Best 7-seat SUVs and 4x4s 2022

Whether you're planning to carry seven people on a regular basis or just need an occasional third row of seats, there’s plenty of SUVs to choose from. But which are best – and which are best avoi...


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Best seven-seat SUVs 2022

Gone are the days when anyone in the market for a seven-seater had to choose a boxy MPV. Now there are plenty of SUVs and 4x4s that give you the same sort of practicality with a lot more style. And they often have the added bonus of being able to tow a caravan or boat, or traverse a muddy field.

True, these are big cars, so you need to choose the right engine to avoid frightening fuel bills. But in the very best, third-row passengers don’t have to feel second-class, and there’s certainly no need to put up with an uncomfortable ride or spartan interior.

Here, then, we count down the top 10 seven-seat SUVs, and reveal the one to avoid. To read more about a particular car or secure a discount without any haggling, just click on the appropriate link.

10

Skoda Kodiaq

The Kodiaq is the largest SUV Skoda makes, and a comfortable choice with a smart and practical interior. Just bear in mind that you have to be careful when speccing it because it's easy to push the price well north of £30k if you start adding options, at which point it makes less sense.

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Pros

  • Classy interior
  • Relatively spacious with a decent boot
  • Good value if you stick to the cheaper trims

Cons

  • Top-of-the-range versions are pricey
  • Peugeot 5008 is even more practical
  • Unsettled low-speed ride
9

Land Rover Discovery Sport

A former Large SUV of the Year, the Discovery Sport sits below the full-size Discovery in the Land Rover range. However, it's still available with seven seats, has a smart and user-friendly interior and holds its value well. It's even well priced by class standards and was  updated not so long ago to make it more efficient.

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Pros

  • Lots of passenger space
  • Flexible seven-seat capability
  • Lengthy equipment list

Cons

  • Terrible reliability
  • Compromised ride comfort on larger wheels with standard suspension
  • So-so performance
  • Poor fuel economy and CO2 emissions
8

Land Rover Discovery

Now in its fifth generation, the Discovery is hugely spacious, impressively classy and just as capable off the road as on it. Go for one of the diesel engines and SE trim to keep the price down. And make sure you extend the warranty if you plan to keep it for more than three years, because Land Rover doesn't have a good reliability record.

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Pros

  • Brilliant off road
  • Roomy third row seats
  • Attractive PCP deals

Cons

  • Rivals are quieter
  • Wallowy handling
  • Terrible reliability
7

BMW X5

BMW's original X5 was one of the first road-focused 4x4s, and this latest model sticks closely to that car's winning formula, with sharper handling than most rivals. On the inside, there’s plenty of space five and a commanding driving position. Some rivals offer more space in the third row, though, and you can't have those two extra seats if you go for our favourite version: the xDrive45e plug-in hybrid.

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Pros

  • Fantastic plug-in hybrid version
  • Great to drive
  • Classy, well-designed interior

Cons

  • Wide standard tyres generate road noise at speed
  • Third row of seats costs extra
  • There are more spacious and practical rivals
6

Land Rover Defender

The new Defender is a rugged SUV that fuses fantastic off-road ability (especially if you add the optional locking rear differential) with decent on-road manners, while the 110 version is also available with seven seats. If that's the blend of qualities you're after, it's effectively in a class of one.

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Pros

  • Excellent off road
  • Up to seven seats
  • Slow depreciation

Cons

  • Higher trim levels are very pricey
  • Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are poor
  • Tiny boot in 90 models
5

Peugeot 5008

The Peugeot 5008 combines MPV-esque versatility with SUV looks, plus it handles tidily, the ride is comfortable and the interior is seriously plush. Our recommended 1.2-litre petrol engine might only have 129bhp, but it still pulls strongly even with all seven seats filled.

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Pros

  • Loads of interior space for the money
  • Stylish and plush-feeling interior
  • Competitive fuel economy and CO2 emissions

Cons

  • Poor rear head room with the optional sunroof fitted
  • Rivals have more diverse engine lineups
  • Slow-witted infotainment system
4

Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 is a superb all-rounder, combining strong performance with spacious seating for seven and excellent interior quality. But its strongest suit of all is comfort; it soaks up impacts from speed bumps and other road imperfections with aplomb and demolishes long journeys like a private jet.

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Pros

  • Smooth and powerful engines
  • Pillowy ride in Sport and S line trims
  • Superb interior quality

Cons

  • BMW X5 has a better infotainment system
  • Third-row space is better in the BMW X7
  • Plug-in hybrid model is average to drive
3

BMW X7

The only thing bigger than the X7’s gigantic front grille is the car itself, so if you’ve got a big budget and a big family, it should definitely be on your shortlist. As a bonus, the interior is as flashy as it is sturdy, and refinement is so impressive that someone in the third row can have a conversation with those up front without raising their voice.

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Pros

  • Super quiet and comfortable
  • Incredibly spacious and practical
  • Outstanding infotainment system

Cons

  • There are cheaper alternatives
  • Feels its size and weight on the road
  • Looks won’t be to all tastes
2

Kia Sorento

The Sorento's hybrid tech combines good real-world fuel economy with comparatively low CO2 emissions, despite this being a hugely spacious seven-seater. You get a forgiving ride and accurate steering, too, while the driving position is lofty enough to make HGV drivers jealous. Throw in Kia’s superb seven-year warranty, and the Sorento is an excellent choice.

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Pros

  • Seven seats fit for adults
  • A massive boot
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Cheaper trims no longer available
  • Hybrid engine isn't as fuel efficient as a Honda CR-V's
  • Interior quality not as good as similarly priced premium rivals
1

Hyundai Santa Fe

Just not quite as good as the closely related Santa Fe. This car combines everything a large SUV buyer is looking for – namely, lots of space, comfort and kit, along with the potential for low running costs. There are both regular and plug-in hybrid options on offer, with the latter making especially good sense for company car drivers, and our recommended Premium trim comes with everything you could want.

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Pros

  • Seven seats fit for adults
  • Loads of standard kit
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • So-so performance
  • Some wind noise
  • Ultimate trim is pricey

And the 7-seat SUV to avoid...

Nissan X-Trail

The X-Trail is okay in isolation, but there are rivals with better handling, comfort, interior space and infotainment systems for similar or less money. In fact, newer rivals make it feel like a bit of a dinosaur, so it's just as well it's due to be replaced soon... Read our review