Best 7-seater cars for 2019
By Daljinder Nagra
Article 11 of 16
The best seven-seater cars are perfect for families, offering flexible seating when you need to squeeze in extra passengers, and a huge boot when you don't.
Seven-seater cars are great for large families, especially when you need to transport extra friends home from school – or perhaps grown-up friends to the airport.
The best seven-seaters offer a comfortable experience whether you're riding up-front, in the second row or right at the back. When the extra seats in the boot aren't needed, they'll usually stow away neatly, freeing up a huge load space.
Buying a seven-seater doesn't necessarily mean you have to choose an MPV, though. There are plenty of SUV options, too. Including the all-electric Tesla Model X.
We've also listed some seven-seaters that are best left alone. These models make too many compromises to squeeze in two extra seats. Whether it's interior space, boot capacity or miles to the gallon, these seven-seaters are poor examples of the class.
Below are the best seven-seater cars you can buy – every one a true Which? Best Buy. Scroll down to see which ones you should avoid.
Best seven-seater cars
The best new seven-seater cars
The top-scoring seven-seater cars in our lab tests are exceptionally practical and fun to drive, with great fuel economy for their size. We reveal the best models on the market in the table below.
Best new seven-seater cars
Imposingly large, yet with an agility that belies its enormity, this large SUV pulls off a seemingly impossible feat. It's not just super-fast in a straight line, it also corners with precision and confidence. It can also seat up to seven passengers in one of most comfortable, high-quality cabins we've come across. With such a diverse range of talents, it’s a definite Best Buy.
This mid-size MPV is a superb all-rounder. It’s extremely spacious, comfortable and comes with a range of engines to suit most tastes. It’s pricey, though, compared to similar non-luxury models, and there’s not much luggage room with all seven seats in place.
The best used seven-seater cars
If you're looking for your money to go further, buying used can be a great way to get the ideal seven-seater car you're looking for. There are sensational options to choose from too - our experts give you the lowdown.
Best used seven-seater cars
A strong engine range, high levels of comfort, and - crucially - excellent crash safety credentials, makes this seven-seater very easy to recommend. High exhaust emissions in our tests, which are tougher than the official ones, prevent it being a Best Buy, though.
What to avoid when you're buying a seven-seater
There are seven-seater cars across a range of car classes, not just MPVs. You could get a seven-seat 4x4 if you wanted, or an estate. The choice is no bad thing, but it does mean some seven-seaters share the negative traits of those classes.
Adding two extra seats to a car can mean a loss of interior space. Is a car a true seven-seater if no adults can comfortably use the rear seats? You don’t have to compromise on space, and our new and used car reviews show you which models to avoid if you want all seven seats to be suitable for adults.
If you’re more attracted to estates than tall MPVs, then you need to consider boot space. Adding two more seats will eat into how much room you have in the back.
It’s not just estates that have this problem - our testing has found MPV-style seven-seaters with barely any boot space unless you put the rear seats down. That’s no good if you’re going on a family holiday and you’re trying to squeeze seven people’s luggage into an inadequate boot.
Our tests found a 7-seater car with less boot space than a Ford Fiesta.
Our testing found a seven-seater car with just 235 litres of boot space - that’s less than a Ford Fiesta. But you don’t need to settle for a small boot, as we’ve found models with more than 1,000 litres of usable boot space.
4x4 models introduce their own problems. Choose the wrong model and you’ll be paying a fortune in fuel. Seven-seat SUVs are some of the biggest and heaviest models in the class - while no one expects them to be as frugal as a Prius, there is still a significant difference between the most and least-efficient models.
One seven-seater we tested managed a miserable 21.9mpg, while the top-performing model achieved 61.1mpg - an enormous difference of almost 40mpg.
The large number of options across multiple classes makes our expert advice even more important. Our guides can help you choose between an estate, 4x4 or classic MPV-style seven-seater, and our in-depth testing shows you which models not to buy.
Seven-seat cars to avoid
This model was an impressive MPV when launched. Not only was it as spacious and practical as you'd expect from a seven-seat MPV, it also offered an engaging driving experience, which few rivals could match. However, as safety tests have become more stringent, this model has started to show it’s age. A poor safety rating means we now can’t recommend it.
This SUV is more upmarket than the model it replaces. It gives buyers a classier experience, while staying true to the brand's roots of properly go-anywhere off-roaders. That focus means it isn't the most agile or car-like SUV to drive, and rivals offer a more convincing blend of luxury and technology. It also hasn't stepped out the shadow of the brand’s renowned reliability problems, and has proved to be a big headache for buyers. So it's a Which? Don't Buy.
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