Got to get a new bigger car - MPV's - any advice on types

We've got to get a bigger car for when 3rd baby comes along in June/July - we have a volkswagen passat and love it but it's gotta go.

We have been looking at small mpvs eg. Ford S-Max, Mitsubishi Grandis, Citroen Grand C4.

Can anyone recommend any of the above or know of any others that are good.

Hubby has discounted Kia Sedona - had one before and drove like a van and seats kept falling out so def. no go there.
also the Mazda 5 looks great with the sliding doors but middle row doesn't have 3 separate seats - gotta have 3 separate seats apparently and like the back seats to go flat down - we will have 2 adults and 3 children, a puppy and sometimes a grandma LOL~!

any advice much appreciated, we can't afford a new one but hopefully a year old one.

e.d.d 4th July
with pink bump


  • I have three children and two step children and we have a Mazda 5. It is definately big enough to fit three children and two adults.
    The plus points for me personally is the look- I definately feel it is a more sporty looking people carrier than some others,it is lovely to drive (and I hate driving!!), the sliding doors are fab with kids and the boot is massive when not using back seats.
    The down side would be the size of the boot when all seats are in (I can fit the wheels of my quinny buzz but its a bit of a struggle and when you have five kids and two adults in there isn't much room for anything else.

    I would though reccommend the Mazda 5 overall. We looked at the ford s-max but it was an extra ??7k which we couldn't condone spending.

    I have had seven adults in the car on a night out and the middle seat isn't great for this but everyone got in and I had no complaints!!

    I like the vauxhall zafira also but my dh didn't

  • I've got a Toyota Picnic which is not avaliable anymore so no good to you! But i did used to drive a Chrysler Voyager Le Grande which was fantastic, has sliding doors etc although they can be quite pricey even high milage 2nd hand one's but are definately worth it. I found the zafira to be actually quite small, in order to get boot space you can't use the back row of seats, even when up the back row seats aren't huge and not a lot of leg room. Had a Sedona as a courtesy car last year which i really liked driving once i got used to the size, but then hired one to do a family trip which was like a bag of nails and not comfy at all, think i may have had higher spec the first time!
  • we have a vaux meriva, and it should be big enough for 3 children and two adults.... we find the dog goes in the boot superb, and the baby (9mth till 4yrs i think) seat we have fits splendid within the boundaries of one seat space and we can fit two adults alongside....

    plus our local vaux do great offers...
  • Hello chellebell,

    I'm not sure if you read my post that I wrote when someone asked about fitting 3 car seats in a family car, but anyway, I'm going to go on about how wonderful the Honda FRV is again! It's a 6 seater, 3 at the front and 3 in the back. They are all individual seats. Admittedly, the front middle doesn't have much room at the front, so ideally for a child, but for short journeys an adult can fit. My nieces and nephews love sitting in the front middle! When not in use, this seat folds down so driver and front passenger get an arm rest and table with 4 cup holdersimage It's just fantastic!

    I have had a full compliment of people in my car from 6 adults to 2 adults and 4 kids with car seats too and all has been fine. Also, the difference between this MPV and other 7 seater MPVs is the boot. Most 7 seaters, if you dare to use the 6 and 7th seat, you usually lose most of the use of the boot space, but isn't that the reason why you bought an MPV in the 1st place? So why sacrifice your boot space so people can sit? Also, the size of it isn't big like other MPVs, it's only about the size of a Ford Focus.

    FYI, my DH is a car nut! (Has about 3 car magazine subscriptions!!!!!) And we test drove with my nieces and nephews and they all liked the FRV most. We looked at:
    Ford S-Max
    Ford Galaxy
    VW Touran
    Volvo V50
    Mazda 5
    Toyota Verso
    Audi A4 Estate

    Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy and choosing the new car. Let us know what you pick, I'm very interested!

    Sarah xxx
  • Thanks for the tips peeps. We went and had another look at the s-max and we're test driving a Honda FRV - was really impressed that it looks just like a normal sized car yet has the 6 seats and lots of boot space hubby likes it too he wants a high spec one though typical - sarah can you put toddlers on the front seat as the saleswoman says you can't until 12 years but I looked on gover. website and I think it's o.k. on a booster seat or childs car seat - bit confused. thanks in advance, chelle
  • Hi Chelle,

    OK, I just went to get the manual to have a look, as I disagree with the sales lady (for this car anyway).
    I quote from the FRV manual, page 33.

    ???????All children should sit in a back seat
    According to crash statistics, children of all ages and sizes are safer when they are restrained in a back seat. It is recommended that all children age 12 and under be properly restrained in a back seat.

    In this vehicle, small or larger children may also be restrained in the front central seat. When using a front facing child restraint system in the front central seat, position the seat to its rearmost. Never put a rearfacing child restraint system in any front seat.???????

    I hope this information helps! Any other questions? You can tell I really love my car!!!! There are a few things that I grumble about though, like I don't understand why the central locking system only works for the driver. So when we go out as a family and hubby gets out of the car, and I wait for him in the car, I have to reach over to lock all the doors. Why can't the front passenger control the locks too? All my other cars did! Also, the rear wiper is quite small, why can't that be bigger and actually clean the whole window rather than just a little bit? But apart from that, I LOVE MY CAR!

    Happy car shopping!
  • Hi,
    We had the same problem! Looked at the S Max, Volvo XC90 and the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. We bought the Citroen as a) was a better drive b) it was 0 % finance and c) it was the cheapest deal/good part ex!
    Hubby nearly cried when we left the beemer there but he likes the c4 as it's a really good drive and gets us 5 in, 2 prams, shopping etc and we don't look gimpy in it!
    Happy shopping!
  • We have got an S-Max and its great it has so much room inside yet when you are driving you dont feel like you are driving a bus.
    The 2nd row seats are 3individual seats too so you have loads of room. If you dont need to use the back row of seats they are really easy to fold down and then the boot is huge. Even if you have the back seats up i can still fit my mamas and papas pliko pramette and quinny zapp buggy in. It looks good too and unlike alot of similar size cars it has a really nice interior.

    Jo x
  • I know I'm going on again but our Meriva really is a fantastic car!
    Its not much bigger than a corsa on the outside, but has loads of storage inside - hidden spaces for storage too, such as in the floor in front of the back seats, in the boot (which you dont lose as its only a 5 seater, and is really big boot)
    Its so comfy and a lovely drive - doesnt drink petrol either so works out cheaper there. You can get some very good deals on part ex, or even new ones.
    Its not much bigger than the S max, but has way way more room than it! (We looked at that when we were shopping and there was no competition really) You can easily fit 3 children in the back seat, or three adults, and it fits in plenty of shopping too image

    They are worth considering if you havent already.

  • I've been looking as well!

    So far i've test driven loads and it comes down to either the Vauxhall Zafira or the Mazda Premacy for me. Both are quite nice to drive - the Zafira you are higher up that in a 'normal' car so may feel a bit van-like, so that might be off your list!

    Others that came top five for us were the VW Touran (altho its a lot bigger), the Ford C-MAX (came in a very very close third. Its a really nice car, and lovely to drive) and lastly the Volvo XC90. VERY SWISH. Far too expencive for me, but it was worth pretending i could afford it! Well worth a test! Xxx
  • We have baby number 4 on the way so we have just bought a Renault Grand Scenic. It is lovely to drive, easy to park and the 2 back seats fold flat down so there is loads of boot space when not in use. Also the middle 3 seats fold down independently and is very roomy. Good luck with finding a car. Sam.
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