By Nathan Dale
Why buy a car with sliding side doors?
Cars with sliding doors make it much easier for rear passengers to get in and out of. Because they slide completely out of the way, they provide a nice wide opening to the rear of any vehicle.
Vehicles with sliding side doors are extremely useful for a number of different types of motorists. Parents love them because it makes it easier to load their children into the car, and older people or those with mobility issues will enjoy the ease of access too.
They're also a favourite amongst minicab and taxi drivers, for all of the same reasons listed above.
Below is a list of the best used cars with sliding side doors that you can buy in the UK.
Despite being smaller than the majority of cars on this list, the B-MAX presents the widest door opening of any car - by some margin. This is achieved thanks to the lack of a pillar in the middle of the car - known as the 'B' pillar. It's one of the few five-seater cars with sliding doors.
This design allows the front door to open as you would expect, but the sliding side door to roll all the way back and create a gigantic chasm into which you can access both the front and rear seats with consummate ease.
You might be thinking that safety could be compromised by the lack of a pillar strengthening the chassis, but the B-MAX achieved an impressive five stars out of five in the Euro NCAP safety assessment, scoring maximum points in the side barrier test.Search Used Ford B-MAX
Citroen are masters of the practical, spacious family car, and the Berlingo is a strong example of that. The latest generation has been around since 2018, replacing the much-loved but aging second generation.
It is of course initially based on the Berlingo Van, and inherits its sliding side doors from the world of commercial vehicles where they are simply essential. Comfort, technology and material quality is in another league compared with the van model, however.
There are two versions, M and XL, and both come with sliding side doors. The XL offers a larger boot and the option of seven seats, so if you've got a big family, that's the one to go for.Search Used Citroen Berlingo
Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall are owned by the same people - the PSA group. When they launch a new vehicle, they tend to be adapted by each of the brands for their respective audiences, and the Rifter is no different. It is the Peugeot version of the Berlingo.
That means it has all of the space and practicality, of the Berlingo, including the plethora of interior storage spaces and an airplane-style locker that drops down from the roof.
The Rifter does offer a different look to most MPVs. SUV-style body cladding, Peugeot's corporate front nose and a nice choice of alloy wheels do wonders for the aesthetics - it's not bad looking at all.Search Used Peugeot Rifter
Vauxhall Combo Life
The final entrant into the PSA MPV with sliding doors trio is the Vauxhall Combo Life, and what's true about the first two is true about this one too. The British-based company has done a good job of making it look like a Vauxhall however, with a distinctive front and rear end design.
It too is available in M and XL versions, and all three of these models are notable for being able to fit three child seats in the back thanks to the individual rear seats as opposed to a bench.
Petrol and diesel models are available, and the Combo Life is very safe - scoring 91% and 81% for adult and child protection safety in the Euro NCAP assessment.Search Used Vauxhall Combo Life
Time for a step up in luxury now with Mercedes-Benz, a somewhat surprising entrant into the sliding side doors segment of the car market. The V-Class trumps many of the cars in this list not just because of its prestige badge, but also due to the electrically-powered sliding side doors on both sides - a nice touch.
Further nice touches on the inside include seating for up to eight passengers and a well-finished dashboard and individual leather seats. The tailgate is electrically powered, too.
This is a large vehicle, and is capable of carrying a full load of passengers and their luggage. It's ideal for those runs to the airport.Search Used Mercedes-Benz V-Class
The Sharan name has been around for a long time, and it feels like Volkswagen finally nailed the design brief with the facelifted second-generation version that went on sale in the UK in 2015, proving to be a big hit with the minicab crowd.
Spacious, practical and able to seat seven people in complete comfort, the Sharan has everything you would want in a family car; including electric sliding side doors that can be operated remotely using the key fob.
On the inside, there's good quality materials that are typical of used Volkswagens from this era, and the excellent levels of standard safety tech contributed to its strong showing in its Euro NCAP crash test.Search Used Volkswagen Sharan
Ford Tourneo Connect
You're spoilt for choice with people-movers from the used Ford range, with the Galaxy and S-MAX sitting alongside the Tourneo Connect, Tourneo Custom, B-MAX and Grand C-MAX, four of which feature sliding side doors for rear passengers.
Like some of the other models mentioned in this list, the Tourneo Connect is based on a commercial vehicle - the Transit Connect. That's no bad thing, because it means that the boxy proportions maximise the available space into which you can place people, and their things.
If you need even more space, or seven seats, the Grand Tourneo Connect offers both of those advantages but still keeps the sliding doors.Search Used Ford Tourneo Connect
If you squint, even slightly, you will struggle to tell the difference between the SEAT Alhambra and the Volkswagen Sharan. That's because they share pretty much everything with each other, including the platform, the engines, the interior, the infotainment and even the wheels on some versions.
This means you can have all of the benefits of a used Volkswagen product with a slightly lower price tag, which is a win-win scenario for you.
Both of these models are raved about by reviewers for their comfy ride, excellent refinement and powerful yet economical engine range. Plus the sliding side doors, of course, which are electrically powered on higher grades of the Alhambra.Search Used SEAT Alhambra
Ford Grand C-MAX
The regular C-MAX is a mighty fine MPV, and sold in droves here in the UK. But it doesn't have sliding side doors like the Grand C-MAX, which are included here to help passengers access the two additional rear seats in the back - the Grand C-MAX is a seven-seater.
This makes it an excellent vehicle for families who are a looking for something comfortable, practical and economical - the diesel versions can achieve well over 50mpg on a run.
As with all Ford models, occupant safety is well taken care of with the Grand C-MAX which originally scored a maximum five-star safety rating. This has since been revised in line with more stringent testing rules by the experts at Euro NCAP.Search Used Ford Grand C-MAX
Offering ultimate practicality for up to nine occupants (depending on which one you buy), the Citroen SpaceTourer is yet another van-based MPV, although this time it inherits its underpinnings from the multi-award-winning Dispatch that is much larger than the Berlingo.
This means available space is on another level, with tremendous amounts of room and a seating layout that is entirely configurable to your needs.
The party piece of the SpaceTourer is undoubtedly its rear doors, which (on top-spec models) are not just electrically-powered but also hands-free, and can be operated by waving your foot underneath the side of the car. Brilliant!Search Used Citroen SpaceTourer
Find your perfect used car with sliding doors
The benefits of a car with sliding doors are clear: additional practicality and ease of entry. They also make it super easy to fit a child seat in the back, and placing the children in there is a doddle, too.
Above we've seen ten excellent examples of how car makers are responding to consumer demand for practical cars with sliding doors. At Evans Halshaw, we keep all of the above models in stock across our extensive network of dealerships. Start your search for your perfect used car today.