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Top 10 used MPVs

If you're looking for a practical and good value used family car, don't discount an MPV. Here we count down our top 10 buys...


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by
Mark Pearson

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, there are plenty of options for varying budgets. Here’s our round-up of the very best you can buy.

10

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

The 2 Series Active Tourer is based on the Mini's front-wheel-drive mechanicals, which means it's better to drive than some of 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. Reliability is good, though watch out for some electrical issues. 

We found: 2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 1.5 218i Sport Nav, 32,000 miles, £14,650

Shop for a used one here

 

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
9

Seat Alhambra

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, 50,000 miles, £16,490

Shop for a used one here

 

Pros

  • Superb space and practicality
  • Strong engines
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Unrefined diesels
  • Firm ride
8

Volkswagen Sharan

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: 2019 Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech SE, 35,000 miles, £19,998

Shop for a used one here

 

Pros

  • Strong engines
  • Superb space and practicality
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Unrefined diesels
  • Inconsistent ride
  • Expensive used
7

Ford S-Max

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. 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. Ex-taxis are to be avoided and cars with automatic gearboxes need evidence of frequent fluid changes. On the whole, overall reliability can be a little mixed.

We found: 2018 Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Titanium, 30,000 miles, £18,000

Shop for a used one here

 

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
6

Vauxhall Combo Life

It might look like a van, but the Vauxhall Combo Life drives like a car and gives you the practicality only the best people carriers deliver. You can choose from both five and seven-seat versions, and sliding rear doors make it easy to get the kids in and out in tight spaces. As a further bonus, this is one of the most comfortable MPVs around, and great value, too. 

We found: 2021 Vauxhall Combo Life 1.5 Turbo D SE, 20,000 miles, £20,900

Shop for a used one here

Pros

  • Huge inside
  • Comfortable ride
  • More affordable than a lot of conventional MPVs

Cons

  • Very drab interior
  • Not as clever as it is big
  • Looks just like a van
5

Peugeot Rifter

The Rifter is basically a Vauxhall Combo Life wearing Peugeot badges, but it feels slightly classier inside, pushing it one place higher on this list. It offers the same comfort, practicality and value while adding a touch more style to the mix. 

We found: 2021 Peugeot Rifter 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Allure, 2000 miles, £19,000

Shop for a used one here

Pros

  • Easy to drive
  • Lots of practicality
  • Comfy ride

Cons

  • Some cheap interior trim
  • Infotainment system is a little fiddly
4

Ford Galaxy

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 that, it's 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. Find a good one, though, and this is one great all-rounder and a deeply impressive MPV.

We found: 2018 Ford Galaxy 2.0TDCi 150 Zetec, 69,000 miles, £14,995

Shop for a used one here

 

Pros

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

Cons

  • Automatic emergency braking isn't standard
  • Infotainment system poor
3

Citroen Berlingo

Okay, it's the same as the Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life underneath, but the Berlingo’s better level of standard equipment and slightly plusher feel make it an even better used buy. Add in its hugely spacious interior and a decent ride and you’ll find the Berlingo a relaxing place in which to cover miles. Put simply, cars don’t get much more practical than this, or as good value when bought used.

We found: 2021 Citroen Berlingo 1.5 BlueHDi Flair, 10,000 miles, £20,950

Shop for a used one here

Pros

  • Comfortable ride
  • Flexible 1.2-litre petrol engine
  • Hugely practical

Cons

  • Fiddly infotainment
  • Some useful storage solution weren't standard
  • Mainstream MPV rivals are nicer to drive
2

Volkswagen Touran

The versatile VW Touran is 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: 2020 Volkswagen Touran 1.5 TSI Evo 150 SE, 15,000 miles, £24,995

Shop for a used one here

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

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. 

We found: 2019 Citroën Grand C4 Spacetourer 1.2 Puretech 130 Touch, 20,000 miles,  £17,999

Shop for a used one here

Pros

  • Huge interior
  • Excellent visibility
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Unsettled ride
  • Touchscreen not as good as some