Seven-seater SUVs have traditionally been seen as large, boxy minivans that were neither stylish nor environmental friendly, but the growing popularity of crossovers and 4x4s in recent years has revolutionised the market.
Seven-seaters now come in all manner of shapes and sizes, from MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles) to go-anywhere off-roaders. What they all have in common is a convenient third row of seats in the boot, making the seven-seater a great option for ferrying around large groups of people.
Here are some of the best models on sale today:
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
BMW’s first seven-seater arrived to critical acclaim earlier this year.
As you’d expect from a BMW flagship model, the X7 sports offers “excellent” build quality and a “suitably rich and luxurious” interior with lots of leather, says Car magazine. The dual-screen 12.3in infotainment system is easy to operate, too, with one panel located in the dashboard and the other behind the steering wheel.
The X7 sports is also good on corners, despite weighing in excess of two tonnes, reports Auto Express. BMW has focused on the car’s off-road ability as well, meaning the X7 poses a serious threat to the Range Rover.
Prices start at £72,155.
Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer
Buyers put off by the hefty footprint of an SUV or full-blown off-roader may want to consider an MPV. There are a wide range from which to choose, including the Volkswagen Sharan and Vauxhall Zafira, but most critics rank the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer among the best.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer has a “futuristic air”, says Carbuyer. Slim headlights and sleek styling give the MPV a distinctive look on the outside, while the cabin contains a 12in digital instrument panel and a separate touchscreen infotainment system.
“Stylish design isn’t worth a lot if it gets in the way of practicality”, but the Grand C4 SpaceTourer “has been very well thought through”, continues the reviews site, which notes that the front two rows of seats offer plenty of room, while the third row will “comfortably take a pair of children”.
And at £26,560, the Grand C4 SpaceTourer is the cheapest seven-seater on our list.
Land Rover Discovery
There was a time where buying a British car meant making compromises, particularly in regard to build quality and reliability. Patriotic consumers who wanted to support their national car industry without forking out thousands on maintenance often opted for a Land Rover - and that’s still the case today.
Those after a seven-seater model would do well to go for the Discovery, which WhatCar? says ticks all of those boxes for buyers on the hunt for an “upmarket chariot” with supreme off-road capabilities.
In fact, the Discovery can comfortably take seven occupants to “places a mountain goat would think twice about venturing”, according to the site, which concludes: “The Land Rover Discovery is hugely capable and very desirable, and equally at home both on road and off it.”
Buyers can pick up a new Discovery from around £48,000.
The Skoda Kodiaq [pictured top] sent waves through the industry when it arrived on the scene two years ago, boasting impressive build quality and enough space for seven occupants at a price below the £30,000 mark.
Even in entry-level SE form, the Kodiaq comes with dual-zone climate control, rear-facing parking sensors, automatic lights and “a decent infotainment system” at no extra cost, notes WhatCar?. Opt for the slight pricier SE L and you’ll get Alcantara seats, satnav, keyless entry and adaptive LED headlights.
The company hasn’t cut corners on interior quality, either. All models come with leather-wrapped steering wheels as standard, while the dashboard is “a smorgasbord of soft-touch materials and nicely damped buttons and switches”, the reviews site says.
Tesla Model X
A slightly left-field choice, but the Tesla Model X may be the ideal big-car choice for drivers looking to drastically cut their carbon footprint. The Model X is the sole SUV offered by Tesla until the cheaper Model Y arrives next year, and is currently the only electric seven-seater on sale.
Step inside and drivers will find an environment that’s “clean and open”, with a windscreen “that arches back over your head” and an “impressive” 17in touchscreen infotainment system, reports Top Gear.
As the name suggest, the base-spec Long Range models offer the best battery range at 315 miles. That figure falls to 300 miles with Performance models, but they can sprint from zero to 62mph in just 2.7 seconds.
Prices start at £82,200 for the Model X Long Range, with the seven-seater option costing an extra £3,600.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.