The best seven-seaters for 2020

  • Looking to buy a new car for a large family?
  • We choose our favoutites with seven seats
  • The best large MPVs and SUVs covered

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

Not so long ago, you used to have to buy a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or an estate with small rear-facing seats in the boot if you wanted a seven-seater, but now there's more variety - athough many of the options are SUVs. These are typically taller cars with an off-road appearance - regardless of whether they can venture off piste or not - but van-based MPVs still offer the most room and practicality, if not the style buyers have become accustomed to.

Work out whether you need seven seats all of the time; if you only need those extra seats every now and then, consider a smaller seven-seater where the rearmost pair are smaller and designed primarily for kids. If you regularly carry six or more people, then bigger is better.

Visit our dedicated seven-seater cars for sale section for some great used deals or look at the leasing deals on our favourite models shown below:

The best seven-seaters for 2020 

Volvo XC90 

White 2020 Volvo XC90 front three-quarter

Many seven-seat SUV buyers are inevitably families with children and often at the front of mind when making a purchasing decision is safety. Volvo has long-promoted its dedication and inventiveness to this particular area, even before it was widely accepted as a hot topic among potential customers. The XC90 amplifies this legacy yet further - it may have been around for over five years, but it remains one of the very safest vehicles in which to travel, according to the experts at Euro NCAP.

All that safety is brilliant, but what about practicality? Well, it's certainly flexible with each of the seven seats capable of accomodating an adult, although the ones in the third row are a little tighter for space than the positions in front. . Not only that, there's a Scandi-cool feel to the interior, plus lots of storage cubbies for family detritus.

Our biggest gripe? It is rather expensive, but then Volvo is an upmarket brand and so strong is demand for XC90s on the used market that they hold their value very well. If you'll largely drive in town, the Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid versions can prove exceptionally low-cost to run.

Price new: From £52,980
Lease this car: From £560 per month
Search for a used Volvo XC90 on Parkers here

Peugeot 5008 

Emerald green 2019 Peugeot 5008 front three-quarter driving

Don't be fooled by the 5008's SUV styling, because beneath those chamfered lines is a very cleverly packaged MPV, with seven individual seats that all fold flat into the floor so that you don't have the hassle of removing them when you need more loadspace. Inside and out the 5008's very distinctive and all the better for it - it's proof that cars for larger families don't have to look boring.

There's function with the form, too. Those individual seats in the middle row ensure that you can fit three bulky Isofix chld-seats side-by-side, while the third row is designed for older children. It can be a bit of a tight fit for adults, but they're surprisingly comfy.

Elsewhere, the dashboard feels slick and made of high quality materials, while the engine range is punchy and efficient - it shows how much technology has progressed that the smallest engine is a 1.2-litre petrol producing 130hp. If you regularly cover longer distances or lug at full capacity, a diesel would likely suit you better.

Found out how we got on with one in our long term review

Price new: From £28,265
Lease this car: From £328 per month
Search for a used Peugeot 5008 on Parkers here

Citroen Berlingo 

Mint green 2019 Citroen Berlingo front three-quarter driving

We love the Berlingo at Parkers - in fact, it's not just the Citroen we like, but also its very close cousins, the Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life. In fact, we voted the threesome as our Medium Family Cars of the Year for 2020

There are no points on offer for spotting this is a compact van-based MPV, although its engine range and much of its underpinnings are shared wth larger cars in the Citroen, DS, Peugeot and Vauxhall ranges. This ensures it feels comfortable and not especially van-like to drive.

It comes in two body lengths - M, for medium and XL for extra long. Originally you could order either with seven seats, but now they're only availble on the larger model. Access to the rearmost row is good and all seats can comfortably fit adult passengers without much difficuty. Sliding rear doors are a bonus in tight car parks, as is the available opening tailgate glass, but the clever glass roof and storage box system isn't available on seven-seater Berlingos.

Price new: From £21,195
Lease this car: From £246 per month
Find a used Citroen Berlingo for sale on Parkers

Ford S-Max 

Blue 2019 Ford S-Max front three-quarter driving

Back when larger MPVs were really popular, the S-Max was a big seller, often finding more buyers than the larger, roomier Galaxy it shared so many components with. So why was it so successful? Largely for the same reason it's still on sale, even though Ford's discontinued its smaller relatives, the B-Max and C-Max - it's good to drive.

Using the Mondeo as a starting point, the S-Max's role was to appeal to buyers who otherwise wouldn't have an MPV on their shopping list. It looks sleek - for this kind of car - and like the Peugeot 5008, its third-row pair of seats are smaller and better suited to kids than adults.

Coventional doors, rather the sliding ones, have wide openings to allow easy access to the back of the cabin, with comfy, individual seats that fold into the floor when not needed. Sportiness remains a theme with the trim levels, too, although the diesel-only range is topped by the plush Vignale. Enjoy the S-Max while it lasts, though - it and the Galaxy are unlikely to be directly replaced, which is a shame.

Price new: From £31,150
Lease this car: From £327 per month
Find a used Ford S-Max for sale on Parkers

Further reading:

>> We rate the best seven-seater SUVs

>> Looking for a coupe? These are our favourites

>> Find out how much your car's worth with a Parkers valuation