We need a new MPV - what do you suggest?

Our Volkswagen Golf is coming to the end of its life after over 170,000 trouble-free miles and we'd like some advice on getting a new MPV. Whatever we buy we want to keep for another 10 years at least. We are a family of four but occasionally it's beneficial to have six or seven seats for ferrying grandparents etc. It must be a diesel and return over 40mpg on a combined cycle. We do about 15,000 miles a year which includes a trip to the west coast of Scotland (from North Devon) and a separate trip to the Lake District. The rest is a mixture of local and mid-range journeys. It will very rarely be used without it getting up to temperature. Neither of us are ‘fast’ or ‘sporty’ drivers and would rather comfort than cornering ability, however I’d prefer the higher power versions for the long hills. My wife likes sliding doors and removing the seats isn’t a problem as we have storage space. The spare seats will be out for most of its life. We both like to be high up and prefer as much light as possible. The bigger the sunroof and the less blackening out of the windows the better.

We have a top budget of £18,000 but would prefer to spend nearer the £10,000 to £15,000 mark. So far the choice seems to be the SEAT Alhambra, Volkswagen Sharan, the Mazda 5, the Ford Galaxy or the Kia Sedona. I’d buy a Volvo V70 DRIVe if they still had the two seats in the boot, but the XC90 is too thirsty! Any advice gratefully received.

Asked on 9 September 2010 by The Parkers

Answered by Honest John
Very few current generation cars will make 10 years use without major and very expensive repairs. They are just too complicated. But the Nissan Qashqai 2.0 diesel is chain cam and we got over 40mpg even from the 4WD auto. The new contender is the Mitsubishi ASX 1.8 VVT diesel from which I got 55mpg.
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