spacetourer 1.2 Puretech 130 Touch Edition

Fancy an MPV with a little panache? The Citroën Grand C4 Spacetourer is well-equipped, stylish and one of the most comfortable MPVs around. Being the Grand version means it's blessed with versatile seating for seven, and you get a huge boot when the third row is folded into the floor. The engine range is strong and fuel-efficient, plus it rides and handles well for a car of this size. Refinement is good, too, making long trips with the family just that bit more bearable. 

Couple all that with the fact that you can easily find one or two-year-old examples within our budget, and you have to agree that the Grand C4 Spacetourer is the best value MPV for less than £15,000 you can buy today.

We found: 2019 Citroën Grand C4 Spacetourer 1.2 Puretech 130 Touch Edition, 3770 miles,  £14,698

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Pros

  • Huge interior
  • Excellent visibility
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Unsettled ride
  • Touchscreen not as good as some
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