Top 10: best 7-seat SUVs
Whether you're planning to carry seven people on a regular basis or just need an occasional third row of seats, there’s an SUV to suit your needs.....
Gone are the days when anyone in the market for a seven-seater had to choose a boxy MPV.
Now there are plenty of 4x4s and SUVs that give you the same sort of practicality but 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 third-row passengers won’t feel second-class and there’s certainly no need to put up with an uncomfortable ride, clattery engine or spartan interior.
Here, we count down 10 of the best. In each case, you can read more about each car with our full review and find a great discounted deal through What Car? New Car Buying.
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10: Nissan X-Trail
If you want a spacious and practical SUV and care more about a low price than an engaging driving experience, the Nissan X-Trail is worth a look.
10: Nissan X-Trail - interior
Even our favourite seven-seat version, the 1.7 dCi N-Connecta, is priced well below £30,000 if you buy through What Car? New Car Buying. Just bear in mind that it suffers from sloppy body control and poor over-the-shoulder visibility.
Our pick: 1.7 dCi N-Connect
9: BMW X5
The original BMW X5 was one of the first road-focused 4x4s, and this latest model sticks to that formula, meaning it handles much better than many of its rivals.
9: BMW X5 - interior
The interior is classy and features just about the best infotainment system around. Go for our recommended xDrive30d model and you'll enjoy a punchy diesel engine that's still reasonably economical.
Our pick: xDrive30d xLine
8: Range Rover Sport
The latest Range Rover Sport is based on the regular Range Rover, so it’s no surprise that it’s a fantastic car for covering long distances, with smooth engines and a cosseting ride.
8: Range Rover Sport - interior
The luxurious and generously equipped interior looks and feels classy and, unlike that of its bigger brother, can be specified with seven seats.
Our pick: 3.0 SDV6 HSE
7: Skoda Kodiaq
This is the first seven-seater car in Skoda's history, but you'd never guess it, because it's full of clever touches that make it perfect for growing families.
7: Skoda Kodiaq - interior
The cheapest trim level you can have with seven seats is SE, which also gets you plenty of kit including dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.
Our pick: 2.0 TDI SE DSG
6: Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is closely related to the Hyundai Santa Fe, but it's a more practical option, because its third row is spacious enough for adults, not just children.
6: Kia Sorento - interior
It also has a punchy engine, a heavy towing capacity and a comfortable ride, although its very best rivals are more refined.
Our pick: 2.2 CRDi KX-2 auto
5: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Take the regular Volkswagen Tiguan, add some more space and two extra seats and hey presto, you've made the Tiguan Allspace.
5: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace - interior
Its high-quality interior and flexible seating are impressive and it remains good to drive.
Our pick: 2.0 TDI SE Nav
4: Volvo XC90
The Volvo XC90 has always been a very practical family car, with a versatile interior and a huge boot. However, the latest model is also enjoyable to drive and very classy inside.
4: Volvo XC90 - interior
Only average refinement, rear seats that are best left for children and a slightly unsettled ride stop it from finishing even higher on this list. The T8 plug-in hybrid version is also the only car of its kind with seven seats.
Our pick: 2.0 B5 AWD Momentum Geartronic
3: Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery is one of the finest SUVs around right now.
3: Land Rover Discovery - interior
It's huge inside, both for people and their luggage, is brimming with technology, has a comfortable interior and is just as capable off the road as on it.
Our pick: SDV6 HSE
2: Peugeot 5008
Peugeot is on a roll at the moment, having successfully reinvented both the 5008 and the smaller 3008 into muscular SUVs while also adding more technology and practicality.
2: Peugeot 5008 - interior
The 5008 is our reigning Large SUV of the Year, in fact, thanks to its spacious interior, flexible seating and competitively low CO2 emissions.
Our pick: 1.2 Puretech 130 Allure
1: Audi Q7
Like the rival Volvo XC90, the Audi Q7 has four-wheel drive as standard but is geared towards surefooted on-road use, rather than traversing muddy fields.
It’s also an extremely practical car, thanks to a generously proportioned interior and a huge boot.
1: Audi Q7 - interior
But what really sets the Q7 apart is its stunning interior, sensational refinement and pillowy ride.
Our pick: 45 TDI quattro S line Tiptronic
So there we have the best seven-seat SUVs, but what about the one to avoid...?
Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV has been a staggering success in the UK, because its plug-in hybrid powertrain means it qualifies for low tax and, until recently, a grant from the Government.
Mitsubishi Outlander - interior
Unfortunately, if you want a seven-seat Outlander, you have to go for the 2.2-litre diesel model, which keeps the PHEV's numb steering and unsettled ride but is much less frugal.