What is an MPV?

Citroen C4 Spacetourer

What Does MPV Stand For?

Simply put, the family-friendly MPV stands for 'Multi-Purpose Vehicle'.

Many people enjoy a healthy interest in cars during their younger years. Unable to get a driving license of their own, they look at sports cars and sleek coupés and imagine that when they are old they are going to be driving one.

They don’t see themselves in a 7-Seater MPV, making purchase decisions based on boot size and practicality over long-distance trips.

Buying an MPV marks the moment that you realise the needs of your growing family outweigh any desire for flashiness and speed. It’s a moment you should be proud of.

The People Carrier – A Perfect Family Car

It all comes down to seats. When you have four or more children, or even three who often want you to provide a lift for their friend, a standard saloon or hatchback car just isn’t going to provide the number of seats you need.

MPVs provide the perfect solution.

Originally taking their designs from converted vans, MPVs offer three rows of seats for a typical six passengers plus driver, and when the back row isn’t needed, they fold down conveniently to provide impressive amounts of boot space.

Like the estate car, the MPV is designed as a workhorse. Convenience is a key factor here, with access and internal volume taking precedence.

Minivans, Compact MPVs, Mini MPVs and More – What Makes a Good MPV?

While the terminology likes to alter to fit the manufacturer's whims, a good MPV is one that provides the space, affordability and reliability needed for your family.

The smaller compact MPVs and mini MPVs provide a hatchback alternative for the city sector, providing a runabout with low running costs and impressive convenience.

Examples of some of the best UK MPVs 2018 include:

  • The Ford C-Max, which includes features such as sliding rear doors for easier access.
  • The BMW 2 Series Tourer that opts for a high-driving position akin to an SUV, plus impressively wide-opening doors to facilitate that easy access – a must when dealing with babies in car seats.
  • The Vauxhall Meriva, where internal comfort is optimised for both front and rear passengers and a reverse-hinged pair of rear doors help entry and exit from the car.
  • The Renault Scenic, one of the most established MPVs on the market focusses on the riding experience with a cabin design centred around providing an enjoyable time for passengers throughout the journey.

When you are driving long distances with children in the back, providing a comfortable drive with enough space to stretch out is imperative and for average-sized families not requiring the extra lure of additional seating, a mini- or compact-MPV is a perfect vehicle.

Leasing an MPV is simple with us at Complete Leasing - we have a range of MPV leasing deals available online, both for personal leasing and business leasing customers.

Saving on costs with a 5-seater MPV

Some of the smaller MPVs sport outstanding economy statistics, with low initial cost to purchase, and excellent mpg for superior fuel economy.

It’s definitely worth looking at this range if running costs are high on the list of considerations.

Why Choose an MPV?


One of the more confusing definitions is that of the MPV versus the SUV.

In its simplest terms, an SUV is designed to be more rugged, with off-road capabilities and a high driving position.

By comparison, an MPV is more about an economical multi-person car, with cabin comfort and access.

While existing SUVs can offer similar (or even superior) inside space, they are considerably more expensive to buy (or lease) and run than an equivalent MPV.

MPV vs. Hatchback

If you are after a sportier drive, a hatchback may be for you. When put alongside a compact-SUV of similar size, the hatchback often offers more power but sacrifices in terms of cabin room and overall passenger comfort.

MPV vs. Saloon

While a saloon offers extra power, it cannot deliver the seating arrangement of a full MPV.

When seven seats are a must, there’s no real competition.

The Converted Van – Breaking the 7-Seat Barrier

For some, even seven seats isn’t quite enough. Vans (still technically MPVs), which have had rows of seats installed and flat rear panels replaced with windows, are becoming more common to lease, led furiously by Volkswagen’s Transporter and followed quickly by Ford Transits and other vans.

By offering nine-seat versions, these vehicles are a middle ground between daily car and minibus, able to provide expansive room while still maintaining a level of manoeuvrability for navigating city streets.

It isn’t always about seats. Often people with disabilities will look to the larger classes of MPV to provide room for wheelchairs and other aids for access.

Prior to the development of the MPV, disabled access in cars was limited and often uncomfortable.

Whether it is for specialist equipment access, large families, or just a desire to bring more than a single suitcase with you on a touring holiday, nine-seater and other large-scale MPVs are becoming ever more desired in today’s market and are well worth a look.

Unfortunately, while they do provide the interior space that is required, rarely do these bigger vehicles have the same level of integrated technology and entertainment that their smaller brethren offer – even with a range of family-friendly add-ons available.

Daily costs can rise also. Despite usually being diesel, the fuel economy of a van-like MPV is less impressive than the smaller cars in the range, and insurance can grow as well.

The Pros and Cons of an MPV

Choosing a family vehicle that is going to be with you for three years or more, you need to consider your family’s growth as well as the more immediate areas such as ‘is the mileage good?’ or ‘does it come in blue?’.

If your family is large, or if you just want it to be, then an MPV might well be the perfect option.


  • Enough seats for larger families.
  • Cabins designed with comfort in mind.
  • Good fuel economy.
  • Reasonable on-the-road pricing.
  • Good access for child seats.


  • Low powered engine means a less sporty drive.
  • Additional seats can often absorb boot space.
  • Having to admit you are never going to get that sports car!

Leasing an MPV

At Complete Leasing we have a huge range of MPVs to look at, whether you want a compact-MPV for city driving, or a larger vehicle suited to multiple passengers.

If you would like to lease one, or if you are just after a little more advice before making your choice then give us a call today! You are under no obligation with us.

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