Best Large MPVs

May 30, 2016 by Joe Newman | Guides | Choose a used car

When you’re buying a used car, it can be difficult to know where to start. But, if you’ve got a large family, opting for a 7-seater MPV is a great option. Until recently one of the most popular body types out there, one of these large people carriers provides you with all of the comfort and practicality you could possibly require. Ideal for getting the whole family from A to B.

One great advantage of a large MPV is that you’ve usually got the flexibility to move the seats around, or take them out, as you require. So, even if your family isn’t big enough to take up all of the seats, you’re always going to be able to take advantage of huge amounts of boot space.

Another is that these MPVs are specifically designed for family motoring. With additional design features such as clever in-cabin storage solutions, practical tray tables and sliding side-doors, these truly are the perfect cars to minimise those textbook ‘are we there yets?’

Large MPV 1: Used Ford Galaxy

While we may have been graced with the Galaxy’s presence for years now, it itself has lost none of its grace. The largest model in Ford’s extensive line-up of the MPVs, the Galaxy offers truly palatial proportions, limousine level ride-quality and fantastically flexible seating.

While the Galaxy offers a wonderful panoramic driving position and Ford’s well-regarded, signature handling when you throw it into the corners, this isn’t a car for drivers, it’s a car for passengers. And it treats its passengers well. Everyone gets their own personal storage and cupholder. When it comes to materials, Ford have gone for a subtle blend of sophisticated soft-touch plastics and solid-feeling metals giving the interior a high-end feel, giving you the impression you’re in a car of a significantly higher price tag.

That’s also true when it comes to standard equipment levels. Ford have clearly thought hard about what a modern family requires from the family bus. If you go for a used Ford Galaxy with the standard Zetec trim you’re getting: Alloy wheels, DAB digital radio, climate control, bluetooth connectivity, USB connectivity and MP3 connectivity. In terms of safety, again, you’re well catered for - every Ford Galaxy comes with at least: 7 airbags, seat belt buzzers, ISOFIX child seat mounts, electronic stability and traction control. All this means it scores 5 stars in the NCAP tests, no problem.

Although the interior is a very, very pleasant place to be, there’s one word that sums up the reason you should buy a Galaxy - space. It has been designed specifically to ferry 7 adults around in complete comfort. If you don’t need the 300 litres of boot space (up to 1301 litres with the seats down), then it might be worth considering some cheaper alternatives - including the Ford S-Max, which offers 7-seater practicality at a smaller price tag. However, if you’ve got a large family, regularly carry a big group of adults or want to use the MPV for multiple purposes, the Galaxy is going to be the superior option.

Sound like an interesting proposition? You’re always going to be better off looking for a used Ford Galaxy for sale rather than a brand new equivalent. As a case in point, even if you go for the cheapest model in the range, a used Ford Galaxy is going to cost you significantly less than a new equivalent. In fact, you’ll be saving around £10,000 if you buy a model just 1 year old.

Large MPV 2: Used Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The Grand C4 is the more accommodating older brother of the ever-popular Citroen C4 Picasso. And, even though you’re only getting 17cm over the smaller 5-seater, it’s 17cm that somehow make a big difference. If a soft, comfortable ride and sophisticated contemporary styling are list-topping considerations for your next family shuttle, the Grand C4 lives up to the role admirably.

Citroen are widely known for their innovative approach to interior space and, with the Grand C4, they’ve excelled themselves again. The cabin itself is seriously spacious, and with 537 litres of boot space, you’ve got more than enough room to fit in the family detritus. You’re also going to be happy when you’re driving around, because whichever model you opt for, you’re getting great levels of standard equipment. Every model comes with a touch-screen display, air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity.

Although space is adequate, the unique selling point of the Grand C4 only really becomes obvious after the first month of buying one. It’s cheap to run. Incredibly cheap. For example,. The 1.6 litre diesel brings you 74 miles for each gallon and is so nice to the planet that you avoid paying road tax altogether.

It’s not just cheap it’s also safe. Like any French family car, Citroen have taken keeping the Grand C4 Picasso’s passengers safe from harm. Coming with

So what are the savings when you buy a used C4 Grand Picasso? Well, if you buy a model after the first year, you’re going to be saving around £8000. And, with the depreciation cost leveling out after the year 1, over the coming years you’ll leave yourself significantly less exposed.

Large MPV 3: Used Ford S-Max

So, Ford have two cars on the list. Two 7-seater people carriers. The obvious question is, ‘why bother making two different models?’The answer is simple. While the Galaxy is about providing you with all the space in the world, the S-Max is about cutting a fine line between fantastic family capabilities and pure driving pleasure.

The Ford S-Max is living proof that, even if you have a large family, you don’t have to compromise on driving fun. With the usual fold-down seats, in-cabin storage and comfortable seating, there’s no doubt that this car will make your family happy. But, if you’re the designated family taxi driver, as you sling this supremely sporty MPV around the corners, you’ll have a smile on your face too. Plus, let’s be honest, there are very few 7-seat MPV alternatives that look as fantastic as the S-Max. We can assume the S is for style.

And, although Ford have definitely considered the man or woman behind the wheel, they’ve not neglected any other aspect about the S-Max, namely equipment levels. The kit, even at the entry Zetec trim is impressive. You’ll be able to take advantage of Ford’s award-winning SYNC touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity at the very least.

If you’re looking for space, the Galaxy is probably the better option, but that’s not to say that by opting for a Ford S-Max you’re going to be too cramped. No, this isn’t a 7-seater designed to ferry around 7 adults, but there is more than enough space for a growing family and kids will be more than happy sat in the back row. You’re also getting more than adequate boot space, with all the seats folded down, you can store up to 2000 litres of stuff.

With 1st year depreciation costs hitting the 40% mark, if you opt to buy a used Ford S-Max, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of cash. For example, as a rough guide, if you buy after the first year, you’ll be saving yourself up to £10,000. Depreciation is easy to ignore when you’re buying the car, but when you come to sell it again, you’re really going to notice the cost.

Large MPV 4: Used SEAT Alhambra

If you’re looking for a 7-seater that offers fantastic value for money and exceptional build quality in equal measure, it’s difficult to beat SEAT’s offering in the large people carrier class. Closely resembling the more expensive VW Sharan, badge-aside, there are actually very few differences between the two. The main difference between the VW and the SEAT is the badge and, unless you’re someone who is really, really worried about keeping up with Jones’, for the sheer amount of car that you’re getting for your money, this really shouldn’t be a key consideration.

This three time winner of ‘MPV of the Year’ brings you enough space to comfortably fit 7 adults, flexible seating and sliding slide-doors in a neatly crafted package. If you’re always going to fill the car with the full contingent of passengers, at 267 litres, the boot space could be a little larger. However, if you’re using this 7-seater in 5-seater mode, you’re going to have a more than accommodating 809 litres. When it comes to the cabin space, you’ve also got a lot of room to work with - clever storage solutions and plenty of room for the passengers.

It’s not all about space, this is a people carrier that is highly competitive when it comes to the running costs. For example, even at the cheapest entry-level diesel you’re getting highly efficient, cost-effective running costs, with the TDi Ecomotive model offering 56.5mpg. SEAT have done their bit to offer some great eco-gadgets as standard. So, regardless of which model you’re able to get your hands on, you can enjoy the reduced costs that come with stop-start and brake energy-recovery.

As we said, the best selling point of the Alhambra is price. And, although there may well be more stylish options out there, for an all-round, great-value family package, the Alhambra takes some beating. But, if you’re really looking at saving yourself some serious money, you should avoid the often neglected cost of depreciation. Like all cars, by buying a used Seat Alhambra, you’re going to see some truly huge savings, around the £9,000 mark even on the entry model.

Large MPV 5: Used Peugeot 5008

While the other large MPVs on the list perform really well in certain areas, Peugeot have created a consummate all-rounder with the 5008. If you want a 7-seater that’s great to drive, go for the Ford S-Max. If you want a large people carrier that’s got serious space, it’s the Galaxy. For value for money, the SEAT Alhambra and for low running costs, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. But, if you’re after a compromise of all the above, this is a car that could well be perfect for you.

One area where this large Peugeot really excels is when you step into it. The materials are of great quality, with contemporary chrome touches throughout the interior and soothing soft-touch plastics. The 5008 is, on the whole a nice place to be.

It’s even nicer when you start considering the standard equipment. This is an area where this 7-seater really stakes a claim to lead its class. Even with entry trim, you’re going to be enjoying Bluetooth connectivity, window blinds air conditioning, cruise control and, if you end up with a higher spec model, there’s an almost endless list of additional optional extras. You’re also going to be having enough space to feel comfortable for the whole journey. The front and rear legroom is admirable, as is the cavernous boot space. When you fold down the second row of seats, you’ve got a huge 823 litres to fill.

Another area of strength for the 5008 is the cost to keep it on the road. Although it can’t quite match its PSA playmate, the C4 Grand Picasso in terms of sheer economy, you still get away without paying a premium for your family motoring. The standard 1.6 litre HDi diesel provides 65.7 miles for each gallon of fuel and, with impressive eco-credentials, you’ll only be paying £30 a year in road tax.

In short, this is a solid all-rounder. But, if you’re after adding a little Peugeot pizzaz to your family life, you don’t want to paying over the odds. Depreciation is famously high for models from the French company. Meaning, if you buy a new model, you’re going to have to deal with a cost of around £9,000, even if go for the most basic model.


It’s simple. It completely depends on what you’re looking for. For a great price tag, you simply can’t match the quality you’re getting at the cost of the SEAT. Ford has provided two worthy options with the spacious Galaxy and highly responsive, fun S-Max. Peugeot brings a solid contender. However, the C4 Grand Picasso ticks the most boxes in the most departments. Realistically, it seems difficult to see how it can beaten.

And while we’ve only picked our top 5 for this list, but there are many models that could have been worthy contenders in the large MPV category, Notably, the Vauxhall Zafira, Ford C-Max, Renault Espace, Renault Scenic and Chrysler Grand Voyager. If you’re purely buying a larger people carrier for space, and realistically are going to be carrying 4 passengers at a push, you should also consider opting for a standard 5-seater MPV. Great options available include the Vauxhall Mariva, Ford B-Max, Citroen C4 and the Citroen Berlingo.