We have a 2005 MPV, it's great. Loads of room, back seat folds flat if you need the extra storage, and the configuration is more "small van" than "station wagon with extra seats" so the ride height is better. We bought our when it was 10 years old, $8.5K from turners (via Trademe) vs $11-12K from a dealer. We put the two child seats in the middle row, the back row is a little squished. But, yeah, you end up being one of those people who drives a people mover.
You get over the paranoia after a few years, probably due to the child induced parental exhaustion.