Spacious and family-friendly, the compact MPV is the car that you buy when you need seats and space for a growing family, but you haven't (completely) given up on attractive styling or driving enjoyment.
1 - Volkswagen Touran
The Touran is based on the same underpinnings of the Volkswagen Golf, allowing it ‘compact’ status here, but it can seat up to seven, so it competes with larger MPVs too. It’s a brilliant all-rounder.
2 - Ford C-Max
Driving a Ford C-Max as a family car feels like getting away with it. You've got all the space you need and room in the back for the kids, plus a big boot, but you're still having fun behind the wheel. Probably not much longer for the world in this guise as there’s an all-new Focus on the way in 2018.
3 - Citroen C4 Picasso
Somewhat overshadowed by its seven-seat brother, the five-seat Picasso is a good buy if you want something with space, striking looks, comfort and a slightly futuristic cabin. The 1.6 diesel is hugely economical.
4 - Renault Scenic
Think an MPV can't be attractive? Thing again – the new Renault Scenic is gorgeous, but keeps the spacious, practical cabin we've come to expect. The 20-inch wheels look great, even if it's not actually exciting to drive.
5 - BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
The 2 Series Active Tourer was a bit of a shock to BMW fan-boys, with front-wheel drive and a compact people carrier body shell, but it’s actually pretty decent to drive. The upright seating is comfortable, if feels very well made and the engines are really economical too. Shame it’s so expensive, relatively speaking, and the rear seats struggle to accommodate three chunky child seats. A facelifted version arrives in 2018.