The best people-carrying SUVs on the market
Once upon a time, if you needed a seven-seater, you were forced into a boxy and boring MPV. No longer. These days, seven-seat SUVs and 4x4s are the go-to cars for those with people to move – they’re just as practical but a great deal more stylish.
They can even take you and six people into muddy fields with ease, and have no problem towing the very largest of caravans. They’re more sophisticated than ever to drive as well. Here are 10 of the best.
10. Hyundai Santa Fe
You can get a five-seat Hyundai Santa Fe, but the seven-seater makes far more sense, turning it into a decent alternative to a people carrier. Sure, the third row is best reserved for kids, but it’s still fine for growing families. Pity refinement isn’t the best, and prices aren’t as cheap as some expect, either.
Our choice: 2.2 CRDi Blue Drive Premium 7st
9. BMW X7
For buyers looking for something even bigger than the ubiquitous X5, BMW has launched the X7. Based on the 7 Series’ platform it is gargantuan even by the normal standards of seven-seat SUVs. It’s targeted at the full-size Range Rover but comes in five, six and seven-seat variants with all the luxury trimmings of the 7 Series saloon. Review: BMW X7
Our choice: 30d M Sport
8. Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is the sister car to the Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s actually a bit more practical, so the third row of seats are more usable, while basics such as a strong engine, decent ride and ample towing capacity are all present. Again, though, refinement could be better. Review: Kia Sorento
Our choice: 2.2 CRDi KX-2 Auto
7. Range Rover Sport
The rightly popular Range Rover Sport is a very desirable machine. These days, it’s based upon the all-aluminium platform of the posh Range Rover, so drives beautifully. It’s refined, posh and luxurious inside, and is simply a pleasure to spend time in. A seven-seat option means two more than in a Range Rover can come along for the ride.
Our choice: 3.0 SDV6 HSE 7st
6. Volvo XC90
The first of the modern breed of transformative Volvos, the latest XC90 is a brilliant seven-seat SUV. It’s classy, practical, good to drive and only a slight lack of refinement and a bit of knobble to the ride quality stop it finishing even higher up the rankings.
Our choice: 2.0 D5 PowerPulse Momentum
5. Land Rover Discovery
The new Land Rover Discovery is, like the old Discovery, enormous. Three lavishly spacious rows of seats mean seven people will have room to spare, and the attention to practical design detail is second to none. It’s better quality inside than any previous Discovery and great to drive both on road and off it. Review: Land Rover Discovery
Our choice: 3.0 TD6 HSE
4. Seat Tarraco
Closely related to the Skoda Kodiaq and VW Tiguan AllSpace, the sharp-looking Tarraco is the top of Seat’s SUV family and offers the same great blend of space, technology and practicality as it VW Group stablemates, with all models getting seven seats as standard.
Our choice: SE Technology 2.0 TDI 4Drive 150 DSG
3. Peugeot 5008
An SUV replacement for Peugeot’s largely unknown MPV of the same name. The 5008 is unique in this class for offering three individual seats in the middle row. Each slides and reclines separately and can accommodate a child’s car seat, making it a great choice for large families. The interior is also beautifully styled, full of family-friendly features and the PSA group’s engines are rightly multi-award-winning. Long-term test: Peugeot 5008
Our choice: 1.5 BlueHDI GT-Line Premium
2. Skoda Kodiaq
The Skoda Kodiaq is a masterpiece. It’s Skoda’s first-ever full-size SUV, a step-up type of car that conceived brilliantly. Not all models have seven seats, but it’s so well-priced, you can easily move up through the range, and enjoy even more gadgets and features in what’s one of the very best sub-£30k SUVs on sale. Review: Skoda Kodiaq vRS
Our choice: 2.0 TDI 150 4×4 SE 7st
1. Audi Q7
The second-generation Audi Q7 is related to a Bentley which costs three times as much. It shows: this is a supremely accomplished luxury SUV, one that rides beautifully, drives well, is exceedingly refined and has one of the nicest interiors of any vehicle on sale. All told, it’s simply stunning.
Our choice: 3.0 TDI Quattro SE