I am the proud owner of a Fiat Multipla, which was obviously the best choice for families of six people, like mine. This car has it all: space for six tall adults plus a good volume of luggage. I said "plus" rather than "instead", which means that the Multipla, unlike most MPV cars, can transport BOTH six people and loads of luggage. Most alternatives allow you to choose between many people or a high luggage volume, not both.
Somewhere I have read that the Multipla was designed by taking into account first the goal (i.e., a good, comfortable car for six people and all their stuff), then making the car to fulfill that idea. And may I say that, as controversial as its design is, I truly love this car: useful, reliable, comfortable and allowing you to actually enjoy your trip. Yet it is also true that most people find this car very ugly, which, well, is something you have to accept. But on the other hand, the excellence of this design was highlighted by its inclusion in exhibitions at the MOMA in New York. In fact, the Fiat Multipla was intially a concept car, which success among critics & journalists enabled to become an actual product in the market. It won different design prizes before its industrial production.
In 2004, there was a lifting of the Multipla design, making it softer and more "domestic", to try and be accepted by the general public (to little sales success, it seems). In my opinion it lost the charm of the original design, although most people I've spoken with say it is "less ugly":
Finally, latest news suggest that the next generation of Fiat Multipla will be an all standard 5/7 seats MPV, based ona Chrysler platform, and thus marking the end of the excellence in design drawn by Fiat with the original Multipla.
I particularly couldn't be happier about our purchase of this car (ours is exactly the same as depicted in the first picture of this post), and when I heard about the stop of its production, I realized that there are very few realistic options for our next car. And right when I thought it had to be a Honda FR-V (which is a pale copy, although possibly more digestible by masses, of the original design of the Multipla, I discovered that also this model is about to cease production):
Sadly, it seems that good cars for families of 6 members are in the way to extinction, and we will have no choices in the near future (other than the standard and uncomfortable 7 seats MPV).