Group 7: Compact MPVs
European models dominate this sector of the market. Now, we reveal which flexible five-seater takes the glory on the global stage
EntrantsWINNER: Renault Scenic (£14,703-£23,637) BEST VALUE: Citroen Berlingo Multispace (£11,785-£15,465)Volkswagen Golf Plus (£15,885-£22,845)Volkswagen Touran (£17,300-£25,015)SEAT Altea (£14,170-£19,640)
You only have to look at English football to realise that inventing a sport doesn’t entitle you to be any good at it – so credit must go to Renault. After coming up with the concept of the compact MPV, in the shape of 1996’s Mégane Scenic, the brand has maintained a presence at the top level ever since.
We decided that only five-seat compact MPVs were eligible for this tournament, and the Scenic was the favourite to progress. So, did any of our other contenders challenge it? Well, with the seven-seat Mazda 5 and too expensive Ford S-MAX out of the running, this group was an all-European affair, with the Citroen Berlingo and SEAT Altea, plus VW’s Golf Plus and five-seater Touran, left to upset the status quo.
In the end, the Renault was simply too strong for its rivals. It has already seen off the Citroen C4 Picasso (Issue 1,067) and Volkswagen’s pair of compact people carriers couldn’t depose our reigning champ, either. The Golf Plus looks smart and is spacious, but it lacks the family-friendly details of its rivals, while the already expensive Touran commands an extra premium if you want to drop from seven to five seats!
Another VW Group model couldn’t do any better – although the SEAT Altea is good to drive and spacious, it’s simply not as comfortable as the latest Scenic.
That left only one car for the Renault to beat. And while the C4 Picasso is the obvious Citroen candidate, we think the manufacturer’s Berlingo Multispace is even better. As with its Peugeot Partner Tepee sister model, it provides masses of interior space, with prices that start at less than £12,000. But in the end, the Multispace couldn’t trump the new-look Scenic as an all-round family package.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe name best family car on sale in 2010’s biggest road test.
- 2Final: Skoda Superb vs Renault ScenicMPV champ meets our top hatch in epic battle. Will it go to penalties?
- 3Semi final 2VW Group duo have put in polished performances so far in our showdown. Now, they come together for a chance to take overall glory
- 4Semi final 1We’re only one round away from the final, and the nerves are jangling as French people carriers come face-to-face. So, which one gets the nod?
- 5Quarter final 4Skoda Superb vs Skoda Yeti
- 6Quarter final 3Kia Cee'd vs Volkswagen Golf
- 7Quarter final 2Renault Scenic vs Volkswagen Golf Estate
- 8Quarter final 1Citroen C3 Picasso vs Renault Clio Sport Tourer
- 9Group 8: Family hatchbacksPracticality, affordability, styling and driving fun... Buyers demand a lot from modern family cars. So which large five-door scores across the board?
- 10Group 7: Compact MPVs - currently readingEuropean models dominate this sector of the market. Now, we reveal which flexible five-seater takes the glory on the global stage
- 11Group 6: Compact SUVsPractical, stylish and fun to drive, the latest small, road-biased 4x4s are ideal if you don’t plan to venture far off the tarmac. But which will qualify?
- 12Group 5: Compact family estatesGet a load of five of the most practical carriers on the market. One of these luggage-swallowing big hitters could go all the way!
- 13Group 4: Compact familyTo get through to the quarter finals from this keenly contested sector, our class winner needs to be an all-round star.
- 14Group 3: Budget family carsWhich models make the most financial sense? We bring together four of the best value buys in UK showrooms to name our winner
- 15Group 2: Supermini-MPVsThese cars combine the driving dynamics of a supermini with the versatility of a people carrier – and competition to reach the quarter finals is fierce.