What is an MPV Car? | Kia UK
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What is an MPV Car?

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What is an MPV Car?

The meaning of ‘MPV’ is ‘Multi-Purpose Vehicle’, a term that refers to cars designed to provide optimum practicality and comfort for large groups.

Also commonly referred to as ‘people carriers’, MPV cars can have from five to nine seats, making them ideal for accommodating large families or groups. Although they come in a range of sizes, their distinguishing feature is a cabin designed to provide maximum interior space, often with folding seats to increase luggage space.

With a design engineered around maximising space and comfort, it’s not surprising that MPVs have been a popular choice as a The family car. However, with the rising popularity of SUVs and 7-seaters capable of catering to family needs, the demand for and range of MPV cars for sale is diminishing.

We want to share more about MPV cars and how
SUVs are providing a great alternative as comfortable and functional family cars.

Kia  niro EV back view with model walking towards it

What’s the difference between an MPV and an SUV?

MPVs and SUVs are frequently compared to one another. Although there are many similar elements between the two models, there are some key differences between MPV cars and SUV cars.

MPV cars are typically hatchback models. They usually have tall and box-shape bodies that maximise passenger space and headroom and facilitate easy loading. MPVs can accommodate up to nine seats and often have various folding seat configurations, giving you the choice to optimise boot space.

Unlike MPV cars, which are engineered entirely around space and practicality, SUVs are designed with a greater focus on performance and versatility. They can have up to seven seats and often have large cabins, boots and loading spaces.

SUVs are designed to perform well on off-road surfaces, typically with four-wheel drive and higher ground clearance. They’re known for their rugged exterior and powerful engines, and all together recognised as sleeker, more performance-driven cars than MPVs.

With off-road capabilities and robust designs, SUVs offer greater versatility than MPV cars. When it comes to comparing a 7-seater SUV to a 9-seater MPV, the SUV is also likely to boast better fuel economy, making for a more efficient driving experience.

Nowadays, SUVs provide the desired practicality and comfort for a family-friendly car, without compromising on the performance or efficiency. However, if you’re seeking a car that provides the most space for your money, an MPV car may be a better fit.

Kia EV6 front view

Find the perfect family car with Kia

At Kia, we understand that your car needs to keep up with the ongoing demands of modern family life. That’s why our comprehensive range of SUVs and 7-seater cars, including electric and hybrid vehicles, are built and designed with family at the heart.

Kia EV6 front view

Kia EV9

Newly headlining our electric SUV range is the upcoming Kia EV9, our latest 7-seater pure EV, expected to be released later this year.

The EV9’s rugged and bold exterior boasts a spacious interior, fitted with extensive tech capabilities. With a powerful 99.8kWh battery, our biggest yet, the EV9 delivers exceptional range and performance. In fact, the SUV is set to be our longest-range EV with an expected range of more than 328 miles per charge.

Kia EV6 front view

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage, is our award-winning 5-seater SUV, available in four different powertrains including plug-in hybrid and electric.

The Sportage boasts an ultra-modern, spacious cabin, including premium comfort seats, extra legroom for rear passengers and innovative storage options. The SUV is fitted with an impressive suite of high-tech Driver Assist functions, including Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Junction Turning. These safety capabilities earned the Sportage a 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests, as well as a status as one the safest family cars on the market.

Kia EV6 front view

Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento is our reliable and performance-driven 7-seater SUV. The Sorento offers a spacious cabin with sleek ergonomics and an enlarged entrance for elevated comfort and ease. The flat-folding rear seats allow you to accommodate passengers with luggage, while the Smart Tailgate ensures easy loading.

The Sorento’s all-wheels drive technology guarantees dynamic and intuitive performance. The Terrain Mode Select system allows you to seamlessly switch between a range of drive modes, including Eco, Sport and Comfort, as well as terrain modes that let you adapt to and excel on any road surface.

Kia EV6 front view

Get inspired when you browse our exciting range of SUVs and 7-seater cars and find the perfect family car for you.

If you're ready to make the switch one of our MPV cars, request a brochure to find out more.

Kia EV6 front view

Images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be to full UK specification. Features shown are not standard across the Kia model range and availability will vary dependant on model. For further details please refer to the individual model specification sheets.



*Fuel economy and emissions: driving range standards are calculated using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).


**There are certain situations in which the petrol engine will automatically activate even when the vehicle is in EV mode. Examples could include: when the hybrid battery state of charge is reduced to a certain level, when acceleration demand is high and/or when it is required to heat up the cabin.


*** Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)


Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) is an assistance system and does not relieve the driver from their responsibility to safely operate the vehicle at any time. The driver still has to adapt their driving behaviour to their personal driving capabilities, to the legal requirements and to the overall road and traffic conditions. FCA is not designed to drive the vehicle autonomously. For further information, please refer to the owner’s manual.