The best small people carriers for 2013

It isn’t just small cars that have been immensely popular this year. Downsizing has been a popular trend across all segments and disciplines, with manufacturers improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions as a result.

Small people carriers and crossovers have seen a lot of consumer attention over 2012, as families look for an affordable car that’s cost-effective to maintain throughout its lifetime. That trend is likely to continue next year.

With that in mind, Perrys has compiled what it feels will be the best small people carriers for 2013:

Vauxhall Meriva

The Vauxhall Meriva is a fantastic all-round multi-purpose car, and comes with a host of innovative features.

Its famous FlexDoors make loading and unloading the car easier than ever, whilst it has an impressive number of standard features including ESP-plus, ABS, twin front airbags, ISOFIX child seat restraint systems and more.

The 1.4i 16v VVT Manual 5-speed model has a combined MPG of 46.3 and emits 143g/km CO2.

A new Vauxhall Meriva is available from £12,500.

Renault Scenic

The Renault Scenic is a winner because of its near-endless configuration options. Owners can fold the seats for more space or remove them entirely, which is a great feature for families to make use of.

The 1.6 dCi 130 is from the manufacturer’s ENERGY range, and features eco-friendly tech such as ‘Stop and Start’, regenerative braking and more. The Scenic is also available with Carminat TomTom Live with a 5.8″ screen, a Bose sound system, reversing cameras and more, which help justify its price.

A new Renault Scenic is available from £18,335.

Fiat Doblo

The Doblo is a behemoth on the road thanks to its MultiJet diesel engines which offer a smooth ride and the power to carry an awful lot of equipment. Its engines are fuel-efficient too, with the Doblo’s design revolving around the busy family that needs something practical to complement their daily lives.

People have access to 3200 litres of interior space, with extra-large sliding doors helping to enhance the experience. Additional storage features make it the perfect option for families with an active lifestyle.

A new Fiat Doblo is available from £14,770.

Peugeot 3008

The Peugeot 3008 won ‘Best Crossover’ in the What Car? Car of the Year 2011 awards thanks to its versatility, and technological features such as its impressive heads-up display. Combined with Peugeot Connect the 3008 offers tech-savvy families a lot of options on-the-go.

On a practical level the HDi 112 FAP EGC option with 17-inch wheels emits as little as 117g/km of CO2, which helps to keep costs low. Safety-wise the 3008 has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, is fitted with six SMART airbags and comes with grip control. The 3008 is available with a broad range of diesel and petrol engines.

A new Peugeot 3008 is available from £15,495 on-the-road.

Ford B-Max

The Ford B-Max is relatively new but has still managed to cement its place in the hearts of families thanks to its rear-sliding doors. The feature helps drivers load and unload their cars like never before, giving an unprecedented 1.5m opening for people to use.

The B-Max is available with the current International Engine of the Year, the 1-litre EcoBoost petrol engine which provides fantastic fuel economy. The B-Max is also technologically adept, coming with Ford’s revolutionary SYNC which is voice0activated, and can even read out text messages. The B-Max is a fantastic option for families to consider for its price.

A new Ford B-Max is available from £12,995.

Kia Carens

The all-new Kia Carens made its debut at the Paris Motor Show 2012 in September, and will appear in showrooms early next year. Kia has worked hard to make the car sportier-looking, giving it a longer wheelbase, lower roofline and more refined bonnet.

The new Kia Carens will be available in five- and seven-seat versions and is based on the latest version of the Kia cee’d. The Carens is expected to be available with three engines (two diesel and one petrol), which will all have stop-start technology.

A new Kia Carens is expected to cost around £16,500 upon release.

Citroen C3 Picasso

The Citroen C3 Picasso will always turn heads thanks to its unique style. And its interior is as eye-catching as its shell thanks to its impressive storage space and numerous compartments throughout the car.

The C3 Picasso’s flexible design gives drivers the opportunity to change the shape of the cabin quickly. The interior features all the best bits of a saloon, whilst complementing them with the overall philosophy of a compact people carrier. The C3 Picasso features advanced safety braking, ESP, up to six airbags and much more besides.

A new Citroen C3 Picasso is available from £12,995 on-the-road.

Fiat 500L

The Fiat 500L is a great alternative to the standard small people carrier. The 500L has a surprisingly spacious cabin, complemented by phenomenal design cues taken straight from the immensely popular Fiat 500.

Due for release early next year the Fiat 500L will come with a stunning panoramic windscreen and more than enough space for the average family. Families will also be pleased to know the car comes with a five-star Euro NCAP rating after achieving some of the highest scores for cars in its class. The Fiat 500L is likely to be available with a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.

The Fiat 500L is expected to be in showrooms early next year.

Nissan Qashqai

Another good alternative for families to consider, the Nissan Qashqai is a great option for families that do a lot of urban driving. Its efficient engines can help families to make real savings on the road, while features such as its ALL MODE 4×4 system give it great grip in all conditions.

Most importantly though the Nissan Qashqai has one of the most comfortable interiors in its segment, and comes with extras such as a glovebox cooler, remote steering wheel controls and more. The Qashqai also comes with safety features including ESP, EBD and ABS brakes for added peace of mind.

A new Nissan Qashqai is available from £16,595.