As their name suggests, MPVs – or Multi-Purpose Vehicles – are all about practicality. This doesn’t just mean people-carrying or luggage-stuffing, it’s about being adaptable and flexible too. This sector is hotting up and there are some great examples to choose from, but which MPV is right for you?
The Which? Car Survey – the biggest of its kind in Britain – gives owners the chance to say what they love and hate about their cars. We’ve trawled through the latest set of more than 40,000 results and here we reveal which MPVs drivers rated the most satisfying, and least satisfying, to own.
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The best MPVs for owner satisfaction
Toyota Yaris Verso (2000-2005) – 96%
The Yaris Verso is like a valued family friend to its owners, despite its eccentric styling, offering genuine MPV versatility in a very compact package. Rolled together with low running costs and Toyota’s solid reputation for reliability, this is a car owners really rave about.
Toyota Previa (2000-2005) – 93%
The Previa was one of the best MPVs of its time: a simply huge car, seating up to eight people, it majors on space and flexibility, and its owners love it. However, you might have trouble finding one, as it didn’t sell in huge numbers, probably because a diesel engine was not available until late in its lifespan.
Honda FR-V (2004-2009) – 90%
The FR-V is a practical mid-sized MPV, solidly built both inside and out, that seats six people in two rows of three. Honda came out top of our survey for overall brand reliability and this MPV is one of its successes – it’s more dependable than most rivals in this class.
The worst MPVs for owner satisfaction
Vauxhall Zafira (2005-) – 64%
The Zafira is very much a case of Jeckyll and Hyde, say owners in the latest Which? Car survey. Petrol versions aren’t too bad in terms of reliability, but diesel models suffer many more faults than average. Undoubtedly this had an effect on the disappointingly low owner satisfaction rating of 64%.
Mazda 5 (2005-2010) – 64%
The Mazda 5 is a pretty good mid-sized MPV, with seating for seven people (although the two folding seats in the third row and the centre one in the middle row are small and uncomfortable for most adults). The poor reliability record – mainly down to suspension faults – is a key reason why many owners are dissatisfied.
Renault Grand Scénic (2003-2009) – 63%
Renault continued its pioneering role in the world of MPVs by launching an extended-wheelbase version of the Scénic in 2003. Unfortunately, the Grand Scénic is not a dependable machine by any stretch of the imagination, with all sorts of reliability issues for owners to worry about.