If your family has grown up and you have two or more children, you might find that a typical five-seater car simply doesn’t have enough room for all of your passengers and their luggage at the same time. A seven-seater not only offers you more flexibility but lots of load space for your family’s gear.
Nowadays, there are plenty of choices for those who want a seven-seater car – although many of the options are high-riding and quite large SUVs. These are typically taller cars with an off-road appearance – regardless of whether they can venture off-piste or not. Van-based alternatives still offer the most room and practicality, if not the style buyers have become accustomed to.
Do You Really Need a Full-Sized Seven-Seater?
Work out whether you need seven seats all of the time; if you only need those extra seats every now and then, consider a smaller seven-seater where the rearmost pair are smaller and designed primarily for kids. If you regularly carry six or more people, then bigger is better.
Here Are The Best Five Seven-Seater Cars to Buy Now:
The Volvo XC90 is a great example of this respected Swedish carmaker doing what it does best – it may have been around for over five years, but it remains one of the very safest vehicles in which to travel, according to the experts at Euro NCAP. All that safety is brilliant, but what about practicality?
Well, it’s certainly flexible with each of the seven seats capable of accommodating an adult, although the ones in the third row are a little tighter for space than the positions in front. Not only that, there’s a Scandi-cool feel to the interior, plus lots of storage cubbies for family detritus. It is rather expensive, though, but then Volvo is an upmarket brand and so strong is a demand for XC90s on the used market that they hold their value very well – perfect when you’re looking to trade-in and are searching “value my car” online.
Fresh from its trim and spec updates for 2020, the SEAT Tarraco has emerged as the large SUV to buy if you’re looking for an unbeatable combination of good value, smart styling, and the option of seven seats. It is the winner of the Best Large Family Car award in the Parkers Awards 2021, and for very good reason.
SEAT has tuned the Tarraco’s steering and suspension to make this large SUV handle and drive like a smaller, sportier car, which means you’ll still enjoy driving it, even when fully loaded. It’s also stylish inside and out. Where the Tarraco really excels, however, is with its low prices and excellent finance, which put this substantial car within the reach of so many families.
This is a very cleverly packaged car, with seven individual seats that all fold flat into the floor so that you don’t have the hassle of removing them when you need more load space. Inside and out the Peugeot 5008’s very distinctive and all the better for it – it’s proof that cars for larger families don’t have to look boring. Those individual seats in the middle row ensure that you can fit three bulky Isofix child-seats side-by-side, while the third row is designed for older children.
Elsewhere, the dashboard feels slick and made of high-quality materials, while the engine range is punchy and efficient – it shows how much technology has progressed that the smallest engine is a 1.2-liter petrol producing 130hp. If you regularly cover longer distances or lug at full capacity, a diesel would likely suit you better.
There are no points on offer for spotting this is based on a van, although its engine range and much of its tech are shared with larger cars in the Citroen, DS, Peugeot, and Vauxhall ranges. This ensures it feels comfortable and not especially van-like to drive.
It comes in two body lengths – M, for medium, and XL for extra-long. Originally you could order either with seven seats, but now they’re only available on the larger model. Access to the rearmost row is good and all seats can comfortably fit adult passengers without much difficulty. Sliding rear doors are a bonus in tight car parks, as is the available opening tailgate glass, but the clever glass roof and storage box system isn’t available on seven-seater Berlingo.
Using the well-regarded Mondeo as a starting point, the S-Max‘s role is to appeal to buyers who don’t want to compromise on their driving enjoyment. It looks sleek – for this kind of car – and like the Peugeot 5008, its third-row pair of seats are smaller and better suited to kids than adults.
Conventional doors, rather the sliding ones, have wide openings to allow easy access to the back of the cabin, with comfy, individual seats that fold into the floor when not needed. Sportiness remains a theme with the trim levels, too, although the diesel-only range is topped by the plush Vignale. Enjoy the S-Max while it lasts, though – it is unlikely to be directly replaced when it goes off sale, which is a shame.
What’s The Takeaway?
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There are lots of good seven-seaters out there, and some exceptional ones. Buy any of these five and you’ll be rewarded with a car that’s not only practical and commodious but also great to drive. Things have never been so good for large families.