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Best people movers

If you have a growing family or require a bit more practicality than what’s on offer in an SUV, then you should definitely consider one, if not all of these best people movers.

A people mover, also known as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or minivan in other markets, is typically a large vehicle that offers at least three rows of seating, sliding side doors for rear passengers, a flat floor, and a high roofline.

These people movers all come in different shapes and sizes, but they all offer at least six seats and are focused on carrying as many people and as much stuff as possible.

Some people movers such as the Toyota Granvia, Hyundai Staria, LDV G10, Volkswagen Caddy, Volkswagen Caravelle and Mercedes-Benz V-Class have a commercial van counterpart.

Other people movers like the Kia Carnival and Honda Odyssey were designed specifically for people moving purposes.

Breaking it down a further step, some of these people movers are built on a passenger car-like unibody chassis architecture, whereas others are built on a commercial van-like  body-on-frame chassis architecture.

Kia Carnival

Rating
/10
Price
$47,480 to $67,580 before on-roads
Kia Carnival

The Kia Carnival is comfortably Australia’s top-selling people mover. It’s also especially designed as a people mover with a unibody chassis construction.

The range starts with the entry-level S which offers cloth upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels, and extends to the flagship Platinum which has heated and ventilated front seats and 19-inch black alloy wheels, plus more.

Two powertrains are offered - a 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6 (216kW/355Nm) and a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel (148kW/440Nm). Both variants are front-wheel drive and use an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing starts at $47,480 before on-road costs for the Carnival S Petrol and extends to $67,580 before on-road costs for the Carnival Platinum Diesel.

Inside, the Carnival offers plenty of soft-touch materials and a number of cubbies for odds and ends in all three rows. The third row of seating also folds into the floor, creating a flat loading area.

Luggage space, following VDA measurements, is 627L with all seats up. Fold the third row and it extends to 2785L. There are five ISOFIX and five top tether points.

The Carnival range received a five-star ANCAP safety rating in January 2021. All models have autonomous emergency braking with car, pedestrian, cyclist and junction detection.

All models are covered by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

More on the Kia Carnival

Honda Odyssey

Rating
/10
Price
$48,700 to $56,000 drive-away
Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is yet another vehicle built on a unibody chassis architecture and is funnily enough the second top-selling people mover in Australia.

It’s worth noting the Odyssey is dying. Honda Australia said in 2021 there’d be enough stock for the first half of 2022, so you’d best get in quick.

The two-model range starts with the Vi L7 which offers leather upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels, and extends to the flagship Vi LX7 which adds power sliding doors with gesture control and a power tailgate, plus more.

Only one powertrain is offered, which is a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine producing 129kW and 225Nm. It’s mated to a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with drive being sent to the front wheels.

Inside, the Odyssey is a little long in the tooth, but there are comfy seats and nice padded surfaces. The captain seats in the second row not only recline but also slide forwards, backwards and sideways.

Honda Australia doesn’t quote any boot capacities for the Odyssey. There are two ISOFIX points and five top tether points.

The Odyssey range has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP based on testing conducted in 2014. All models have autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning.

All models are covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

More on the Honda Odyssey

Hyundai Staria

Rating
/10
Price
$48,500 to $66,500 before on-roads
Hyundai Staria

The Hyundai Staria replaced the van-based iMax and is based on the same unibody platform as the Santa Fe SUV. It also features similar underpinnings to the Kia Carnival but is larger in every dimension.

The range starts with the base Staria which has 18-inch alloy wheels and six USB outlets, and extends to the Highlander which has heated and ventilated front seats and a premium dashboard, plus more.

Two powertrains are offered and they’re exactly the same as the ones in the Kia Carnival – a 3.5-litre petrol V6 (200kW/331Nm) and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder (130kW/430Nm). Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

It’s worth noting diesel variants gain all-wheel drive.

Inside, the Staria are oodles of storage options, a deep console bin and pop-out bottle holders on the dash. The rows of seating do get progressively less comfortable the further you back though.

Luggage space behind the third row of seats is 831L, and a further 1303L from the third row to the back of the front seats. There are two ISOFIX points and two top tether points.

The Staria received a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing conducted in 2021. All models have autonomous emergency braking. A safe exit assist is available on the Elite trim and above.

All models are covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

More on the Hyundai Staria

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi

Rating
/10
Price
$46,140 to $52,640 before on-roads
Volkswagen Caddy Maxi

The Volkswagen Caddy Maxi is a people mover based on the Caddy Cargo commercial van.

Funnily enough the latest generation of the Caddy is based on the unibody MQB platform that also underpins the Golf.

If you’re after a smaller people mover, this one only comes with seven seats.

The two-car range starts with the base Caddy Maxi dual-sliding doors and fabric door trim armrests, and extends to the Life Maxi which adds keyless start and 17-inch alloy wheels, plus more.

There are two powertrain options available - a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol (84kW/220Nm) and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder (90kW/320Nm). Both are mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Inside, there’s a lot of space with heaps of headroom for all passengers. It’s worth noting that the second and third row of seating can be removed if you desire.

With all the seats up there’s 446L of boot capacity, which can extend to 3105L with the second and third rows of seating removed. There are four ISOFIX points and five top tether points.

The Caddy Maxi scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing in 2021. All models have autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

All models are covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

More on the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi

Toyota Granvia

Rating
/10
Price
$64,090 to $75,603 before on-roads
Toyota Granvia

The Toyota Granvia is a van-based people mover based on the current-generation HiAce.

The two-car range starts with the base Granvia which has fabric upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels, and extends to the VX which adds quilted leather upholstery and rear captain’s chairs, plus more.

It’s worth noting that both of these trim levels are available in both six- and eight-seat configurations.

One powertrain option is available, which is a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder that produces 130kW and 450Nm. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Inside, you sit up very high and there are plenty of storage areas scattered around the cabin. The eight-seat version also has four rows of seating.

Toyota Australia doesn’t list any luggage capacity for the Granvia. There are four ISOFIX points and four top tether points.

The Granvia has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP based on testing conducted in 2019 on the related HiAce. All models have autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection.

All models are covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty

More on the Toyota Granvia

LDV G10

Rating
/10
Price
$31,490 to $40,490 before on-roads
LDV G10

The LDV G10 people mover is a people mover based on the G10 van. It’s a budget option for those who need a people mover at a lower cost.

The two-car range starts with the Standard that has keyless entry and start and rear air-conditioning, and extends to the Executive that adds leather upholstery and power sliding doors, plus more.

It’s worth noting that the G10 is available in seven- or nine-seat configurations.

There are two powertrains options available: a 1.9-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel (106kW/350Nm), and a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol (160kW/330Nm). Both are mated to a ZF six-speed automatic transmission.

Inside, there's a cavernous interior with little to grumble about. There are also six air vents which helps with sufficient ventilation.

LDV Australia doesn’t list luggage capacity for the G10 people mover. There are two child seat anchor points.

The G10 people mover has a three-star safety rating from ANCAP based on testing conducted in 2015. No models offer autonomous emergency braking.

All models are covered by a three-year, 100,000km warranty.

More on the LDV G10