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The best seven-seater family cars in 2017

  • Looking to buy a new seven-seater in 2017?
  • Your car may need to expand to carry your growing family
  • We list the best seven-seater MPVs and SUVs
  • Looking to buy a new seven-seater in 2017?
  • Your car may need to expand to carry your growing family
  • We list the best seven-seater MPVs and SUVs

If your family has grown and you have two or more children, you might find that a standard five-seater car simply doesn’t have enough room for all your passengers and their luggage at the same time. A seven-seater car not only offers you more flexibility, but lots of load-space for your family’s gear.

In a sector once dominated by MPVs, the popularity of the SUV has moved the selection towards larger, taller cars with an off-road appearance, regardless of whether the ability to venture off the beaten path is there or not. Nevertheless, there's an impressive variety of exceptional vehicles on the market this year, so we’ve narrowed the list of seven-seat MPVs and SUVs down to our favourites.

Every seven-seater listed below includes a link to read our full review and the latest cars for sale near you. Read through and see which seven-seat car you want to buy next.

For more cars for sale, visit our dedicated cars for sale section – whether you’re looking for new or used. And if you’re considering getting a new car on finance, visit our special car finance section.

The best seven-seater SUVs for sale

Rugged, capable and impressive on the road or the driveway, the largest SUVs often feature a third row of seats for passengers - either as an occasional option, or intended as the default configuration.

As more and more parents have chosen this class of car for their family transport, manufacturers have even created economical two-wheel drive models, keeping the ground clearance and stance of an off roader without the additional weight of a complex four-wheel drive system.

All of the cars we have featured in this section offer the option of four-wheel drive in the range, and our reviewers have awarded them four stars or more.

Land Rover Discovery (2017-)

Land Rover Discovery - the best seven seaters

The latest version of the Land Rover Discovery, launched in 2017, is the fifth-generation of this favourite. It’s bigger, lighter, and a lot more economical than its predecessor, although it’s also become pricier.

Three rows of forward-facing seats are fitted, all rear rows equipped with Isofix mountings making this an excellent model for families with many young children. Reflecting that this many children can be a handful, Land Rover's added convenience by allowing the rear seats to be folded flat electrically using a smartphone app, so you'll spend less time juggling kids and their kit.

It understandably excels off-road, but is great on-road too; none of this car’s practicality is lost amid the luxury either. Its permanent four-wheel drive system works with an eight-speed automatic gearbox - Land Rover claims this is the most capable off-roader it has ever made.  

New price: £45,895 - £68,595
Used price: £33,830 - £65,150
Fuel economy: 26 - 43mpg
Insurance group: 33 - 43
Isofix locations: on all middle- and back-row seats - five in total

Skoda Kodiaq (2017-)

Skoda Kodiaq - the best seven seater cars

It is increasingly hard to see Skoda as a budget brand anymore, yet the Kodiaq is significantly cheaper than its rivals. Underneath the subtle, yet confident styling lies proven Volkswagen Group technology, and as a full-size complement to the Superb, this is also one of the roomiest SUVs on the market with a maximum cargo capacity of 2,065 litres. If all seven seats are used, the luggage space is a more modest 270 litres.

There’s a variety of engines to choose from, depending on how much power you need for transporting all your passengers. Diesel makes the most sense; go for the 190hp if you regularly carry a full complement of passengers and luggage. Four-wheel drive is an option on the entry level models, and standard on the 190hp; seven-seat configurations start below £25,000 for the front-wheel drive SE 1.4 TSI.

The Skoda Kodiaq is our Seven-Seater of the Year in the Parkers New Car Awards 2018.

New price: £22,190 - £36,135
Used price: £17,235 - £33,080
Fuel economy: 38 - 56mpg
Insurance group: 12 - 22
Isofix points: two on the middle row outer seats

Volvo XC90 (2015-)

Volvo XC90 - the best seven seater cars

The first-generation Volvo XC90 enjoyed huge success worldwide and almost became a brand in itself. It was the firm’s first real off-roader and has proved extremely popular from its launch in 2002, with an all-new model arriving in 2015 to continue this.

It’s not hard to see why – it’s well-equipped, comes with seven seats as standard and has an extremely comfortable cabin. The folding rearmost seats are easier to use than those in the Discovery but they offer less passenger space overall.

It may not be as agile to drive as rivals such as the BMW X5, but the XC90 offers a comfortable alternative with a refined ride making it ideal for long motorway journeys. The D5 diesel is the best engine out of the range and offers a great blend of economy and punchy performance too.

In conjunction with Volvo’s safety and robust build quality, it’s easy to see what makes this such a good family car. It comes with two Isofix points as standard, with an integrated booster seat as an optional extra. 

New price: £48,655 - £69,605
Used price: £31,300 - £64,150
Fuel economy: 34 - 49mpg
Insurance group: 33 - 45
Isofix points: two on outer seats in the middle row 

Audi Q7 (2015-)

Audi Q7 - the best seven seater cars

The Q7 offers a lot in the way of technology and kit. Useful safety systems include warnings to stop you opening your door into oncoming traffic, braking the car to a halt if a collision is imminent, and even parking itself.

The last row of seats can be folded electrically using a button in the boot - there’s even an option not to have the last row if you wish, at no extra cost. There’s lots of space for all passengers, especially in the front thanks to sports seats.  

New price: £50,060 - £72,895
Used price: £33,360 - £65,305
Fuel economy: 39 - 48mpg
Insurance group: 35 - 49
Isofix points: on all six passenger seats

Mercedes-Benz GLS (2016-)

Comfortable, spacious, and easy to drive, all GLS models come with four-wheel drive. If you’re a hardcore off-roader, though, plump for the Off-Road Package.

The seats are amazingly comfortable, and the interior quality feels premium. There are two trims to choose from, with loads of options to personalise your GLS, including lots of interior tweaks that are free.

You’ll be grateful for the 360-degree camera when it comes to parking your GLS, as the footprint on this car is absolutely huge.  

New price: £71,430 - £80,425
Used price: £46,895 - £67,825
Fuel economy: 37mpg
Insurance group: 50
Isofix points: two on the middle row outer seats

Tesla Model X (2016-)

Tesla Model X - the best seven seater cars

If you want an electric car with seven seats, then welcome to the Tesla Model X. With zero emissions and silent running, you get sports car acceleration, four-wheel drive and low running costs; but it’s not exactly cheap to buy up front. The falcon wing rear doors epitomise the eccentricity and space-ship feel of this car - especially when you activate the 'Easter egg' functions, making the lights flash and doors dance to special music. Bonkers.

A practical SUV with seven seats and low costs, but still with amazing performance - the top spec P100D is claimed to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds, beating the Ferrari 488 GTB by a tenth of a second.

However, remember you will need to charge the car up; you’re recommended to get a Tesla Wall Connector at home, and getting to know the supercharger sites around the UK (35 at the time of writing). Tesla claims you can get about 170 miles of range from as little as 30 minutes’ charge.

New price: £75,435 - £137,885
Used price: £58,440 - £107,525
Insurance group: 50
Isofix points: two on middle row outer seats, third row option includes two more

BMW X5 (2013-)

BMW X5 - the best seven seater cars

The X5 is enormous, but it’s surprisingly nimble. This is a premium SUV, great to drive, but expensive to buy and run - unless you get the more frugal rear-wheel drive diesels or plug-in hybrid versions.

It’s luxurious on the inside; choose from comfort or sports seats, with easy access to the seats in the third row.

New price: £48,140 - £94,910
Used price: £20,970 - £70,195
Fuel economy: 25 - 53mpg
Insurance group: 37 - 50
Isofix points: two on the middle row outer seats 

Kia Sorento (2015-)

Kia Sorento - the best seven seater cars

The Kia might not have a premium image, but the Sorento gives you plenty of interior space, good handling, and the famous seven-year warranty. The third row has more room than previous models, meaning it’s not reserved just for children any more. Access to those rear seats is good thanks to sliding and tipping middle seats.

The panoramic sunroof makes the interior feel airy. Access the boot using the electrically operated Smart Power Tailgate - handy when you’re laden with shopping bags. Boot space isn’t great with all seven seats up - 142 litres - but rises to 1,662 litres with all the rear seats folded.  

New price: £28,850 - £41,450
Used price: £14,025 - £32,740
Fuel economy: 42 - 49mpg
Insurance group: 24 - 28
Isofix points: two on the middle row outer seats

Traditional seven-seater cars for economy and comfort

Although driver and passengers still sit higher up, MPVs tend to have less ground clearance than SUVs, giving more secure handling and easier access for smaller or older occupants. This also allows a greater load height without having an impractically tall vehicle, and a lower loading sill if you want to use your car as a serious load lugger. If you don't need the option of four wheel drive, these seven seaters could be a more economical option.

Our reviewers have paid close attention to the rear seat access and folding systems, and these are the highest-scoring MPVs currently on sale.

Ford Galaxy (2015-)

Ford Galaxy - the best seven seater cars

This seven-seater is great if you have older children, as the large MPV gives rear passengers lots of space - it’s bigger than its little sister, the S-Max, although the looks are very similar. Opt for the Family Pack and you can fold the middle and rear seats electrically, making life a touch easier.

The Galaxy might be happier on motorways and A-roads rather than bendy B-roads, but it is engaging to drive, as well as comfortable. The boot is roomy, with 300 litres of space available with the seats up, and up to 2,339 litres with the two rear rows all folded.  

New price: £27,995 - £38,645
Used price: £12,510 - £27,340
Fuel economy: 35 - 56mpg
Insurance group: 17 - 28
Isofix points: on all three middle-row seats

SEAT Alhambra (2010-)

SEAT Alhambra - the best seven seater cars

The Alhambra can really carry seven in comfort. Throw in an incredibly quick and user-friendly seat-folding system and you have a functional and practical people carrier. The seats are all comfortable and those in the middle row slide backwards and forwards. As a traditional large MPV, it has a large glass area, great visibility and is well suited to long journeys.

It faces some tough competition, but with plenty of kit as standard, decent fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, it offers good value for money. The sliding doors and boot can be electrically operated too, if specified.

New price: £25,435 - £36,910
Used price: £6,060 - £28,195
Fuel economy: 42 - 56mpg
Insurance group: 13 - 23
Isofix points: on all three middle-row seats

Ford S-Max (2015-)

Ford S-Max - the best seven seaters

The Ford S-Max is a people carrier with a sporty edge. It’s designed to stand out from the crowd with sharp styling, tight handling, and powerful engines. It certainly doesn’t feel like an MPV from behind the wheel with an agile drive and accurate steering. There’s more to the S-Max than just looks though – it’s also very practical thanks to seven seats and its fold-flat rear seats.

However, if you’re not taken by the sports-inspired styling and need more interior space, the more conventional Ford Galaxy is also available. Both cars were designed together and share the majority of components, however there’s less headroom in the S-Max due to the sloping roof and more streamlined rear.

It still has 26 cubbies dotted around the cabin however, so you’ll never be short of storage places. 

New price: £26,445 - £38,395
Used price: £12,060 - £28,120
Fuel economy: 35 - 56mpg
Insurance group: 16 - 30
Isofix locations: on all three middle-row seats

Volkswagen Touran (2015-)

VW Touran - the best seven seater cars

Thanks to a growth spurt, the Touran offers more space inside than its predecessor with more luggage capacity too. Along with the second and third row seats, the front passenger backrest can be collapsed to create a flat floor. There are five engines available to choose from, all of which have four cylinders, turbocharging, and stop/start technology. VW’s Bluemotion technology is also available to help minimise running costs.

And if your family travels with a lot of stuff, you’ll be pleased to know there are 47 cubby holes in the cabin.

New price: £22,955 - £32,220
Used price: £12,205 - £24,475
Fuel economy: 49 - 65mpg
Insurance group: 9 - 21
Isofix points: all second- and third-row seats - five in total

Read our long-term review of the VW Touran

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (2012-)

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

With this model, the clever Flex 7 seating system is still here but it’s been upgraded to make things even more practical and adaptable. Engine-wise, two petrol engines and three diesel engines are on offer.

On the road, the Zafira Tourer offers a sedate and hassle-free driving experience with a choice of driving modes. Despite not being remotely sporty, there is a Sport mode which offers livelier throttle response and steering for more enthusiastic moments. There’s also a Tour mode, offering an even more laid-back experience than the car’s standard setting.

New price: £19,530 - £30,495
Used price: £4,910 - £19,265
Fuel economy: 39 - 68mpg
Insurance group: 11 - 22
Isofix points: two on middle row outer seats

Renault Grand Scenic (2016-)

Renault Grand Scenic - the best seven seater cars

Renault has a good reputation for making practical yet stylish people carriers and the latest Grand Scenic continues that tradition. The practical interior is spacious and full of family-friendly features with storage space in abundance.

It’s also good to drive and is extremely refined with a smooth ride and quiet cabin. Renault didn’t have the greatest reputation for reliability, but the Grand Scenic feels much better built than previous models. It’s also secured a five-star Euro NCAP rating while generous equipment levels and a range of refined engines help make it one of the best people carriers around.

New price: £23,445 - £32,605
Used price: £13,815 - £26,345
Fuel economy: 46 - 80mpg
Insurance group: 11 - 21
Isofix points: on all three middle-row seats

Read our long-term review of the Renault Scenic

Citroën Grand C4 Picasso (2014-)

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - the best seven seater cars

The good-looking Grand C4 Picasso bristles with bright ideas designed to make owning a people carrier easier and more enjoyable. It’s extremely family-friendly with easy fold-flat seats in the back, a huge windscreen for better visibility, lots of clever storage areas and even a boot light that doubles as a torch.

And being a Citroën, it’s generally good value for money and very comfortable. It’s safe to drive and extremely refined too, but is let down a little by the quality of some of the interior plastics.

New price: £22,635 - £30,060
Used price: £7,805 - £19,785
Fuel economy: 44 - 74mpg
Insurance group: 13 - 26
Isofix points: on all middle-row seats

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