Fit for a family of five
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Name Carisa Whittall
Drives Chrysler Grand Voyager
Wants 'Something safer and cheap to run for a family of five. Sliding rear doors would be a bonus, but not essential.'
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Fiat Qubo 1.4 8v Active
Target Price 9434
It might be based on a van, but don't hold that against it. The Qubo undercuts bespoke mini MPV rivals such as the Citron C3 Picasso by over 2000 and has bags of interior space. Better still, it has the sliding rear doors Carisa wants, and is dirt-cheap to run. This 1.4-litre petrol version manages 40mpg and falls in the second lowest group for insurance. The Qubo hasn't been crash-tested, but has four airbags.
Okay, so it isn't the most exiting thing to look at, but the optional Disco Green paintjob certainly helps hide its commercial origins.
Skoda Roomster 1.6 1.6v 105 SE, '09/59
Skoda's mini MPV drives well and is keenly priced. It also has a spacious cabin, a sliding rear door on the passenger side, plus a large and usefully shaped boot. Cheaper 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrol versions are also available, but the 1.6 is gutsier and not a great deal more expensive to buy or run.
Mazda 5 2.0D 110 TS, '07/07
There are better MPVs in Carisa's price bracket, but none with sliding rear doors. The 5 looks sharp, handles well and scored five and three stars respectively for adult and child safety in NCAP's crash-test programme. The cabin isn't hugely roomy, but there is seating for seven. The 2.0-litre diesel can do 46mpg.