Best used MPVs

Space, storage and great value: people carriers make excellent family cars and you can get some of the best used MPVs for under £10,000

BuyaCar team
Mar 16, 2022

If you're after a car with enough space for the whole family - and potentially a couple of friends as well - look no further than a good old people carrier. These are often referred to as MPVs, short for Multi-Purpose Vehicles, but whatever the name, the priority here is practicality.

If you're after maximum practicality, there is still no competition for a good seven-seater people carrier. Yes, you can get seven-seater SUVs, but these are generally expensive, heavy and get through more fuel - and potentially are not even as practical. Yes, SUVs are big, but climbing into the back can be difficult for smaller children and boot space isn't always as usable, due to the high boot floor. So, in terms of practicality, passenger space and value, these supersized carriers of people and luggage are the ultimate choices.

You can virtually guarantee doors that open wide - or potentially even sliding rear doors to minimise the chance of children bashing the doors into other cars when getting out at the supermarket - large boots, multiple storage spaces dotted around the cabin and up to seven seats that slide, tip and fold away. Some models - typically van-based cars - may even offer space for eight or nine people. Visibility is normally pretty good for a vehicle this size too.

Considering the extra space, people carriers aren't a great deal more expensive than a standard family hatchback either, with plenty of choice for under £15,000, or £250 per month with PCP finance.

With practicality being put over style, the boxy design of some MPVs does bear at least a little resemblance to a minibus and a number of models aren't particularly pretty that's for sure, but that's less of a concern if you're the one stretching out in the spacious interior. 

That said, there are some cases where MPVs are far more stylish and desirable than that - like the striking Citroen C4 Grand Picasso. Either way, MPVs lack the pretence of fake off-roaders, often branded as crossovers, such as the Nissan Qashqai and Audi Q3, a vast majority of which can't feasible go off-road, but appeal to some drivers because of their high-driving position. Let those drivers pay a premium for crossovers, though, because it means you can bag a bargain on an MPV.

Most of the options featured below have at least the option of seven seats, which provides the flexibility of a large boot when you're carrying up to five passengers and the option to carry seven, with rather less luggage space. Read on for our pick of the best MPVs for under £10,000 and £15,000.

Best used MPVs

Best used MPVs for under £10,000

1. Ford Grand C-Max

Best used MPV for all-round appeal

Our pick Ford Grand C-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec
Used deals from £9,995
Monthly finance from £220*

The sliding rear doors of the seven-seat Ford Grand C-Max are especially useful in tight spaces, and provide a wide opening to install child seats, which is reason enough to look more closely at this seven-seat people carrier.

It's cheap too: prices start at well below £10,000, but spend a little more and you'll be able to afford an updated model, which arrived in 2015. these have the flat nose and trapezoid grille shown above. The dashboard is also improved over the earlier model, with a colour touchscreen fitted to Titanium and Titanium X cars.

Unlike most people carriers, the C-Max feels nimble in corners. Its steering lets you know precisely where the wheels are pointing and it manages to resist leaning in corners without being uncomfortable over bumps. Like most seven-seat people carriers, there's really only enough room in the back row for children, and the full seven-seat mode leave a very small boot space. 

2. Peugeot 5008

Best used MPV for value

Our pick Peugeot 5008 1.6 HDi Allure
Used deals Limited stock

The new Peugeot 5008 is high-tech, stylish and ... considerably more than £10,000. The car it replaced may not be quite as attractive, but it offers an enormous amount of car for your money. There are seven seats and Active-specification cars include parking sensors, air-conditioning and cruise control; Allure models add a panoramic sunroof, sat-nav and reversing camera

There's plenty of room in the middle row for adults but the rear row is best for children only, and you'll need to fold at least one seat into the floor to carry luggage otherwise boot space is virtually non-existent. There are three Isofix points across the middle row of seats. Underfloor storage will need reinforcing if you have child seats with legs.

The 5008 is comfortable over bumps and stable in corners, so it doesn't feel as big as it really is. Diesel engines are better than petrol at getting the car moving.

3. Ford B-Max

Best used MPV for pint-size brilliance

Our pick Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Zetec
Used deals from £9,195
Monthly finance from £161*

It's small on the outside, but you could fit at least four adults into the Ford B-Max without complaints. The car's main appeal is for families, though. The sliding rear doors allow easy access in car parks, as does the lack of fixed pillars between the front and rear seats. With the doors open, you can easily step inside the car to load children or awkward items.

The B-Max uses mechanical parts from the Ford Fiesta, which makes it nimble in corners and economical when fitted with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine.

There are five seats and two sets of Isofix child seat mounting points in the back. The boot is a useful 318 litres, enough for a buggy, but a week’s shopping on top of that will be a squeeze. Fold the rear seats flat and load space is 1,386 litres, which is much more than you would find in a Fiesta.

4. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Best used MPV for choice

Our pick Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTi EcoFLEX SRi
Used deals from £8,995
Monthly finance from £230*

The Zafira Tourer's seats are easy to fold, with the back row folding into the floor to create a flat surface for luggage. There are only two Isofix points for child seats in the middle row; a third set would be virtually useless as the middle seat is too narrow to accommodate most child seats.

An update in 2016 removed the boomerang-shaped lights, shown above, in favour of a less striking design, while the interior gained a touchscreen. These newer cars cost from around £10,990. The basic car has remained the same since 2014, though. It's quiet, comfortable and efficient: particularly when fitted with a 1.6-litre diesel engine.

The number of trim levels is confusing but you can guarantee a decent amount of equipment with a tech Line, SE, SRi or Elite model. These all have parking sensors, alloy wheels, air conditioning as standard. The Zafira Tourer is not affected by the fire issue that affected earlier versions of the Zafira.


5. Fiat 500L

Best used MPV for big windows

Our pick Fiat 500L Lounge
Used deals from £9,695
Monthly finance from £189*

It's not the biggest car on this list by any means, but considering its smaller size, the Fiat 500L does offer plenty of space inside a car that will be much easier to park than a Ford B-Max.

There's ample space for five, but if you do take four passengers with you there is only 400 litres of boot space. That does expand to a very respectable and useful 1,310 litres if you fold those rear seats down though.

The Fiat 500L is also arguably the chicest of all the choices here too, with more than a passing resemblance to the undeniably stylish Fiat 500 city car. In terms of kit, you're getting air-conditioning and cruise control as standard across the range, and power comes from a 1.4-litre petrol engine which delivers reasonable power and economy.

Best used MPVs for under £15,000

1. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Best used MPV for flair with practicality

Our pick Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 BlueHDi Exclusive
Used deals from £10,789
Monthly finance from £251*

Smooth, spacious and as stylish as MPVs come, the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is a comfortable place to spend a long journey, even with the rest of the family. The dashboard touchscreen controls almost everything, which takes some getting used to - particularly the temperature controls - but it does give the interior a clean, minimalistic look. The various storage compartments mean that you can keep it that way - in theory.

The Citroen received a five-star Euro NCAP safety score in 2013 and has three sets of Isofix child seat mounts in the back seats, although you'll need narrow child seats to fit them three abreast. Storage compartments under the floor will need reinforcing, too (with a block from Citroen) if you have a child seat with a supporting leg that needs to rest on the floor. 

The car was updated in 2016 with a more responsive touchscreen media system and renamed the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer in 2018, but the earlier versions available for less than £10,000 are essentially the same car. Petrol engines are economical but diesels are best if you travel long distances regularly.

2. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Best used MPV for luxury

Our pick BMW 216d SE Active Tourer
Used deals from £10,980
Monthly finance from £224*

You'll pay a bit more for BMW's people carrier than an equivalent Citroen, but it doesn't take long to see where the money goes: the main surfaces are covered in soft-touch plastics and leather; the rear seats fold electrically and the bootlid is motorised, which comes in handy when your hands are full.

It's the most luxurious five-seat MPV available, and it's practical too with a low-loading boot sill that's perfect for loading heavy objects or a reluctant dog.

Unsurprisingly given the BMW badge, it's quick to change direction in corners but there's no high-performance option. The options list is extensive so if you’re lucky you may be able to get a head-up display and remote-opening bootlid with your used Active Tourer


3. Seat Alhambra

Best used MPV for practicality

Our pick Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI SE
Used deals from £17,900
Monthly finance from £298*

You'll normally find at least a few Seat Alhambras for less than £15,000, but you may have to stretch your budget a little further because the Seat Alhambra is a popular MPV with seven full-size seats that can all carry adults or teenagers in comfort.

Underneath the metal, it's also virtually identical to the Volkswagen Sharan. Both were in 2015, each receiving more efficient engines, new steering wheels and an improved touchscreen media system. The Alhambra gained three-zone climate control and Bluetooth as standard.

Don’t feel short-changed if you choose to buy an older model, though They are just as versatile (all five rear seats can fold individually into the floor), roomy (a total load volume of 2,297 litres with five seats down) and capable of accommodating three narrow child seats with Isofix mountings across the middle seats.


4. Ford S-Max

Best used MPV for sporty looks

Our pick Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec
Used deals from £15,299
Monthly finance from £300*

The Ford S-Max looks as car-like as possible for a seven-seat people carrier, which is one reason for its popularity. It's also one of the most car-like to drive, thanks to its sharp steering response which means that it feels smaller and lighter than the substantial car that it is.

This applies to the current model, as well as the previous one, which lacks the flat, trapezoid grille shown above, but is more readily available for under £15,000.

Put the seats down and you'll have an impressive 2,200-litre seats-down load volume in the latest S-Max. The rearmost seats are only suitable for children, so if that’s important to you, you should check out the – more expensive – Ford Galaxy.

The bootlid on the current version is electrically powered and opens onto a low floor and there are no less than six engines to choose from, but the 2.0-litre TDCi is the best all-rounder.


5. Renault Grand Scenic

Best used MPV for hiding places

Our pick Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCi Dynamique TomTom Energy
Used deals from £9,495
Monthly finance from £256*

Renault has a lot of experience in the MPV sector and it shows in this previous-generation Scenic. An all-new version was launched in 2016 but you’ll pay around £6,000 more for a 2016-registered example, which seems a lot when the old car still has a lot going for it.

All but its front two seats are removable (they only slide and fold in the new car). They’re individual affairs so you can create any number of seating layouts. Kids will love that and the secret storage compartments in the floor, although they will need reinforcing if you have a child seat with a supporting leg.

The 1.4-litre petrol engine is a good choice if your mileage is on the low side, but if you plan weekend jaunts and holiday trips, consider the 1.5-litre diesel.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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