If you need your vehicle to help you juggle different roles and different needs, a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) is for you.

Ford Tourneo Connect

Ford have pitched the Tourneo Connect as a practical MPV, giving drivers all the flexibility they need.

The Tourneo Connect is available in 5-seat format with a second row of seats that split 60/40, can be folded fl at, or moved forward (or removed entirely) to maximise storage capacity.

The technology is also geared towards practicality. For instance, the Intelligent Speed Assist system, which comes as standard, is geared to helping drivers concentrate on the road, rather than their speed. With it, the traffic sign recognition camera automatically detects the current speed limit and adjusts the maximum speed setting accordingly.

Another useful gadget is the optional distance indicator, which shows how far you are from the vehicle in front. It uses a traffic light system to warn the driver as to how close they are, with a red warning alert if they get too close.

A plethora of optional extras include Active Park Assist, which takes the hassle out of parallel or perpendicular parking. At the push of a button it will locate a suitable space, then automatically steers you in, while you operate the accelerator, gears and brake. It can even pull out of the space as well.

Volkswagen Touran

The VW Touran is packed with features that really count towards a comfortable, safe and practical driving package.

On the road, the Touran mixes performance and efficiency, with features that directly assist drivers such as the adaptive cruise control (on SE trim and above) that measures the speed and distance of the vehicle in front. Meanwhile, radar sensors in the rear of the car detect other vehicles, including in your blind spot, and will warn you via an icon in the rear-view mirror, helping you to change lanes more safely.

At slower speeds the emergency braking system helps drivers deal with unexpected incidents – and those radar sensors are put to use as you reverse out of a parking space and will apply the brakes to avoid an accident.

None of this dulls the drive, instead making it a more confident experience – especially if you opt for the 1.4m square panoramic sunroof that floods the vehicle with natural light – and fresh air if you choose to open it up. In other words it puts the ‘sporty’ feel back into the MPV.

Family-friendly options include a useful hands-free boot operated by a sweep motion that reveals a low loading lip – and the three full-size seats in the second row and the two seats in the third row fold down fully for a huge, fl at loading area. Nevertheless, passengers will enjoy the ride, thanks in part to the Climatronic temperature and air filtering control that keeps everyone comfortable.

Lastly, family drivers will definitely appreciate the optional Cam-Connect feature that uses a camera set up so you can check on how everyone in the back is getting on.