If you’re in the position where you need to move people plus luggage, and a 7-seater bakkie-based SUV won’t cut it, then this is the Buyer’s Guide for you! Multi-Seater MPVs are hugely practical, but what products are available in South Africa and what should you consider buying? Read on…
For the purpose of this Buyer’s Guide, we have focused on vehicles that offer at least 7 seats. Offroad credentials are not required, but the focus here is rather on passenger comfort and practicality. There’s something on this list for everyone!
Pricing is accurate as of March 2022.
Multi-seater MPVs in South Africa
The Hyundai H1 replacement is straight from the future design-wise.
The popular Hyundai H1 has been replaced by the futuristic-looking Hyundai Staria. While we’ve not spent much time with it, initial impressions are positive, with generous levels of space, a willing turbodiesel engine and plenty of comfort features.
Hyundai is bullish with its Staria and the range is all-encompassing with multiple derivatives on offer including a 9-seater, an 11-seater and a 5-seater Multicab. There’s also a panel van on the way, due to be launched later in 2022.
- Price Range: R759 900 – R1 099 900
- Pick of the Range: Hyundai Staria 2.2D Elite
- Reason to Buy: Value for money, comprehensive aftersales, features galore
- Criticisms: That styling won’t be to everyone’s tastes
See specification and pricing details for the Hyundai Staria
Buy a Hyundai Staria on Cars.co.za
The fresh-looking Kia Carnival comes packed with features and excellent road manners.
Move over Kia Grand Sedona, the Kia Carnival has arrived! With the name change comes a smart-looking family-orientated MPV. There are 4 derivatives offered, with the choice of 7 or 8 seats, all sharing a common turbodiesel engine. Fit and finish is deeply impressive, as are the levels of comfort. The best part is that the Kia Carnival drives rather well and doesn’t feel like a minibus.
- Price Range: R799 995 – R1 024 995
- Pick of the Range: 2.2CRDi SX Limited 7-seater
- Reason to Buy: Refinement, driving dynamics, gadgets galore, safety features.
- Criticisms: Product is brand new and untested
See specification and pricing details for the Kia Carnival
Buy a Kia Carnival on Cars.co.za
The iconic nameplate carries on with the T6.1 generation
The Volkswagen Kombi is probably the most iconic nameplate in the world of people carriers. It has been around since 1950 and represents family and freedom of the open road. Fast forward to 2022 and we have quite a diverse lineup from VW. There are basic crew busses, Kombis and for those with deep pockets wanting it all, the Caravelle. All of which are powered by strong diesel engines. The T6.1 model touched down in 2021, but there’s already a T7 version that will be joining the range soon enough.
- Price Range: R661 400 – R1 255 900
- Pick of the Range: 2.0BiTDI 146 kW crew bus LWB 4Motion
- Reason to Buy: Refinement, engine performance
- Criticisms: Expensive, standard spec is lacking in comparison to Korean rivals
See specification and pricing details for the Volkswagen Kombi
See specification and pricing details for the Volkswagen Caravelle
Buy a used Volkswagen Kombi or Caravelle on Cars.co.za
Opel Zafira Life
Opel has welcomed the new Zafira Life to the South African market with 2 derivatives on offer including the family orientated Zafira Life Edition and the range-topping Zafira Life Elegance which is aimed at businesses or families who seek higher levels of comfort. The Zafira Life can seat up to 8 passengers and a willing 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine with 110 kW and 370 Nm is found under the bonnet. With competitive pricing, the Zafira Life is well-poised to steal a few sales from its more established rivals.
- Price range: R749 900 – R869 900
- Pick of the range: Zafira Life 2.0TD Elegance
- Reason to buy: Competitive pricing, generous specification
- Criticsms: Suspension not as forgiving as we’d hoped
See specification and pricing details for the Opel Zafira Life
Buy Opel Zafira Life on Cars.co.za
The V300d is the most expensive MPV sold in SA
The Mercedes-Benz V-Class has become an icon of luxury in South Africa. The Vito offers similar levels of practicality, but with less luxury. The majority of the range use the 2.1-litre turbodiesel engine, with the entry-level models making do with a 1.6-litre turbodiesel. Mercedes-Benz has tried to cover all the bases, with basic panel vans and crew cabs offered, going all the way up to high-end luxury transport. The elephant in the room is the price, they’re priced higher in comparison to the rest of the models on this list.
- Price Range: Approximately R651 199 – R1 874 850
- Pick of the Range: Mercedes-Benz V220d
- Reason to Buy: The ultimate people carrier
- Criticisms: Expensive, interior fit and finish not good enough for the price
See specification and pricing details for the Mercedes-Benz V-Class
Buy a Mercedes-Benz V-Class on Cars.co.za
The Ford range of vans are very popular in Europe.
The Ford vans are very popular in Europe, but you don’t see many of them on the roads in South Africa. The Blue Oval offers the Tourneo Custom as its passenger-carrying van and it’s available with 2.0-litre and 2.2-litre diesel setups. As far as body styles go, there are long wheelbase and short wheelbase options, with 3 levels of trim. There are 8 seats on offer and they can be rotated and stowed to increase practicality.
- Price range: R658 200 – R787 400
- Pick of the Range: Ford Tourneo Custom 2.0SiT LWB Trend
- Reason to Buy: Strong engine, seating flexibility
- Criticisms: Not the most dynamic thing to drive
See specification and pricing details for the Ford Tourneo Custom on Cars.co.za
Buy a Ford Tourneo on Cars.co.za
The Quantum VX offers luxury on par with the V-Class
Now before you laugh at us and say, ‘this is just a normal taxi’, there’s a reason it’s here. The Toyota Quantum is the backbone of SA’s public transport system, ferrying hundreds of thousands of people around the country. Reliability and toughness are in abundance, and these things are built to last. Toyota offers a full spectrum of Quantum body styles too, ranging from panel vans, crew cabs, and passenger-carrying derivatives. There’s space for 14 people in some models, while others have the capacity for 11. If luxury is what you’re after, then look to the VX range, which takes the fight straight to the Mercedes-Benz V-Class. All models use the 2.8-litre turbodiesel and outputs range from 115 kW to 130 kW.
- Price Range: R564 700 – R1 037 100
- Pick of the range: Toyota Quantum 2.8 LWB bus 6-seater VX Premium
- Reason to buy: Reliability, value for money
- Criticisms: Untested by us
See specification and pricing details for the Toyota Quantum
Buy a Toyota Quantum on Cars.co.za
Budget 7-seater MPVs in South Africa
If your budget is slightly less, then consider one of the following for your people-moving needs: