Best 7-seater cars to buy in 2014

SEAT Alhambra front cornering
Credits: Pete Gibson
28 Jan, 2014 4:15pm

We pick out the 10 best 7-seater cars on the market today, including the SEAT Alhambra and Hyundai Santa Fe

Buying a 7-seater car isn't as easy as picking the model with the most space in the back - there are just as many different aspects to owning an MPV or 4x4 as any other type of car: how much it costs, the performance, the size of the boot and how much it costs to run.

There are all sorts of cars you can buy with seven seats, but the best ones are mainly compact MPVs, 4x4s and traditional large MPVs. In most models the sixth and seventh seats come as part of a third row of seats that can be folded into the floor to increase space in the boot. On some models this works better than others - and the need for a large boot might be more important to some buyers than others.

You might need to think about who it is that will be sitting in the rear seats most - some larger MPVs can accommodate seven adults, but many smaller cars will only be able to fit small children in the rearmost seats. The best way to think of compact MPVs like the Ford Grand C-MAX is as an occasional seven-seater, for use when there are extra passengers wanting a lift.

Caravan owners, who need to load up the family and luggage for a long summer holiday, often go for a seven-seater 4x4 like the Land Rover Discovery. These models have loads of space, and can take the family anywhere and everywhere thanks to all-terrain systems, but do suffer when it comes to running costs - so are best avoided if you're on a budget.

Choosing an engine can be a tough decision when buying a normal car, but with a seven-seater most of the time you'll want to go for the diesel option - in fact, many models don't even offer a petrol version. The extra torque and lower running costs that these engines provide mean you can keep up with traffic even with a cabin full of people and without breaking the bank.

However, some small petrol engines in compact MPVs might make more sense if you are only going to be using the extra seats occasionally - in a lighter car, a small petrol engine will be just as economical as a diesel.

So whatever you're looking for in your next seven-seater car, click on the links to the left to see our top picks to help you decide. Or, for an alternative review of the best seven-seaters on the market today, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk

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What about the Mercedes E class estate? - an alternative to the tragic 4x4s and the (I've given up completely) MPVs....

Peugeot 5008?!

Vauxhall Zafira & New Zafira Tourer.

Cant believe neither Zafira nor Zafira Tourer made this list!

Actually, given AE's bias, actually I can.

No Toyota Verso ???

Chrysler Grand Voyager is best equipped and most flexible 7 seater in the UK. Yet no mention ever comes of it?

Of course you can. Look what they got on the top of the list. And I am a seat owner. Yak! As if MPV owners can't have taste or only buy with a measure in hand. Real world buyers will get the s-max any day.

Volvo XC90? Even Jezza approves.

New SsangYong Turismo coming soon - replacement to the much-maligned Rodius. If you can get over the prejudice, it beats the pants off all the usual suspects, on price and equipment. I may well buy one.

It's gotta be the Ford Galaxy Titanium or the Toyota Prius Plus!!

Has to be the Ford Galaxy Titanium or the Toyota Prius Plus!

Because it's not very good to drive, neither very economical.

The Zafiras are German cars. FAIL.

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