7. Kia Carens
The second-generation Kia Carens just dips into our budget here, and it’s worth looking at simply because of its seven-year warranty. An early example will still have three of four 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 the reports suggest the Carens is a pretty reliable thing. It’s ordinary to drive, and the rear-most seats of the seven on offer are rather tricky to get into. But it is at least comfortable, well-appointed and, in 1.7-litre diesel form, just about powerful enough too.
We found: 2014 1.7 CRDi 2, 31,000 miles, £10,000
There isn’t much to dislike about the VW Touran. Mind you, there isn’t an awful lot that’ll make you want one with all your heart and soul, either. But as dour as it is, this is a thoroughly practical, sensible MPV that makes up in pragmatism what it lacks in character. A good, frugal range of engines, a flexible seating arrangement, a solidly-built interior and decent equipment levels are highlights, making this a car that makes travelling en famille as easy as pie. Seven-speed automatic gearboxes can be troublesome, and check you’re happy with the situation surrounding the proposed VW emissions fix before signing on the dotted line.
We found: 2013 1.6 TDI SE, 53,000 miles, £9470
5. Ford S-Max
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the 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 and fuel-efficient, though, and endowed with seven spacious seats. 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 most people. As with the Galaxy, ex-taxis to be avoided and cars with automatic gearboxes need evidence of frequent fluid changes.
Page 2 of 4