While a large MPV or people carrier is useful at any time, it's pretty much a necessity once you have more than two children in the household. You'll find dozens of questions in the Ask us Anything section from parents wondering what cars they can fit three child safety seats into. It's possible to squeeze them into many regular cars, but you just can't beat the space and versatility of a good MPV with individual seats. Admittedly, there's nothing sexy about them, but hey, the kids will only be small for a while...
1 - SEAT Alhambra
Sliding doors. Need I say any more? As a parent of small children, if you've lived with a car that has sliding rear doors, you just won't want anything else. That isn't the only reason the SEAT Alhambra tops our list, but it certainly is part of it. Inside, the Alhambra is spacious and flexible, well put together and decently comfortable, all for a reasonable price.
2 - Ford S-Max
If the Ford S-Max had sliding rear doors it probably would have taken top spot in our list. It's not quite as big as the Alhambra inside, but it has plenty of space by any normal measure and it's more luxurious. The S-Max appeals because of its driving manners and attractive design. MPV ownership needn't mean giving up on style and driving enjoyment, right?
3 - Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Citroen does quirky very well, and the Grand C4 Picasso manages to marry design eccentricity with practicality and efficiency to very good effect. A revised version launched in late 2016 improves the impressive looking infotainment system and it's a genuinely economical car for the size of it.
4 - Volkswagen Touran
Now, the Touran isn't as big as the other cars featured here, but it is still a seven-seater and has a usefully flexible cabin. Of course, it's considerably cheaper to buy than the others and more compact on the outside. It's possible to get three car seats in the middle row, then best to think of the rearmost seats as for occasional use to maximise boot space.
5 - Volkswagen Sharan
The Volkswagen Sharan and SEAT Alhambra are effectively the same vehicle, but the Sharan is more expensive to buy and isn't quite as well-equipped as the SEAT, so it was voted in lower down the pecking order. In reality, it does everything the SEAT does just as well, but with a smidgen more badge appeal. Up to you whether that's worth paying for.