Money’s tight. We know how it is. Yet your family’s growing, and so therefore is your requirement to move more people and stuff than a normal hatchback can carry.
If this sounds familiar, the chances are your thoughts have turned to the prospect of buying a cheap seven-seater. Whether you want one as your main car, or simply as a back-up option for those odd occasions when you need to carry everyone and everything, an MPV brings with it a whole heap of flexibility.
But if you think you probably can’t afford such a thing, think again. Even with a bargain-basement budget, there’s a world of choice out there, with some very respectable used buys among the options. So if you’re feeling cramped in your current car and want more space for very little cash, let us show you which are the best seven-seaters out there – and the ones you should stay away from.
Best used 7-seater MPVs for less than £2000
Oozing solidity and class, our first pick is the Volkswagen Sharan. Comfortable, efficient and well built, this model of Sharan shares much in common with its sister cars, the Ford Galaxy and Seat Alhambra – although the fact that it’s pricier to buy leaves you with less choice at this price point, which is one reason it’s further down the rankings here.
We found: 2002 1.8T Carat, 75,000 miles, £1895
The Seat Alhambra is all but the same car as the Sharan, just with a different badge on its nose. However, the fact that it can be had for less means it pips its sister car to the post. Like the Sharan, though, the Alhambra is big, old-fashioned MPV, which means it’s rather cumbersome, and while its five rear seats fold over and can be removed, they don’t fold flat into the floor, so you'll have to take them out if you want to carry larger loads.
We found: 2003 1.9 TDI PD SE, 113,000 miles, £1995
The Renault Espace was one of the earliest MPVs, and this, the last iteration sold in the UK, remains one of the most avant-garde. Its unusual dashboard layout means plenty of storage space and an airy, roomy-feeling interior, while a comfortable ride is another strong point. The rearmost seats fold into the floor, too, which is handy, although the third-row seats still protrude when folded away. Choose the longer Grand Espace if you need to carry seven people plus luggage.
We found: 2005 2.2 DCI Privilege, 87,000 miles, £2000
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