Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - movilogo

In the Covid world I thought MPVs would be ideal for an overnight staycations.

However, while looking at manufactures' websites, it was surprising to see so many MPVs have been discontinued.

  • Kia Carens no longer sold (they are not selling Sedona/Carnival in UK)
  • VW Sharan no longer sold
  • Vauxhall Zafira no longer sold
  • Seat Alhambra no longer sold
  • Toyota Sienna/Estima not available in UK (unless you import 10 year old JDM cars)
  • Honda Stepwagon not available in UK
  • After Mazda 5, Mazda never introduced any MPV
  • After Grandis, Mitsubishi never sold any MPV


The ones which are still available

  • VW Touran
  • Ford SMax
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer


Off course one can buy in used market but makes me wonder what reason behind MPVs disappearing.

Just too many SUVs and not enough MPVs.

Some car magazines now featuring vans (like Ford Tourneo, Berlingo, ProAce Verso etc.) as cars!

PS: Sorry, didn't realized posted in wrong section.

[I will boot it over into the Motoring forum, moderator]

Edited by Xileno on 16/05/2021 at 21:17

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Bromptonaut

Some car magazines now featuring vans (like Ford Tourneo, Berlingo, ProAce Verso etc.) as cars!

They're sold as cars. The do a decent job as cars in what is broadly the MPV category.

Why does it surprise you that magazines feature them as cars?

The wider issue is that people seem to prefer SUVs though to be honest I struggle to tell them form an MPV.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 16/05/2021 at 20:59

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Xileno

I always liked the Espace but the current model was never imported into the UK. Odd really when you think that Renault popularised the MPV sector with the MK1 Espace back in 1984 I think it was.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - SLO76
They just don’t sell that well. Though I thought the Ford C-Max and the Vauxhall Zafira had sufficient volume to stay. It seems the sums still don’t add up for them. I predict that well maintained MPV’s, especially 7strs in petrol form will see prices firm up as supply falls.
Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - movilogo

I was never a fan of MPV before because of their poor fuel economy and never doing big amount of travel within UK. Most my holidays were abroad where I flew.

But now in after couple of staycation trips, I am feeling my hatchback is too small and most SUVs are not that spacious. Also, 5 day commute very unlikely. So fuel economy is not big issue.

Wonder if many others thinking in same way. This may change demand for MPVs. Certainly Covid is rewriting many rulebooks.

The used Sharan, Galaxy etc seem pricey. May be for this sudden demand. Motorhome and camper demands are up what I read.

Edited by movilogo on 16/05/2021 at 22:06

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - alan1302

I was never a fan of MPV before because of their poor fuel economy... and never doing big amount of travel within UK. Most my holidays were abroad where I flew.

Vauxhall Zafira was replaced by the Vauxhall Combo Life and the diesel can do over 50MPG and can have up to 7 seats.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Big John

Likewise I've never been an MPV fan nor have I really needed one - when I was in a Touran for a while whilst it was fairly comfortable it seemed very prone to side winds / overtaking lorries etc.

For long journeys I love my current Superb but now my working circumstances have changed somewhat the BJ household eventually only really needs one car. Mrs BJ likes the Superb as a passenger but finds it a bit big to drive.

Theoretically an SUV should do the trick but compared to what I have in my Superb the boots are usually teeny weeny and being tall I find the driving position compromised in many - B pillar position can be too far forward for me and arm rests and places for knees etc in totally the wrong spot.

I have test driven the Skoda Kamiq and that wasn't too bad re driving position for me and Mrs BJ but the boot just doesn't seem big enough to cope with our future travel plans. Oh and the standard lane assist was awful, if not dangerous - on tight country lanes it fights you all the way trying to steer you towards oncoming traffic, progress apparently!

I do like the Puma but am not keen on the Ford 1.0 3cylinder engine re long term ownership. My local independent has mentioned that owners of earlier versions of that engine are now having cam belt replacement dilemmas as it's such a big job - it was originally designed to last the life of the car, since revised! I'm ignoring the usual cooling issue as later ones should be ok now.

Edited by Big John on 16/05/2021 at 22:48

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - SLO76
I’ve always liked MPV’s. I favour them over SUV’s as they’re usually less complex, more practical, better to drive and sit in while also being better on fuel compared like for like. Manufacturers are binning them but I suspect someone will see a largely uncontested market which still has legs on it and they’ll clean up if they introduce a good product.

Edited by SLO76 on 16/05/2021 at 22:55

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - daveyK_UK
As others have stated, you have missed a few of your list

The current best selling MPV appears to be the Vauxhall Combo Life / Citroen Berlingo / Peugeot Rifter - all 3 are the same under the skin and available in 5 or 7 seater versions and/or an extra long wheel base version (a good option for surf boarders!).

The chap I know who still works in the motor industry told me MPV demand is very high and they sell fast.
Maybe it has something to do with the staycation requirements?
Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - nellyjak

Interesting read...as an MPV owner of 5 years.

I highly rate my own imported Toyota Estima and tbh I'm often asked if I want to sell it (which I don't)..I like the flexibility and the fact it is NOT an SUV yet is 4wd.

I use it as a day van and a camper when required...it has been utterly reliable...one of those lazy lump vehicles that "just gets on with it"..no fuss...no drama./

Not everybody's cup of trea of course...it's a 2 tonne 7 seater beast powered by 3 litres of V6 so it's never gonna be the most frugal or speedy of vehicles..BUT I didn't buy it for frugality or speed...BUT the build quality is superb and so is the level of comfort and IMO would compete with any new SUV of ANY make

Would I change it for an SUV.?...not a chance.

Maybe Toyota should re-instate the Previa.?

Edited by nellyjak on 17/05/2021 at 07:51

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Sofa Spud

MPVs were a brilliant concept and very practical. Many of them looked good too. Obviously they don't handle like a sports car and they don't have the economy of a supermini but on a purely rational basis they make a lot more sense than SUVs. Of course, the best of both worlds would an MPV with 4-wheel drive. Several manufacturers made just such vehicles but people seem to prefer something that looks like the top half of a coupe superimposed on the bottom half of a scaled up supermini with extended wheelarches that are invariably squared-off instead of round!

Maybe the one-box shape will male a comeback with electric cars, with the battery slab under the floor and no bulky engine up-front. A longer cabin space within a given overall length might become more appealing than having a 'frunk'. I believe the original Mercedes A-Class was designed the way it was because an electric version was originally planned. The space in the double floor would have housed the battery.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 17/05/2021 at 17:56

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Bromptonaut

The used Sharan, Galaxy etc seem pricey. May be for this sudden demand. Motorhome and camper demands are up what I read.

I keep thinking about an Alhambra as it's got good towing weights. Would need to be diesel and manual. No need for third row of seats.

Movi - I'm still puzzled by why you're so dismissive of van based MPVs - not just the Berlingo/Partner but the Ford (and by inference VW) versions too.

Can you explain?

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - tim10597

It's all about image! MPVs are not trendy, cool, hip or funky. They do a job and serve a purpose. I've had a few MPVs over the years, practical, economical and have done everything I needed them to do. I was seduced by the Ford Kuga when it was time to replace my previous Galaxy, and it was a good car, but there was something about it that just didn't work for me. Stupidly, I replaced that with another Kuga, but after 12 months realised that the practicality of the Galaxy was hard to beat, so even though we don't need 7 seats, that's what I went back to. The load space and versatility is fantastic, never regretted going back to one, even though it's not a cool car.

It's the same with estate cars, they don't appear to be anywhere as popular as they used to be, as the trend is towards SUV instead.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - nellyjak

It's all about image! MPVs are not trendy, cool, hip or funky.

..probably why it suits me then 'cos neither am I...lol

But I agree..it is the space and versatility that counts..and you just don't get that in an SUV.

The rear sliding doors alone are such bonus.

Edited by nellyjak on 17/05/2021 at 17:18

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Engineer Andy

A lot likely due to fashion (especially those based on vans) and them not being so good handling/more susceptible to being buffeted by high winds. Technically, estate cars can be the most useful, as long as there's sufficient space to park them due to the longer length.

MPVs were useful for people with mobility issues - I found that the sliding rear door or low boot lip features very handy. That and the more boxy look, increased glasing/better sight lines made many of them easier to park.

I also wonder at this being variable between nations, i.e. different in the US, which car makers seem have a much larger range of cars on offer, and especially Asia, where small footprint cars are more desirable due to densely populated cities with little parking space.

We in the 'West' appear to be currentl living in a 'style over substance' world at the moment, which is a shame.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - nellyjak

A lot likely due to fashion (especially those based on vans) and them not being so good handling/more susceptible to being buffeted by high winds.

Can't say I've ever been much impacted by that..the Estima is pretty sleek...with the roof sloping gently at the back...so not van-like at all.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Metropolis.

When you said Estima for some reason i kept thinking of the Alphard and Vellfire. The Estima is basically the Previa, right? Must go very well with the 3.0 v6. Solid engines.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - nellyjak

When you said Estima for some reason i kept thinking of the Alphard and Vellfire. The Estima is basically the Previa, right? Must go very well with the 3.0 v6. Solid engines.

Correct...it is basically the Previa that was sold in UK/Europe until around 2006..and had a very good rep.

It had the 2.4 4 cyl. engine....to get the 3 litre V6 you had to go for an import..and I wanted the V6..!

I always liked it because it wasn't "van-like"..whereas the Alphard/Nissan ElGrand et al were more van-like,

I love having something different to the plethora of SUV's out there that, to me, all look pretty much the same..take the badges off and I'd struggle to know one make from another.

You are right about the engine...it is wonderful..quiet but powerful when you need it to be.

Although an oldish design now, the 1MZ-FE engine was, in it's day, reputed to be one of the top ten engines ever made..used in the Camry and the Lexus RX models too.

Edited by nellyjak on 18/05/2021 at 07:31

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - movilogo

I also wonder at this being variable between nations,

Very likely. In USA distances are huge and people often drive 8-9 hours. Larger cars are better for that. Gas price is not a problem there either.

MPVs are also popular in Asia too, even where riding 3 people on motorcycles is the norm.

Manufacturers do market survey before introducing models. Their calculation must have shown MPVs are not profitable in UK.

I do hope we get more MPVs. Life will change post Covid and hence demand will also shift.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - alan1302

Technically, estate cars can be the most useful, as long as there's sufficient space to park them due to the longer length.

Would one based on a van not be best - you get the length like an state but the width and height as well.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Metropolis.

There was a time when it felt like every other car in the school car park would be a Sharan, an Alhambra or a Galaxy. Vauxhall missed the mark with the Sintra which i thought was a pity, GM made much better use of that platform in the states. If you were a bit posh you went for a Chrysler Grand Voyager with tinted windows, "look at those electric sliding doors!". Now I think families seem to be smaller, i don't see so many with 6 kids now but maybe that's only my perception. Car parks full of Qashqai's, Kugas and whatever other crossover is on offer. Less rugged 4x4s around too, i still remember people living entirely on tarmac buying Nissan Terrano's and Ford Mavericks with white letters on the wheels. And mk2 Ford Explorers! I think people realised they could look 'cooler' in a 4x4 vs a people carrier, then the next generation went a bit softer and crossovers got dominant as people think you can look cool with better fuel economy too.

People Carriers are super popular in asia and seen as very prestigious. Lexus even have a version of the Alphard called the LM tinyurl.com/3e8ctxs3 (you can trust it i just made the link shorter).

In asian markets Hyundai have the H-1 (i800) which is available with luxury interior, Nissan the Elgrand, Mitsubishi the Delica (bit more soft these days).

I think the Americans are out of love with the minivan (as they call them) as well these days despite having virtually invented the segment with the Chrysler Town and Country. They prefer large SUVs which can offer all the benefits (I am thinking Chevy Suburban and Ford Expedition) with space, plush ride and v8 power, extra towing capacity and all weather control. It's pioneer country don't forget. Cheap petrol helps, too. Imagine how quickly those pickups would dissapear if petrol was taxed at UK levels, it would be like the early 70s all over again.

I have been in recent Ford Galaxy's and have been unimpressed to be honest, it felt half a r s ed.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Sulphur Man

Why overthink this, the answer is simple - a driver sits higher in an SUV than an MPV. Everyone likes sitting higher in a car these days.

That said, the new Ford S-Max 2.5 PHEV petrol looks a stonking car, with the right drivetrain. Could be a great used buy.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - badbusdriver

There is absolutely no point in asking why MPV's have fallen out of fashion, a person could go martyring to understand the reason behind what's (currently) fashionable and why. But it is a fickle world, all it needs to swing the tide a different direction is a handful of what the twittering masses consider an 'important' (which could mean a variety of things, such as simply a fashion icon, a social media influencer, pop star, etc) person to be seen driving around in an MPV rather than an SUV. Like in the film version (I can't remember if it happened in the book) of Get Shorty, where after arriving at the airport in LA, Chili Palmer gets handed and Oldsmobile Silhouette rather than a Cadillac which he'd asked for. This inadvertently results in the big movie star of the film (Martin Weir, played by Danny DeVito) also buying one, and because of this, at the end of the film, as the camera pans round the parking area of the film studio, it is full of Oldsmobile Silhouette's!.

  • Toyota Sienna/Estima not available in UK (unless you import 10 year old JDM cars)
  • Honda Stepwagon not available in UK

There are Estima's and the like (including the Honda Stepwagon) younger than 10 years old available in this country, though they are of course, still (JDM) imports.

Some car magazines now featuring vans (like Ford Tourneo, Berlingo, ProAce Verso etc.) as cars!

They are cars (going by the definition of a car), so why wouldn't they be in car magazines?. Also, you make it sound like this is a new thing, but the first car versions of the Kangoo and Berlingo first appeared in the UK in the mid-late 90's. We had a Peugeot Partner 1.4 petrol as our family car in 2003 for 3 years and it was utterly brilliant in that role.

Have a look at this Autotrader advert if you are of the opinion that MPV's are utilitarian. And yes, look at the price too(!), but what luxury!.

202102068759563

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Heidfirst

carsalesbase.com/european-sales-2021-q1-large-mpv/

carsalesbase.com/european-sales-2021-q1-small-cros.../

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - alan1302


Some car magazines now featuring vans (like Ford Tourneo, Berlingo, ProAce Verso etc.) as cars!

You've still not said why you find this so surprising...they are sold as cars so end up in car review magazines...what's so odd about that?

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Brit_in_Germany

What is the differnce between an MPV and a large SUV though. Take the SEAT Tarraco and compare it with the Alhambra. Both seem to do the same job but the fashion is now for something with a high bonnet rather than the wedge of the MPV.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - alan1302

What is the differnce between an MPV and a large SUV though. Take the SEAT Tarraco and compare it with the Alhambra. Both seem to do the same job but the fashion is now for something with a high bonnet rather than the wedge of the MPV.

Mainly styling and packaging - an MPV usually has more space inside and flatter sides/boots to allow more space whilst an SUV is more 'stylish' but not as practical.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - UCB

What is the differnce between an MPV and a large SUV though. Take the SEAT Tarraco and compare it with the Alhambra. Both seem to do the same job but the fashion is now for something with a high bonnet rather than the wedge of the MPV.

The difference is that the proper MPV’s had three proper individual seats in the middle row and in some cases proper individual seats in the rear row. The SUV’s mainly have a bench in the middle just like a conventional car and then a pair of small cramped jump seats which pop up from the boot. The Peugeot 5008 has three proper seats in the middle row and the Volvo XC90 had but they are the exception in SUV’s as far as I know. This makes all the difference if you have three kids as each has a proper seat with a flat floor without having to straddle a transmission tunnel and especially where child seats are involved
Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - NowWheels

I am surprised by the aversion to van-based MPVs.

I have driven the first and second-generation Berlingos, and loved them both. Great ride, lovely handling, and tons of space. Well-priced too.

What's not to like?

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Archie35

Another consideration is road quality. Where we live (in the country) the roads are getting worse and worse the entire time (not just during covid, but before that). We have both a small MPV (Honda FRV) and a SUV/crossover (Tiguan). Whilst the FRV is amazingly practical, and is much better than the Tiguan for transporting large objects (with the rear seats flat), I do feel the bumps and potholes far more than in the Tiguan. Having lived and/or driven in much of the Middle East, N. Africa and Asia, our country roads are disgrace when compared to many so-called 3rd world countries - which I am sure influences the sort of cars people living outside cities buy.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Engineer Andy

Another consideration is road quality. Where we live (in the country) the roads are getting worse and worse the entire time (not just during covid, but before that). We have both a small MPV (Honda FRV) and a SUV/crossover (Tiguan). Whilst the FRV is amazingly practical, and is much better than the Tiguan for transporting large objects (with the rear seats flat), I do feel the bumps and potholes far more than in the Tiguan. Having lived and/or driven in much of the Middle East, N. Africa and Asia, our country roads are disgrace when compared to many so-called 3rd world countries - which I am sure influences the sort of cars people living outside cities buy.

The ride quality is often more about the suspension and especially the combo of wheels and tyres each car uses. This often depends on how old the car is, which trim level/engine combo tha car has, and the manufacturer just as much as whether it's a hatchback, saloon, MPV or SUV.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Archie35

The ride quality is often more about the suspension and especially the combo of wheels and tyres each car uses. This often depends on how old the car is, which trim level/engine combo tha car has, and the manufacturer just as much as whether it's a hatchback, saloon, MPV or SUV.

Agreed, though SUVs typically have larger wheels and tyres, which ride the bumps and potholes far better - other than those i****s who buy a massive SUV and then fit ultra low profile tyres.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - NowWheels

Agreed, though SUVs typically have larger wheels and tyres, which ride the bumps and potholes far better - other than those i****s who buy a massive SUV and then fit ultra low profile tyres.

The marketing strategies are annoying. If you want the top-spec SUV in any given range, it usually comes with stupidly large wheels and tyres that aren't deep enough to cushion the ride.

So the buyer has to choose between the interior comforts of the range-toping model, or the ride comfort of the base model. You can't have both.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - AutoScratch

MPVs are mainly used for large family and the style of the cars are old. Now family remains short and many company provides low budget stylish car.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - corax

MPVs are mainly used for large family and the style of the cars are old. Now family remains short

No, families are getting taller.

Style, a hang up of the UK, which explains why we get such a poor selection of cars here.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - movilogo

MPVs are not always used as people carriers. Plenty of MPV owners have 0/1/2 kids only.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - nellyjak

Correct...I have no kids...never had any.

We bought our MPV to have all the room to ourselves.!!..and use as a comfy dayvan. (and camper if we needed it to be)

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - John Boy

I’m a big fan of MPVs. Personally, I can’t see the point of a car if it can’t function as a van once in a while. Vehicles I’ve owned in my lifetime probably explain why – I’ve had a pickup truck, various vans, various estates and now a mini-MPV. The latter is my first automatic and, if I had to change, I would opt for one of the Combo-life, Rifter or Berlingo variants. Sadly, it looks as if the 8-speed torque convertor automatic has now been replaced by a semi-auto box in each of them.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - NowWheels

I had to change, I would opt for one of the Combo-life, Rifter or Berlingo variants. Sadly, it looks as if the 8-speed torque convertor automatic has now been replaced by a semi-auto box in each of them

That's a pity. But a battery electric variant is due soon, so the issue will be moot.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - daveyK_UK
Are you sure the 8 speed torque converter has been discontinued?
I was only chatting to someone this week with a 21 plate Combo Life 7 seater with that exact automatic box and loves it.

I must say, the impressive thing with the combo life/Berlingo/Rifter is proper full size seats in the 3rd row.

If you go for a more ‘style’ conscious 7 seater like a 2 series tourer/grand c-max/Kodiak/5008/etc the 3rd row are smaller seats only suitable for people under 5 foot.


Edited by daveyK_UK on 20/05/2021 at 20:24

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - John Boy
Are you sure the 8 speed torque converter has been discontinued?

Sorry, my mistake, it hasn't. Judging by the Vauxhall website, it's available with the top of the range Combo Life. Those in the Peugeot and Citroen ranges also seem to be available, although their websites are really pushing the electric versions.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - Warning

The ones which are still available

  • VW Touran
  • Ford SMax
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer

What about
BMW 2 Series Active
BMW 2 Grand Tourer

HJ still list Toyota Prius+ MPV as a current model in the reviews section, but not on Toyota web site.

Why MPVs gone out of fashion? - SLO76
“What about
BMW 2 Series Active
BMW 2 Grand Tourer

HJ still list Toyota Prius+ MPV as a current model in the reviews section”

Yeah, but they’re all horrid looking things and none are proper MPV’s.
 

Value my car