Most and least reliable MPVsThe best and worst people carriers for reliability

07 January 2015

If you are looking for an MPV, the chances are you want a car suitable for transporting a family. These are hard-working vehicles, so it’s important to buy one that remains reliable.

So, which models can you rely on for getting the kids to school, and which are more Mechanically Patchy than Multi-Purpose?

We want to know how reliable your car has been for the last 12 months. Tell us by filling in the 2015 Which? Car Survey and you could win free fuel for a year*.

Most reliable newer MPVs (up to three years old)

If you’re looking for a decent-sized MPV up to three years old with the option of seven seats, look no further than the hugely dependable – according to our results – Toyota Verso (2009-).

None of the Versos we received feedback on experienced a breakdown in the 12 months before the 2014 Which? Car Survey. And average annual repair costs were the second lowest in this class, at £11. No significant problems stand out, with 2% of all cars having small issues such as paintwork, lights, sat nav and rainwater seal leaks. A 98% Reliability Score is the result.

If the Verso is too big for your needs, then the Nissan Note (2006-2013) could be an alternative. The smaller MPV achieved a 97% Reliability Score and has average annual repair costs of just £20.

The VW Touran (2003-) might be getting a little long in the tooth, but it appears that Volkswagen is perfecting its production. The Touran is the third most reliable MPV up to three years old, with a 96% Reliability Score.

Least reliable newer MPVs: Hyundai ix20 diesel (2010-) 75%, Peugeot 3008 (2009-) 82%, Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (2011-) 84%

Most reliable older MPVs (3-8 years)

While not the most conventional MPV, the Ford Fusion (2002-2012) was a long-standing fixture in the Ford range until a couple of years ago. Petrol models topped our table of the most reliable MPVs over three years old, with a 91% Reliability Score. That said, 7% of all petrol models had a cooling system issue.

A close second was the hugely practical, if a little unconventional, Honda FR-V (2004-2009). It managed an 89% Reliability Score. Three seats up-front means lots of boot space despite seating six, although 11% of the cars we received feedback on last year had suffered a breakdown during the previous 12 months of motoring. Battery problems are the biggest culprit.

Finally, older versions of the Toyota Verso (2009-) make it two-in-two for reliability appearances, with repair costs for models beyond the three year mark increasing to £45 a year on average. It achieved an 88% Reliability Score.

Least reliable older MPVs: Vauxhall Zafira diesel (2005-) 65%, VW Sharan/Seat Alhambra (1995-2010) 66%, Renault Grand Scenic (2003-2009) 68%

More on this…

*The prize is free fuel for one (1) year based on 12,000 miles (average annual mileage in the UK), achieving 30mpg (miles per gallon) at a petrol price of 129.9p per litre (based on average petrol price between November 2013 to October 2014, provided by the AA). This works out at a fuel value of £2,362.15, but will be rounded-up to £2,500 (the “Prize”). Full details available on our FAQs page.