The soaring popularity of people carriers has been one of the phenomenons of modern motoring.
Brilliantly versatile as they are for tackling the vagaries of family life, they naturally run out of steam once you cram five people inside with their luggage.
Enter the Citroën SpaceTourer which takes space, both for family and business life, to a new level.
Available in three versions, they include a 4.6-metre long model, a first in the market, which can seat up to nine people. That’s the one tested here and it makes for perfect executive passenger transport.
The ace up its sleeve is its compactness, largely thanks to its use of a new variation of the platform used by the C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso that provides more cabin and boot space, as well as making the car remarkably manoeuvrable.
And at just 1.90m high, it means you can sail into city car parks, shopping centres and airports, which can be difficult to access for some vehicles in this segment.
The technology built in more than matches its versatility with everything available from satellite navigation, cruise control and emergency braking to head-up display, automatic-dipping headlights and park assist.
The wheels have been pushed out to the outer corners and together with very short overhangs, helps make the most of the interior space.
While the front part of the platform comes from the C4 Picasso, the rest was designed entirely for the SpaceTourer. There are new front and rear axles, which mean SpaceTourer is able to carry loads of up to 1,400kg; two wheelbases and two rear overhangs. The combination allows for three body lengths up to a whopping 5.3m.
All this is adds up to a huge amount of choice with space for up to nine people and loads of legroom in rows two and three.
Access to those rear rows is easy thanks to the wide opening of the sliding side doors.
The smartly-styled SpaceTourer Business is available in three lengths with five to nine seats. Neat features available on the model include hands-free access that allows you to open and close the side doors contact-free when your hands are full. By waggling your foot under the corner of the rear bumper, the vehicle unlocks and the sliding side door on the driver’s side opens automatically.
An opening rear window allows easy access when the tailgate cannot be opened due to limited access behind the vehicle.
Needless to say there are numerous storage compartments: The front of the cabin is home to a lower glove box with an audio jack, 12V socket and a USB socket. The upper glove box is lit and refrigerated. There are cupholders on both sides of the dashboard, a central upper storage area and door storage units large enough for 1.5-litre bottles. Rear passengers are also treated to aircraft-style trays, sun blinds and power sockets.
The family-oriented SpaceTourer Feel is available in three lengths, with five, seven or eight seats.
The interior has sliding seats on rails so you can choose to make the most of boot volume or added leg room. And with seats with reclining backs that can fold down on to the cushion you can accommodate just about any odd-shaped object.
If moving a lot of people is top of your travel shopping list, the SpaceTourer has it licked – in some style.
Model: Citroen SpaceTourer Business BlueHDi 150
Fuel consumption (Combined): 53.3mpg
Top speed: 106mph
Fuel tank capacity: 15.4 gallons/70 litres
CO2 emissions: 139g/km
Max braked trailer weight: 2,300kg
Warranty: Three years/100,000 miles