Which of these MPVs ferries its occupants most coolly and comfortably?
IT is not easy to create a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that’s both functional and stylish, but that’s exactly what Citroen, Opel and Volkswagen have accomplished with their models here. In terms of design, few cars can match the unconventional Citroen C4 Picasso. This Gallic number also has a spacious cabin and smoother drivetrain than before, thanks to the automatic torque-converter gearbox that has replaced the automated manual unit.
The Opel Meriva doesn’t have the Citroen’s road presence, but its coach-style rear doors make it the most unique MPV available to buyers in Singapore. Bold style statement aside, this German contender aims to impress with its flexibility and functionality, too.3 Looking most conventional in this company is the Volkswagen Sportsvan, which we tested in Highline spec. This model promises to be roomier than the Golf (whose platform has been stretched to underpin the Sportsvan), while being as manoeuvrable as the hatchback it’s based on. Which of these MPVs would a family of five rank the highest in comfort and style? Continue reading to find out.
The Citroen C4 Picasso shines in this shootout. Its off beat design and futuristic cabin are big pluses, but the rather short seatbacks in the rear mean this MPV is more suited to kids than adults. Nevertheless, the cushy ride, frugal diesel drivetrain and roomy boot make this French contender a very compelling one indeed. If children are the main consideration, then the Opel Meriva must be considered, too, because its coach-style rear doors make family outings easier than ever for parents.
The Meriva’s only real drawbacks are its relatively small boot and storage points. But it makes up for these by having a relatively small price, which at press time is $13.1k and $21.5k lower than the C4 Picasso and Sportsvan respectively. The Volkswagen Sportsvan is the surprise in this story. Despite its compact “Golf+” exterior, it boasts a very roomy interior and the most comfortable backseat as well. Sure to delight keen drivers is its comparatively quick performance, which should make school runs more fun (or at least less dull) for a family of five.
KEYS (Clockwise from top left) Meriva’s key only has basic functions, the buttons on the C4’s fob are the easiest to press, while the Sportsvan’s switchblade-style key feels the most solid