The upsurge in the popularity of people-carriers as a mainstay in family garages has led to several manufacturers offering their own versions of the well-loved MPVs and SUVs for the UK market; car shoppers nowadays would be faced with up to 50 different 7 seat cars to choose from. These vary according to price, size, drive configuration and form factor. To help you along, you might want to take a peek at our ideas of the best 7-seater cars in the UK and certain ones (especially the SUV’s) in the US:
1. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer – The current-release Zafira encompasses a lot of pleasant upgrades from its predecessor, most notable of these is the sexy lighting configuration at the front. Its best selling point, however, comes in the form of the patent Flex7 seats that fold away easily to allow for more storage room.
2. Ford Galaxy – Size matters, especially with large families that regularly go on trips together. The Galaxy comes with a cavernous interior that complements its imposing appearance on the road. Its pleasantly stylish exterior, though, downplays this to a respectable compromise between power and beauty. Sometimes passed over for the less-expensive (albeit smaller) S-Max, the Galaxy nevertheless has its charms.
3. Mazda 5 – If you’re looking for a compact people-carrier that is also practical, look no further than the Mazda 5. Its highlights include generous headroom and legroom alike, a powerful and fuel-efficient 1.6 litre engine, classy body contours that make it easy on the eyes, and nifty middle seats that fold up to reveal an aisle space which allows entry to the room out back. The sliding doors of the Mazda 5 are really handy for accessing the rearmost row of seats in the car. This is quite a good value car that looks reasonably nice, but does have a ‘people carrier’ type of feel about it. Fuel consumption is great and it scores highly on the safety-front.
4. Peugeot 5008 – The award-winning Peugeot 5008 people carrier is fast becoming a favourite among buyers who want a few extras to go along with a roomy interior and a sporty appearance. In addition to its great safety features, the 3008′s bigger brother employs a robust, yet silent, engine to make long trips a smooth and pleasurable experience.
5. Ford S-Max – A list of the top 10 7-seaters would not be complete without one of the pioneers. Introduced in 2006, Ford had taken great strides over the years to keep its take on a fun and economical people-carrier ahead of the competition. Revisions included style upgrades and great extras, but the incredible mileage and ease of driving remained.
6. Seat Alhambra – on long trips for holidays and vacations you will appreciate the Alhambra‘s nimble handling and practical features. It’s a great option with its sliding doors, enabling it to fit into tight parking spaces; passengers in the back will be able to get on and off with ease.
7. Land Rover Discovery – If you love the challenges of driving off-road to remote yet scenic places, the best family 4X4 to carry you to those locations would be the Discovery. This Land Rover’s ruggedly handsome features, powerful 3-litre diesel engine, as well as ample passenger and luggage space, hit the spot.
8. Chevrolet Captiva – Another fine contender for the hearts of outdoors lovers everywhere. The Captiva is rather quite unique in the style department, incorporating beautiful styling reminiscent of SUVs. The masculine bonnet and grille further lends a hint of power to this diminutive, yet robust, 7-seater car.
9. Renault Grand Scenic – If your first priority is safety, you might want to take a look at the Grand Scenic, with its perfect NCAP rating of 5/5.
10. BMW X5 – The pricey 7 seat X5 has astounding form factor both in and out, and most would agree that it has a fair number of great features to make driving it a pleasure. It falls a bit flat in terms of space, though: the rear seats are a tight fit for adult-sized passengers. All in all the X5 is a car of beauty and young families might overlook the space consideration, in exchange for driving around the countryside in BMW style.
11. Nissan Pathfinder – The Nissan Pathfinder combines the practicality of a large family car with that of a four wheel drive vehicle. It’s a powerful car that will get you out of sticky situations, but it’s not necessarily the best when travelling at higher speeds.
12. Mitsubishi Outlander – The Outlander is another 4×4 car that has a lot of capabilities. It’s defined as a ‘crossover SUV’ meaning that it is in essence an SUV that has been built in a similar structural design to a regular car. It’s a modern car with lots of features and safety enhancements to make this a great family car.
13. Toyota Prius Plus – Everyone knows that the Prius is famous for its ‘hybrid‘ engine, utilising a combination of electric and regular fuel to maximise fuel efficiency and minimise harmful environmental emissions. The ‘Plus’ variation of this car features seven comfy seats and is basically a stretched version of the original Toyota Prius.
14. Chrysler Grand Voyager – This car offers plenty of space inside for all occupants, and even includes a stowable table and rotating seats for the ultimate in versatility. This truly is a family vehicle, and is ideal for comfortable long journeys. Thanks to its flexible interior it is also popular with luxury car hire / chauffeur services and can be trimmed in high quality black executive leather.
15. Infinity JX35 – The Infinity JX35 is a massive SUV available in the US that offers luxurious seating and plenty of space and power in the engine. It’s massive amount of horsepower will provide a nice engine noise, however the fuel economy suffers as a result.
16. Volvo XC90 – Volvo’s are renowned for their level of safety and practicality and the XC90 is no exception. This model has been designed with vast amounts of technological gizmos that propel this car well and truly into the 21st Century. Features such as the ‘cornering headlights, gyroscopic sensors, comprehensive air bag installation and in-built satellite navigation make this a robust family vehicle.
17. Ford Grand C-MAX – This is a good looking and great value family car from Ford with seats for seven people. As with the XC90 described above, the Grand C-MAX also has lots of technology and innovative features that ensure it is a leading model of its type. It has a starting price of around £20,000 brand new although you would definitely be able to find a used one much cheaper if required. Its EcoBoost engine performs well to deliver an average of 57MPG on the diesel variant.
18. Volkswagen Sharan - The sliding doors are especially useful for family purposes and allow you easy access in and out of the vehicle. It’s got a really large interior cabin space, however the exterior styling does seem quite people-carrier like. The car features a variety of strong VW engines and has a fold out table for the passengers in the rear – great for long journeys with kids! Read the full review here.
19. Mercedes ‘M’ Class – If it’s luxury combined with 4 wheel drive capability that you’re after then the ‘M’ class might be the vehicle for you. The latest version is the ‘third generation’ and has seven seats and a very comfortable and plush interior. Some of the innovative features included with this vehicle are it’s self-parking system and night vision system! The starting price is around £43,000 so it’s obviously not one of the cheapest.