Whether you need a little more room for your ever-growing family, or just need a bit more room and a big old boot, we’ve taken a look at the best 7-seater cars on the market.
Now, 7-seater cars may not fill you with excitement, but you’ll be surprised by what is available to you in 2021, compared to 20 years ago. Where once all you could get were prosaic MPVs, with their van-like shape, now there’s a plethora of stylish SUVs – with various options including hybrid powertrains, plenty of driver convenience and in-car tech galore. Let's take a look at our favourites…
If a sizeable SUV is what you’re after for your growing family, how about taking a look at the Seat Tarraco? Named after the Spanish city of Tarragona, the Tarraco is BIG and practical with its 4735mm length and 1658mm height. And if you strip away its bodywork, it practically has the same framework as the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. Legroom is plentiful in the Tarraco, with plenty of room up front with sliding seating for extra room, plus it gets a bonus point for providing copious amounts of headroom too. The same goes for the middle row, where all seats slide and recline individually allowing passengers to get comfortable for longer journeys. The 3rd-row seating lacks for Isofix points, however, and taller people will not want to sit there for too long. However, overall the Tarraco is accommodating and likeable throughout.
Tesla Model X
You may have thought that a Tesla would be too small for those needing more seating, but you’re wrong. The Tesla Model X is a 7-seat SUV reimagined and like the Model S saloon, the X is fully electric. There’s plenty of room up front for 2 adults, while the rest of the cabin has space for 3 people in the 2nd row and an additional 2 seats situated right at the back. Plus, Tesla has made the Model X super-accessible to get in and out of, thanks to the spectacular upwards-hinging rear doors and sliding middle-row seating. We will admit the boot space isn’t massive, so large family holidays and a trip to IKEA probably won’t be that straightforward, but it’s still big enough to pack a few suitcases within – and away you go.
Not sure what engine or trim level you’d like on the Volvo XC90? Don’t worry, the big Swedish SUV has 7 seats inside, regardless of whether you go for a ‘regular’ version or even the plug-in hybrid. With 2 seats up front, 3 seats in the 2nd row (all of which slide together and individually for easy access) plus the 2 discrete seats at the back, this is one practical family machine. Not only that, but everyone in the XC90 can travel comfortably with their own storage spaces, cup holders and air conditioning vents (although these come at an extra cost in the rear-most row). If you’re looking for space for passengers and your luggage, there’s loads of the stuff. Mild-hybrid models have 302 litres with all 7 seats in use, rising to 680 litres with the 3rd row folded away and culminating in a massive 1856 litres if you pop the 2nd-row chairs down too. The T8 plug-in hybrid loses 40 litres on these figures due to the placement of its rear electric motor, but that still means anything between 262-1816 litres of space, with 640 litres when 5 seats are available. Finally, the Volvo XC90 is very safe as well, with an impressive 5-star Euro NCAP rating.
If you don’t want to drive something too big and bulky, why not opt for a midsize SUV? The Peugeot 5008 offers loads of space for you and your family, without having a huge road footprint. Inside, the 2-3-2 configuration of seats includes the middle row all being separate, adjustable items with Isofix points at every position, and while the rear-most 2 seats are probably a bit too cosy for adults to sit in for long, they’re still big enough to easily accommodate children. One thing we love about the Peugeot 5008 is its affordability, as it’s about half the price of other 7-seat SUVs like the Volvo XC90, yet it still offers a smart interior while also delivering a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Mercedes Benz GLB
Luxury shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on space and that is exactly what Mercedes-Benz delivers with its clever GLB. You have the choice of 4 engines (2 diesel, 2 petrol) and all come with automatic gearboxes too. If you have kids needing booster seating, all 5 of the rear seats boast Isofix points. The middle-row seats also slide individually, giving space for adult passengers who need that little extra legroom. If you love in-car tech and driver convenience, all GLBs include digital dashboards with a 7-inch touchscreen. But opt for the AMG Line Premium and you’ll have a 10.25-inch screen instead. You are also treated to a rear-view camera, built-in satnav, Bluetooth and a DAB radio as standard.
Value for money is always important when searching for your next car, even more so if you’re after something safe and practical for the family. Enter the Skoda Kodiaq. Skoda is renowned for building cars that are practical, safe and family-friendly. The Kodiaq actually offers you both 5- and 7-seat options, which makes it the perfect choice for growing families. Step inside and you have a generous amount of space for passengers seated in the front of the car, with children/young adults fitting comfortably in the middle-row seating. It’ll be a bit of a squeeze to fit 7 adults in for long journeys, but not impossible by any means with some clever configuration of the Skoda’s interior seating layout. If you also need boot space while carrying lots of people on board, the Kodiaq has a decent 270-litre cargo capacity in the 7-seater version with all rows of chairs in use.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
What is the difference between the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Tiguan Allspace, we hear you say? Well, if you love the Tiguan but need some more space and 2 extra seats, you’ve got the Allspace to choose. Drivers will love the Allspace, as there is plenty of room for ultimate comfort with multiple adjustments available for the seat and steering wheel, so longer journeys will be a breeze. For those tiny passengers, there are Isofix seat fittings which come as standard for the outer 2nd-row seats. It’s arguably a little tighter in the 3rd row, so only children will enjoy sitting back there, but it’s still a very practical 7-seat vehicle that doesn’t take up a load of room on the road.