Best 7-seater cars to buy in 2017
Here s our pick of the best seven-seat cars on sale for a big family, including the best MPVs and SUVs with seven-set layouts
Seven seater cars are a great choice for people looking to buy a single car that can carry the whole family. In the past, you were looking at an MPV if you wanted seven seats, but today there are a variety of off road machines and van-based models that can do the job just as well.
Back in the day, the fastest way to get seven seats or more would be to buy a van with multiple seats, or there was the odd estate car that had a pair of rear-facing occasional seats that folded out of the boot floor. However, the arrival of the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) in the 1980s changed the market for high-occupancy vehicles. Two cars pioneered the MPV philosophy, with the Chrysler Voyager launched in the US and the European Renault Espace both going on sale at about the same time.
Both cars shared a similar philosophy as the had the boxy dimensions of a van but combined it with the mod-cons of a car, with fully carpeted interiors, folding and sliding fabric-covered seats, and enough space for a family inside. At first, they were five-seat only, but after a while, they grew to include a third row of forward facing seats.
Soon, other car makers got in on the act. Cars like the Vauxhall Zafira came with seven seats, while Grand versions of the Citroen C4 Picasso, Renault Scenic and Ford C-MAX are all seven seaters, too.
However, today you don’t have to limit yourself to an MPV for a seven-seat layout. There are a variety of seven-seat 4x4s and SUVs on sale, ranging in size from the Nissan X-Trail and Land Rover Discovery Sport to the Range Rover Sport and vast Mercedes GLS-Class. If you’re feeling adventurous, then the electric Tesla Model S and Model X both have seven seats, while there are still plenty of van-based MPVs that can offer seven seats on a budget, while some larger van derivatives have eight, nine or more seats available.
If you’re looking for a seven-seater, it’s worth weighing up your needs against what each model has to offer. While there are plenty of seven-seaters available, not many are big enough to transport seven adults comfortably. Smaller seats are good for kids, but will be cramped for larger occupants. Headroom and legroom could both be compromised, while access could be tricky if the middle row seats don’t move far enough forward to get in.
With so much choice out there, which models are the ones you should put on your shortlist? We’ve rounded up 10 models that we think deliver the best seven-seat experience, whether they offer plenty of room, lots of practical touches or a good mix of value and space.
Best 7-seater cars to buy 2017
Do you own a great 7-seater? Let us know in the comments section below.