Best people movers

    Australia’s Best people movers as ranked by CarExpert

    If practicality is more important to you than anything else, you need to consider a people-mover. Better yet, you should consider one these - the best people movers!

    These vehicles are designed to go all-in on usefulness – three rows of seats, loads of luggage space, and a boxy body to make it all as spacious and comfortable as possible.

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    Kia Carnival
    Kia Carnival
    $50,150 - $72,910

    The Kia Carnival is comfortably Australia’s top-selling people mover.

    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, electric sliding side doors and an electric boot, plus plenty more.

    Two powertrains are offered - a 3.5-litre 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 seats also fold down into the floor, creating a flat loading area if you only need two rows for occupants, while the middle-row centre seat can be removed if you need a ‘hallway’ to the back bench.

    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, making this purpose-built people-mover a better-than-handy family van.

    Unlike most other MPVs, the Carnival uses a unibody or monocoque chassis construction, so it drives more like a car or SUV than a van (body-on-frame design).

    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, and airbags that cover the third row.

    All models are covered by a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with seven years capped-price servicing and roadside assistance included, too.

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    4 Door Wagon
    72 L > 750 to 1108 km
    FWD
    2000 kg Towing Capacity

    The Kia Carnival is comfortably Australia’s top-selling people mover.

    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, electric sliding side doors and an electric boot, plus plenty more.

    Two powertrains are offered - a 3.5-litre 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 seats also fold down into the floor, creating a flat loading area if you only need two rows for occupants, while the middle-row centre seat can be removed if you need a ‘hallway’ to the back bench.

    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, making this purpose-built people-mover a better-than-handy family van.

    Unlike most other MPVs, the Carnival uses a unibody or monocoque chassis construction, so it drives more like a car or SUV than a van (body-on-frame design).

    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, and airbags that cover the third row.

    All models are covered by a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with seven years capped-price servicing and roadside assistance included, too.

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    Hyundai Staria
    Hyundai Staria
    $46,740 - $67,500

    The eye-catching Hyundai Staria might not look like it’s based on the same platform as the Santa Fe SUV, but it is – and it also features similar underpinnings to the Kia Carnival, but is larger in every dimension. Yes, this is a huge vehicle.

    The Staria replaced the iLoad-van-based iMax, and along with offering a vastly different look, it also brought a heap of new technology, safety gear and better powertrains than the old work-van-based family hauler.

    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, bigger digital displays, electric sliding doors and more.

    Storage is exceptional inside the Staria, with a deep console bin and pop-out bottle holders on the dash. The rows of seating do get progressively less comfortable further 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. But there are only two ISOFIX points and three top tether points, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to the Carnival.

    Two powertrains are offered and they’re essentially 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. The petrol models are front-wheel drive, but like the Santa Fe, the diesel versions have standard all-wheel drive, which is a nice point of difference in this segment.

    The Staria received a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing conducted in 2021. All models have autonomous emergency braking. Safe exit assist is available on the Elite trim and above. Airbag coverage extends to the third row.

    All models are covered by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s a capped-price servicing plan for life, too.

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    4 Door Wagon and 2 more
    75 L > 714 to 1071 km
    FWD/AWD
    2500 kg Towing Capacity

    The eye-catching Hyundai Staria might not look like it’s based on the same platform as the Santa Fe SUV, but it is – and it also features similar underpinnings to the Kia Carnival, but is larger in every dimension. Yes, this is a huge vehicle.

    The Staria replaced the iLoad-van-based iMax, and along with offering a vastly different look, it also brought a heap of new technology, safety gear and better powertrains than the old work-van-based family hauler.

    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, bigger digital displays, electric sliding doors and more.

    Storage is exceptional inside the Staria, with a deep console bin and pop-out bottle holders on the dash. The rows of seating do get progressively less comfortable further 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. But there are only two ISOFIX points and three top tether points, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to the Carnival.

    Two powertrains are offered and they’re essentially 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. The petrol models are front-wheel drive, but like the Santa Fe, the diesel versions have standard all-wheel drive, which is a nice point of difference in this segment.

    The Staria received a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing conducted in 2021. All models have autonomous emergency braking. Safe exit assist is available on the Elite trim and above. Airbag coverage extends to the third row.

    All models are covered by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s a capped-price servicing plan for life, too.

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    LDV Mifa / Mifa 9
    LDV Mifa / Mifa 9
    $53,990 - $72,990

    The LDV Mifa is a Chinese-made people-mover van that is a value-focused family wagon with three rows of seating.

    With drive-away pricing across the three-model range, the Mifa is pretty well equipped no matter the grade you choose, with even the base model Mode version ($53,990 drive-away) offering a big touchscreen media system, digital instruments, fake leather, LED exterior lighting and alloy wheels.

    Up from there you get a surround-view camera, panoramic sunroof, electric boot, electric second-row seat adjustment (captain’s chairs) and electric sliding doors in the Executive grade ($63,990 drive-away).

    The top-spec Luxe ($72,990 drive-away) offers leather trim, heated and cooled front seats, and multi-mode massaging and reclining seats in the middle row.

    The Mifa is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with 160kW/360Nm, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it’s front-wheel drive.

    Boot space is 466 litres with all the seats up, but if you slide the third-row bench all the way back, the space is a bit less usable than most rivals. Don’t need the third row? Storage increases to 1702L.

    The cargo storage situation is not as clever as a Carnival, and it also has a pretty limited payload capacity of just 550kg.

    Safety technology includes standard gear like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and junction detection, lane-keeping tech, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It received the maximum five-star ANCAP rating in 2022, and airbag coverage extends to all three rows.

    But it does come with a seven-year/200,000km warranty, and there’s five years/160,000km of roadside assistance available. Capped-price servicing isn’t part of the deal with LDV.

    LDV Mifa 9

    The LDV Mifa 9 is the electric take on the Chinese van, but it isn’t quite as affordable as some people might wish it was.

    With the asking price eclipsing the $100,000 mark for even the most affordable Mode version of the Mifa 9, and topping out at almost $130K for the top-spec Luxe, it really isn’t one for all budgets.

    But if you insist on a big family mover with a fully electric powertrain, it could entice you with its strong electric powertrain specs. There’s a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with a WLTP-rated EV driving range of up to 440km.

    The motor is at the front axle, and produces 180kW/350Nm, and being electric, it does have a zippy response to the acceleration, and smoothness to low and high-speed acceleration, too. There’s regenerative braking to help replenish the battery pack in stop-start traffic, too.

    It has manual sliding doors on the base grade, and a manual boot lid, too. The mid- and top-spec models get electric sliding doors and an electric boot, while the top-spec model gets heating and cooling for first- and second-row seats.

    There are plenty of other standard inclusions to help justify the expense of this van, including 18-inch wheels, LED lighting, seven seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, and heaps of standard safety technology that led the Mifa 9 to achieve the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2022.

    Just like the Mifa petrol model, there’s 466 litres of cargo capacity, which expands up to 1702L with the third row stowed. Payload capacity varies between 525kg and 650kg.

    There’s an eight-year/200,000km battery warranty, but the vehicle itself has a warranty of five years/160,000km. You have the same cover for roadside assistance, but capped-price servicing isn’t part of the deal with LDV.

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    4 Door Wagon
    75 L > 806 to 806 km
    FWD
    2000 kg Towing Capacity

    The LDV Mifa is a Chinese-made people-mover van that is a value-focused family wagon with three rows of seating.

    With drive-away pricing across the three-model range, the Mifa is pretty well equipped no matter the grade you choose, with even the base model Mode version ($53,990 drive-away) offering a big touchscreen media system, digital instruments, fake leather, LED exterior lighting and alloy wheels.

    Up from there you get a surround-view camera, panoramic sunroof, electric boot, electric second-row seat adjustment (captain’s chairs) and electric sliding doors in the Executive grade ($63,990 drive-away).

    The top-spec Luxe ($72,990 drive-away) offers leather trim, heated and cooled front seats, and multi-mode massaging and reclining seats in the middle row.

    The Mifa is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with 160kW/360Nm, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it’s front-wheel drive.

    Boot space is 466 litres with all the seats up, but if you slide the third-row bench all the way back, the space is a bit less usable than most rivals. Don’t need the third row? Storage increases to 1702L.

    The cargo storage situation is not as clever as a Carnival, and it also has a pretty limited payload capacity of just 550kg.

    Safety technology includes standard gear like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and junction detection, lane-keeping tech, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It received the maximum five-star ANCAP rating in 2022, and airbag coverage extends to all three rows.

    But it does come with a seven-year/200,000km warranty, and there’s five years/160,000km of roadside assistance available. Capped-price servicing isn’t part of the deal with LDV.

    LDV Mifa 9

    The LDV Mifa 9 is the electric take on the Chinese van, but it isn’t quite as affordable as some people might wish it was.

    With the asking price eclipsing the $100,000 mark for even the most affordable Mode version of the Mifa 9, and topping out at almost $130K for the top-spec Luxe, it really isn’t one for all budgets.

    But if you insist on a big family mover with a fully electric powertrain, it could entice you with its strong electric powertrain specs. There’s a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with a WLTP-rated EV driving range of up to 440km.

    The motor is at the front axle, and produces 180kW/350Nm, and being electric, it does have a zippy response to the acceleration, and smoothness to low and high-speed acceleration, too. There’s regenerative braking to help replenish the battery pack in stop-start traffic, too.

    It has manual sliding doors on the base grade, and a manual boot lid, too. The mid- and top-spec models get electric sliding doors and an electric boot, while the top-spec model gets heating and cooling for first- and second-row seats.

    There are plenty of other standard inclusions to help justify the expense of this van, including 18-inch wheels, LED lighting, seven seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, and heaps of standard safety technology that led the Mifa 9 to achieve the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2022.

    Just like the Mifa petrol model, there’s 466 litres of cargo capacity, which expands up to 1702L with the third row stowed. Payload capacity varies between 525kg and 650kg.

    There’s an eight-year/200,000km battery warranty, but the vehicle itself has a warranty of five years/160,000km. You have the same cover for roadside assistance, but capped-price servicing isn’t part of the deal with LDV.

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    Toyota Granvia
    Toyota Granvia
    $68,306 - $77,476

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

    It looks a bit ungainly compared to some of the other vehicles on this list, with its big, boxy proportions meaning it won’t be as carpark-friendly as some of the other vehicles here.

    The range starts with the base Granvia which has fabric upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels and the choice of six seats ($67,940) or eight seats ($69,940), and extends to the VX which adds quilted leather upholstery and some other nice features, with both the six- and eight-seat models priced at $77,110.

    It has the same powertrain as the HiAce (and the Prado, and the HiLux, and the Fortuner…!), 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 throughout the cabin. The eight-seat version squishes in four rows of seating, though not all of them will are that accommodating for bigger bodies.

    Toyota Australia doesn’t list the luggage capacity for the Granvia, but it has decent space for bags and loose items. Interestingly, 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, and there are curtain airbags for all rows.

    All models are covered by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and Toyota offers an extended powertrain warranty for up to seven years if you maintain your vehicle on time.

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    4 Door Wagon
    70 L > 875 to 875 km
    RWD
    1500 kg Towing Capacity

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

    It looks a bit ungainly compared to some of the other vehicles on this list, with its big, boxy proportions meaning it won’t be as carpark-friendly as some of the other vehicles here.

    The range starts with the base Granvia which has fabric upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels and the choice of six seats ($67,940) or eight seats ($69,940), and extends to the VX which adds quilted leather upholstery and some other nice features, with both the six- and eight-seat models priced at $77,110.

    It has the same powertrain as the HiAce (and the Prado, and the HiLux, and the Fortuner…!), 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 throughout the cabin. The eight-seat version squishes in four rows of seating, though not all of them will are that accommodating for bigger bodies.

    Toyota Australia doesn’t list the luggage capacity for the Granvia, but it has decent space for bags and loose items. Interestingly, 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, and there are curtain airbags for all rows.

    All models are covered by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and Toyota offers an extended powertrain warranty for up to seven years if you maintain your vehicle on time.

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    Mercedes-Benz V-Class
    Mercedes-Benz V-Class
    $114,499 - $143,809

    The Mercedes V-Class van range has expanded from diesel-only to include a new EQV fully electric model, and it offers plenty of food for thought for those who need executive electric transport… or just like the idea of an EV family van.

    Based on the Mercedes Vito commercial van range, the V-Class model line is a popular choice in Europe for luxury transport agencies, and there’s a small but loyal customer base for these passenger-friendly three-row models in Australia, too.

    The EQV has a 150kW/365Nm front-mounted electric motor with a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with a claimed EV driving range of 418km (WLTP).

    If that’s not right for you, then the existing V-Class 250d and 300d models might be. They both have a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel powertrain with a nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, though there’s some differentiation in terms of the outputs. The 250d has 140kW/440Nm, while the 300d has 174kW/500Nm.

    Payload capacity is rated from 654kg to 791kg, and it has up to 2.5 tonne towing capacity for the diesel versions.

    The $133,876 300d Avantgarde version also scores a number of AMG items, such as specific wheels, trim, exterior elements and a model-specific grille and headlights.

    While the model we get in Australia is the mid-wheelbase version, it is still a very accommodating cabin, with reversible middle-row seating, and a sizeable boot capacity of up to 1030 litres, plus there’s a handy opening glass section in the tailgate to allow easier access to items in the cargo hold.

    The V-Class is not rated by ANCAP, but there is an existing five-star Euro NCAP rating from 2014. It has advanced safety tech as standard, and airbags that cover all three rows.

    The V-Class range is offered with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, and there are a few different prepaid servicing options for customers to consider.

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    5 Door Wagon
    70 L > 1014 to 1014 km
    RWD
    2500 kg Towing Capacity

    The Mercedes V-Class van range has expanded from diesel-only to include a new EQV fully electric model, and it offers plenty of food for thought for those who need executive electric transport… or just like the idea of an EV family van.

    Based on the Mercedes Vito commercial van range, the V-Class model line is a popular choice in Europe for luxury transport agencies, and there’s a small but loyal customer base for these passenger-friendly three-row models in Australia, too.

    The EQV has a 150kW/365Nm front-mounted electric motor with a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with a claimed EV driving range of 418km (WLTP).

    If that’s not right for you, then the existing V-Class 250d and 300d models might be. They both have a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel powertrain with a nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, though there’s some differentiation in terms of the outputs. The 250d has 140kW/440Nm, while the 300d has 174kW/500Nm.

    Payload capacity is rated from 654kg to 791kg, and it has up to 2.5 tonne towing capacity for the diesel versions.

    The $133,876 300d Avantgarde version also scores a number of AMG items, such as specific wheels, trim, exterior elements and a model-specific grille and headlights.

    While the model we get in Australia is the mid-wheelbase version, it is still a very accommodating cabin, with reversible middle-row seating, and a sizeable boot capacity of up to 1030 litres, plus there’s a handy opening glass section in the tailgate to allow easier access to items in the cargo hold.

    The V-Class is not rated by ANCAP, but there is an existing five-star Euro NCAP rating from 2014. It has advanced safety tech as standard, and airbags that cover all three rows.

    The V-Class range is offered with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, and there are a few different prepaid servicing options for customers to consider.

    Read full review...