MPV v SUV: Which is the Right Car For You?

22nd Nov 2022

By Edward Cook

Practical Family Cars

In recent years, the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) has received a surge in popularity amongst those that require a lot of space due to its high driving position, comfortable interior, and versatile nature. However, the dependable Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) still stakes a claim as the best car for large families and enhanced practicality seekers, usually offering eight seats and a palatial interior.

But which is the right car for you? We've explored both the MPV and SUV and compared them below, in order to assist in your search for an ideal vehicle.

What is an SUV?

DS 7 Exterior Front Driving

An SUV is a large car that's designed to offer better practicality than its competitors. The SUVs of yesteryear were stereotypically known for being gas-guzzling behemoths that were unsuitable for British roads, but thanks to clever developments within this sector, they have now become an increasingly popular segment.

There are various benefits to owning an SUV, including a varied driving experience and practical amounts of room, but they have the upper hand on MPVs when it comes to style. Much of the new technology we see is first introduced within the flagship SUVs too, meaning they're jam packed with handy gadgets that make life much easier.

Being at the forefront of this technological charge also means that SUVs offer the latest in electrified technology. Various mild, full, and plug-in hybrid options are available, as well as all-electric examples that offer zero emissions driving at all times.

If you'd like to know more, we've written this handy article to provide more information related to SUVs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an SUV

Nissan X-Trail Exterior Front Driving

SUVs are fantastic for a wide range of lifestyles, but there are certain factors that are worth considering before you commit to a certain model, including:


  • Off-road capabilities - If you're an adventurous individual or family, SUVs aren't afraid of tackling the muddy stuff, making them ideal for all sorts of journeys.
  • Interior Space - SUVs offer plenty of space inside, ensuring that all occupants enjoy a comfortable ride wherever they go.
  • Versatility - Equipment such as roof and tow-bars are often common features on SUVs, allowing you to take all your gear with you.
  • Safety - Five-star Euro NCAP safety scores are usually normal practice for SUVs, thanks to their impressive occupant safety ratings and advanced tech.


  • Purchase Price - Due to seemingly endless amounts of technology, buying an SUV often comes at a higher cost than other alternatives.
  • Fuel Economy- Due to their large, heavy nature, SUVs tend to require more fuel than smaller options.
  • Size - Whilst their large and highly practical characteristics are much-welcomed, it can make tricky manoeuvres quite the challenge.
  • Ease of Access - The additional two seats in 7-seat variants can be difficult to clamber in to and are often only suitable for small children.

The Best SUVs

SUVs come in various shapes and sizes, including small, crossover, mid-sized, large, and 7-seat options, allowing for you to find the perfect match. Some of our favourites include:

What is an MPV?

Renault Scenic Exterior Rear Driving

MPV stands for Multi-Purpose Vehicle and is what has been traditionally used as a fantastic family car thanks to its capacious interior and durable nature. Admittedly, they're a bit of a dying breed due to other segments garnering attention, but there are still a few new MPVs available, as well as plenty of excellent used examples.

Usually offering seven seats as standard, MPVs are ideal for transporting your family and friends and make life much easier when getting comfortable in the third row thanks to sliding doors and more convenient access. Their tunnel-like design also means there's plenty of room for transporting equipment and luggage, too. There's no wonder they've been a hit for quite some time.

Much like SUVs, MPVs can tend to be on the pricier side of the automotive market, but this isn't without merit, as they often come with a plethora of family-orientated features that put practicality and convenience above all else.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an MPV

Citroen C4 Picasso Exterior Front Driving

MPVs aren't quite as versatile as SUVs, but they're designed to do a specific job, and they do that job better than the majority. The pros and cons that are worth considering include:


  • Practicality - Offering tonnes of room, MPVs are ideal for family life and have no issue with carrying a lot of cargo.
  • Comfort - Plenty of head and legroom can be found in the heavy majority of MPVs, leaving few with complaints.
  • Safety - MPVs often score well in safety tests, giving you peace of mind while out on the road.
  • Flexibility - Seat adjustments, tow hooks, and roof bars allow MPVs to change setup, catering to your lifestyle.


  • Off-Road Ability - Unlike SUVs, MPVs aren't naturally suited to heading off the beaten track.
  • Style - In their quest for ultimate practicality, MPVs can often lack style.
  • Driving Experience - MPVs aren't designed to be a thrill to drive, offering a noticeably-tame experience.
  • Running Costs - Cumbersome, MPVs tend to be more expensive to run than smaller alternatives.

The Best MPVs

Despite losing ground to some competitors, there are still plenty of excellent MPVs available on the market, including:

MPVs and SUVs compared

Peugeot 3008 Exterior Front

Both MPVs and SUVs are worth considering in their own right, and we've summarised each below.


  • Ideal for those that want the most interior space from their vehicle, making transporting luggage easier.
  • With sliding doors and versatile seating arrangements, carrying additional passengers is more convenient than SUVs.
  • We'd recommend an MPV for people who regularly travel with over five people, thanks to their often-standard 7-seat-plus configuration.


  • SUVs often offer more style and tech than their MPV competitors, making them a great match for those that like to stand out.
  • Four-wheel or All-wheel drive is a common feature on SUVs, so they're better suited to varying conditions when compared to MPVs.
  • We'd recommend an SUV for people who don't regularly travel with over five people, but would still like the option to extend to seven seats if required.

Find the ideal fit for your family with Evans Halshaw

With plenty of fantastic family cars available, your family's car-buying decision can often be tricky. If you'd like further assistance in finding a car that's the ideal match, please contact your nearest Evans Halshaw dealership and one of our friendly associates will be more than happy to help.

Alternatively, our blog section is home to a wide range of buying guides to highlight some of the best cars currently available for varying purposes.