What Car? True MPG technicians test new cars every week, to bring you real-world MPG figures, rather than the Government data that comes from a laboratory test.
These are the most economical 7-seaters you can buy, according to our tests. The list includes MPVs and a couple of SUVs.
With the exception of one hybrid, all are diesel-powered and all achieved more than 42mpg in our real-world tests.
Most economical 7-seater cars:
1. Renault Grand Scenic 1.6 dCi 130 S/S – official 64.2mpg; True MPG 56.1mpg
The Renault Grand Scenic is the most efficient seven-seat car we've tested returning a True MPG of 56.1mpg which is just 8mpg less than its official figure. It's not the most practical MPV but it comes with a decent standard specification and there are some decent discounts available.
2. Toyota Prius+ 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 55.0mpg
The Toyota Prius+ is the only hybrid to make it into this round-up. It’s not cheap, but the Prius+ has class-leading environmental performance and impressive interior space, plus it’s an auto if you prefer not to change your own gears.
3. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi – official 70.6mpg; True MPG 54.4mpg
The Grand C4 Picasso is a stylish, spacious MPV with a very practical cabin, which makes carrying the whole family or large loads very easy. Although it’s not the most exciting car to drive, it makes up for this by having lots of neat design touches and high equipment levels on most models.
4. Toyota Verso 1.6 D-4D – official 62.0mpg; True MPG 52.7mpg
The Toyota Verso is a refined and comfortable seven-seater with a range of punchy engines. It’s not the roomiest or practical MPV, but as long as you take only six passengers on occasion, it’s well worth considering.
5. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6 CDTi 136 – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 51.5mpg
The Zafira Tourer is one of the best value MPVs on the market. It's available with hefty discounts and thanks to its low running costs, it's also cheap to run. It might not be as practical or refined as other seven-seaters, but there's plenty of room in the first two rows of seats and all models are well equipped.
6. Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi Ecodynamics ISG – official 60.1mpg; True MPG 51.4mpg
The Kia Carens is one of our favourite mid-size MPVs. It's stylish, practical and comfortable and also comes with Kia's fantastic seven-year warranty. We'd recommend going with entry-level '1' trim which comes with all the kit you need.
7. Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 180 – official 56.5mpg; True MPG 49.7mpg
The Ford S-Max may be more expensive than rivals, but it’s also bigger and more extensively equipped. It's one of the best MPVs to drive and at the same time it's very practical because all five rear seats can be folded flat to provide a cavernous load space.
8. Peugeot 5008 1.6 HDi 115 – official 54.3mpg; True MPG 47.1mpg
The stylish 5008 is a decent mid-priced MPV. The seats in the middle row are all full size, plus the second and third rows fold away quickly to leave a large, flat load bay.
9. Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI Ecomotive 140 – official 49.0mpg: True MPG 46.4mpg
The Seat Alhambra is a class act: spacious, refined and great value for money. It’s a fairly big car to get used to, but in return you get near-faultless practicality and space for seven adults.
8. Nissan X-Trail 1.6 N-Tec – official 53.3mpg; True MPG 45.7mpg
The Nissan X-Trail is a big jump in terms of quality and refinement over the previous version. Slow steering and big lean angles in the bends mean it still feels like a traditional 4x4 to drive, but the new model’s interior feels roomy and well put together. The third row of seats will accommodate two adults – just.
10. Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 Di-D – official 53.3mpg; True MPG 43.0mpg
With seven seats and a bit boot, the Outlander is a practical and comfortable SUV. It's not as refined as some rivals and the interior plastics are a bit low-rent but if you need a good value SUV that's got room for seven it's definitely worth considering.
11. Ford Grand Tourneo Connect 1.6 TDCi 115 – official 55.7mpg; True MPG 42.2mpg
The Grand Tourneo Connect has room for seven adults and even with the rear-most seats in place, there's room in the boot for a collapsible buggy. It's not the most stylish of cars, but it's got everything that big families need.
We add new models to our True MPG database every week. Visit whatcar.com/truempg to see the full range of cars we’ve tested, and find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.