We’re often asked which cars can take three child seats all in one row – and, the truth is, there are only a few that can do it comfortably and safely (though it always depends on how bulky and what type the child seats are). All of them are people carriers or SUVs with up to seven seats, but it should be noted that even though the cars we are listing here have three ISOFIX points on their second row, it will still depend on how big your child seats are as to whether they will fit in three abreast in a safe fashion – so try and sample the interior space of all of the below, with your child seats, before you buy.
Audi Q7 Mk2 (2015-on)
New price from: €82,980
Used values: €48,000-€81,000
Big premium SUV with sharp looks and a high-quality interior. Not cheap, but worth the entrance fee. Has been on sale for three years so used models are available, but its three ISOFIX fittings across row two make it desirable, so second-hand values are robust. Good, strong engine choices available – especially the monster SQ7.
Citroen C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso (2013-on)
New price from: €25,695 (C4 SpaceTourer) or €28,995 (Grand C4 SpaceTourer)
Used values: €11,500-€30,000 (both models)
Probably one of the best cars on the list, from a price-to-practicality viewpoint. It was renamed as the C4 SpaceTourer and Grand C4 SpaceTourer in 2018, but it’s essentially the same wonderfully clever, big MPV. The regular version is a five-seater, while the ‘Grand’ model is a seven-seater. Good diesel engines and futuristic looks make this a winner.
Ford S-Max (2015-on)
New price from: €37,538
Used values: €23,500-€37,000
Often overlooked, the S-Max is an MPV that still rewards parents who enjoy driving. Relatively pricey and not the biggest inside, but it looks good and has a sweet chassis. Powerful TDCi diesel engines give excellent performance and decent economy, even with the car fully laden.
Ford Galaxy (2015-on)
New price from: N/A
Used values: €21,000-€40,000
Currently still showing on Ford Ireland’s website, but with no price attached (ordering on hold at the time of writing, due to WLTP issues), this is Ford’s bigger MPV with three ISOFIX positions across one row. Not as entertaining to drive nor easy to park as the S-Max, but more practical.
Opel Zafira Tourer (2011-on)
New price from: N/A
Used values: €11,500-€24,000
Opel’s Zafira Tourer has dropped off the company’s new cars pricelist, but there are plenty of good used examples and it has a straightforward, usefully clever cabin. Good engines and reliability make it a sound family purchase, while parts and servicing are reasonable too. Looked more distinctive prior to its 2016 facelift.
Peugeot 5008 (2009-2016)
New price from: N/A
Used values: €5,400-€21,000
The only car on the list where the old 5008, built from 2009-2016 as an MPV, fits the three-ISOFIX-on-one-row bill, while its successor (the SUV Mk2) does not. The older 5008 is not pretty, but it is practical, and it’s one of the cheapest cars on our list, making it an accessible choice.
Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic (2016-on)
New price from: €27,790 (Scenic) or €30,290 (Grand Scenic)
Used values: €18,000-€32,000 (both models)
Like the Citroen, rival company Renault also offers two MPVs that can take three across the middle – the shorter wheelbase, five-seat Scenic and the longer wheelbase, seven-seat Grand Scenic. Distinctive car because it comes on 20-inch alloys, while the cabin has some clever touches. Not the biggest MPV in the world, though, even in Grand Scenic guise.
SEAT Alhambra (2010-on)
New price from: €41,600
Used values: €19,000-€40,000
Along with the Citroen models, this is our preferred choice on the list. The Mk2 Alhambra is not showy – it’s essentially a medium-sized van-like vehicle with windows – and the cabin does nothing spectacular, but with twin sliding doors, acres of space within and typically excellent VW Group drivetrains, it’s hard to fault the Alhambra. One weird quirk: the Mk2 has been on sale since 2010 but, in Ireland, used models start from 2014 onwards, keeping second-hand values high.
Volkswagen Touran (2015-on)
New price from: €30,950
Used values: €20,000-€35,000
A premium MPV from Volkswagen, it’s not as massive as the SEAT Alhambra and lacks for that vehicle’s sliding rear doors, but the Touran is a broad car that’s deceptively useful for people looking to carry lots of children onboard. Looks nice, if a little safe, on the outside; by way of compensation, has a first-class cabin and some excellent drivetrains to match.
Carzone - 08-Mar-2019