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Which MPV would you recommend for a young family?

We have loved our 2007 Honda Civic 1.8 SE 5 door since our baby’s birth, but now that we're expecting our second child, and second set of requirements of boot space (and increasing desperation to reduce running costs etc), we're looking to buy a bigger car. However, we're not really sure where to start. Realistically, we're looking to buy in June 2014, so we may well be planning a little far in advance, but we'd like to have a heads up on where to begin looking if you're able to help.

We've been happy with Japanese - Toyota, Honda and a Hyundai rented while in the States, and would contemplate an SUV if it didn't equate to gas guzzling, so are assuming we should be looking at people carriers. However, as well as prioritising fuel economy / tax band economy / reliability / safety, we do like to have a bit of street cred from our car. People carriers aren't exactly winners in the style stakes. Recent uninitiated research has plumped for the Volkswagen Touran as a starting point, but do let us know if we're flogging a dead horse. We also consider the move to SUV/people carrier sensible as I have a back problem, so in theory it should ease the business of crouching over small children and stooping to get in and out.

Asked on 1 June 2013 by HS, via email

Answered by Honest John
I rate the Civic you have very highly. I've averaged 45mpg in one, which is way above the class average and a lot better than something like a Golf. Driven similarly the new Civic 1.8i does 48mpg. The only way you will match that is with a diesel. A Mondeo 1.6 EcoBoost 160 estate does about 43mpg, which is pretty much as good as it gets for that size with a petrol engine, though the new Mondeo due next year will have a new 1.5 litre EcoBoost engine.

There are plenty of compact MPVs about. I think the new KIA Carens is the best looking (test and video): www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/kia/kia-carens-201.../ But a used S-Max or Galaxy is better value for money (tests and video): www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/ford/ford-s-max-20.../ ; www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/ford/ford-galaxy-2.../

Motorpoint has 12 reg (year old) Galaxy 2.0TDCI Zetecs for £15,699 at www.motorpoint.co.uk
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