Motability Scheme car

Is a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) right for you?

MPV stands for multi-purpose vehicle. These cars are intended to be more practical in terms of capacity than hatchbacks or estate cars—but is an MPV right for you and your needs?


Typically, large MPVs contain seven-seats. They work well for large families because you can safely transport a large number of passengers in them. You can also get smaller versions of MPVs and these usually have five seats. Even with these smaller versions, they still tend to be more spacious for passengers and cargo than other types of cars.


Are MPVs truly more practical than other types of cars? They are very flexible; the seats can typically fold or flip and you can even stow some of the chairs away entirely if you need the extra space. An MPV also tends to have a larger boot, although cargo space shrinks when all seven seats in the bigger vehicles are in use. MPVs also give everyone, including the driver, a good view of the road, because you sit higher up than in other cars.

The difference between MPVs and SUVs

The popularity of MPVs has dropped over the last few years, mainly down to the surge in popularity of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). These offer comparable practicality but, usually, have more aesthetically pleasing proportions. MPVs are boxier and more upright in shape and can sometimes look van-like, which some drivers may prefer to avoid in favour of a trendy SUV design.

Examples of MPVs on the Scheme

As with all cars, MPVs come in different shapes and sizes and different price brackets. If you’re thinking about an MPV for your next vehicle, here are some examples of what is available on the Motability Scheme:

Ford C-MAX

The stylish Ford C-MAX offers lots of space for four or five people. It looks like a Ford Focus but has more headroom. It is a comfortable MPV to drive with a wide range of engines and trims to choose from. It has a cargo capacity of 432-litres, and this expands to 1684-litres with the rear seats down. What’s more, the Ford comes with a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating and it is very fuel efficient.

Citroen C4 Space Tourer

If you need more cargo space, then the Citroen C4 Space Tourer is a bigger MPV to look at. It will seat five adults comfortably, and with 537-litres of boot room and 1851-litres with the rear seats folded down, you won’t be struggling to load up the car.

Comfort is a much-needed feature when deciding on an MPV, and the C4 SpaceTourer offers one of the comfiest rides.

There is a wide variety of engines—all are inexpensive to run—and the kit levels on the Citroen are generous. There is a panoramic windscreen fitted as standard on all models, which makes for excellent visibility. This car also has the highest five-star crash test score from Euro NCAP.

Peugeot Rifter

The fuel-efficient Rifter is incredibly practical and spacious. There is a lot of head and leg room, with a trio of seats in the rear and sliding back doors. These make getting in and out of the MPV incredibly easy. It also means you can open the doors in tight parking spaces.

The four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rated Rifter has a huge boot and the front passenger seat can even fold totally flat, along with the rear passenger seats also folding down. This increases loading space to 3500-litres from the already generous capacity of 775-litres that it has with the seats up.

Currently, the Rifter has five seats, but seven-seater and long-wheelbase models are expected to be developed soon.

Vauxhall Combo Life

This is an incredibly practical, roomy family MPV that comes with standard or long-wheel bases and either five or seven seats. All Combo Life MPVs are fitted with sliding rear doors that open to reveal three seats that you can easily fit three adults or individual child seats into.

There are 614-litres of cargo room, but collapse the rear seats and load space balloons to a massive 2,126 litres. There is a good range of economical engines to select, and this four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rated MPV comes with a complement of safety aids.

Choose the right MPV for you

These are just a few of the MPVs available on the Motability Scheme – you can see the full range of cars available to lease through the Scheme by using our car search tool, filtering your options by ‘Car type’.

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