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Best 7-seater cars to buy 2024

We pick the best seven-seater cars across a wide range of price points

7-seater cars are as popular as ever with large families, but the latest crop bear little resemblance to those on offer even a decade ago. Here we round off the top 10 best seven-seater cars on sale in the UK, so if you’re in the market to carry a couple of extra passengers, look no further.

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While a few traditional MPVs remain, and have a lot going for them, the choices facing buyers who want a vehicle capable of carrying seven people today are mainly split between SUVs and van-based MPVs. Van-based models, such as the Citroen Berlingo, make the most of the space, robust design and low costs of their commercial vehicle base models to deliver flexible, family-sized utility on a budget. 

On the SUV side, the choice continues to grow, with plenty of large SUVs, like the Skoda Kodiaq and Kia Sorento, offering seven-seat capability. For many buyers, the SUV is seen as a more stylish choice than the traditional MPV or van-based alternatives, but most struggle to match a similarly-sized MPV for outright utility and space. 

The best 7-seater cars to buy now

Read on to find the very best 7-seater cars, both MPVs and SUVs, listed in reverse order below.

10. BMW X7

  • Prices from £89,000
  • Best driving experience
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There’s a common theory that family cars are pretty boring to drive, but the BMW X7 smashes this theory to pieces. It’s one of the largest cars on sale in the UK, so your loved ones will have room to spare, but at the same time, it’s very comfortable and drives exactly like a BMW should, regardless of its sheer bulk.  

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Those with a particular thirst for power are catered for by the 523bhp V8-powered M60i variant, as this will launch from 0-62mph in a mere 4.7 seconds. It’s all very appealing but, inevitably, this version sits very firmly above the £110,000 mark.

9. Ford Tourneo Connect

  • Prices from £31,500

Ford and Volkswagen joined forces to create the latest Tourneo Connect, and both brands applied their extensive commercial vehicle expertise to create this spacious van-based MPV. It’s certainly not the last word in excitement, but the Tourneo Connect does offer a huge amount of practicality and space.

The current Ford Tourneo Connect is essentially a rebadged version of the Volkswagen Caddy, but it comes with more kit as standard including a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and heated seats. These creature comforts are always nice to have, but they don’t take away from the Tourneo’s utilitarian interior. If you don’t mind losing out on luxury, you won’t need to be too precious about the surfaces and materials standing up to whatever your youngest passengers can throw at them (perhaps literally).

8. Land Rover Defender

  • Prices from £64,000
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In the blink of an eye, the Land Rover Defender has gone from a utilitarian workhorse to one of the best premium SUVs on the market. Its charming boxy style will win over many buyers’ hearts, but its looks are backed up by impressive levels of comfort, a smart cabin and incredible off-road ability.

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The Defender is available in three forms: the three-door 90, the 110 model that offers seating for up to seven people, and the even larger 130 which offers space for up to eight occupants. In Defender 110s fitted with seven seats, the middle row provides ample space and can slide forward to make the third row passable for taller children, if not adults.

There are cup-holders, power outlets and air vents for all, while the 231-litre boot with three rows in place expands to a van-rivalling 2,233 litres if you fold down the rear seats. There’s a range of powertrains on offer with the Defender, too, including plug-in hybrid tech. If you’re after lower running costs then this will probably be the best option, as the regular mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines don’t offer astounding fuel economy. This is a big, upright box that weighs well over two tonnes, though, so that’s hardly surprising.

7. Nissan X-Trail

  • Prices from £33,000
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The latest Nissan X-Trail is the best yet, delivering more passenger space and better cabin quality than its predecessor. It also features excellent safety features and Nissan’s unique e-Power hybrid set-up. This brings EV-like smoothness and performance without the range anxiety, although it’s not as efficient as some of the other hybrids on this list.

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It’s also worth noting that the entry-level mild-hybrid and range-topping all-wheel-drive e-4orce versions of the X-Trail come with five seats as standard, but are available with seven seats at an extra cost. Even so, only kids will really feel comfortable in the back row, because of the limited knee and headroom. Boot space isn’t the best in the large SUV class, either.

At least the X-Trail is comfortable out on the road, with the suspension only really troubled by the worst of the UK’s pockmarked routes. This large SUV is a decent cruiser at motorway speeds, too, with little wind or engine noise able to infiltrate the cabin. The ‘e-Pedal Step’ mode, which allows some one-pedal driving, is also particularly handy in urban traffic.

6. Kia Sorento

  • Prices from £42,000

If you’re not quite ready to make the switch to electric, the Kia Sorento is another exceptional contender in the large SUV class. Featuring distinctive looks, an upmarket interior, plenty of tech and a selection of efficient powertrains, the big Korean is a firm Auto Express favourite. 

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Of course, the Sorento is a family SUV first and foremost, which means it boasts a roomy interior that can comfortably seat seven adults. The cabin is also a cut above mainstream rivals in terms of look and finish, with high-grade materials and wall-to-wall screens. The infotainment system looks great and is easy to use, plus you get plenty of useful driver aids. 

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It’s not as sharp to drive as the Skoda Kodiaq, but the Kia’s refinement and comfort are first rate. All versions have four-wheel drive and there’s also the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain that’ll deliver 35 miles of EV running. 

5. Citroen Berlingo

  • Prices from £23,500
  • Best for boot space

The Berlingo might, in effect, be just a van converted into an MPV, but Citroen has been performing this trick for a while, and this seven-seater really appeals as a result. Opt for the fully-electric e-Berlingo and there’s really no better option that can offer pure-electric motoring and seven seats at the same price point.

The e-Berlingo drives as well the petrol version, but here you’ll have the bonus of a near-silent powertrain and instant torque. You’ll find the ride pretty smooth and, as with most van-based cars, the visibility is tremendous, thanks to big windows. For maximum space, the XL variant offers a humongous 1,050-litres of boot space.

4. Land Rover Discovery

  • Prices from £61,000
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The Discovery has all the off-road ability you’d expect of a Land Rover, yet with seven-seats, a high-class interior and plenty of toys, it’s a terrific all-rounder. The six-cylinder mild-hybrid diesel D300 engine also feels perfectly suited to it.

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Air suspension comes as standard, so the Discovery has the ride comfort to put some luxury limousines to shame – provided you specify the smaller wheels. There are lots of storage compartments around the cabin, plus Land Rover’s latest infotainment system, and even adults will find the rearmost seats perfectly acceptable for leg and headroom. 

3. Kia EV9

  • Prices from £65,000
  • Best for efficiency

Kia’s rapid expansion of its range of all-electric vehicles saw the introduction of the EV9 range-topper in 2023. You might think a big, heavy SUV with a rather blocky design would not work all that well as an EV, but the Kia EV9 claims up to 349 miles of range on a single charge. 

It comes with a rather substantial 99.8kWh battery, and in single or dual-motor form. The single-motor model should be plenty, even though it’s only available in entry-level Air trim. It still gets Kia’s Level 2 driving assistance, heated and ventilated front and second-row seats, an electric boot lid, a triple-screen layout including a pair of 12.3-inch screens, plus a wireless smartphone charger and 19-inch alloys. 

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Thankfully, Kia hasn’t tried to make the EV9 sporty, focusing instead on ride quality, which means you can happily eat up the car’s impressive range in comfort. 

2. Skoda Kodiaq

  • Prices from £37,000
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With solid build quality, a comfortable ride and a focus on practicality, the Skoda Kodiaq is among the very best SUVs, and it’s available as a 7-seater. Every trim level is available with a three-row layout and comes with stacks of equipment as standard. 

The car drives as well as any rival of this size, with a set-up that’s sensibly focused on comfort rather than sharp dynamics. The engine range is good, with the 1.5-litre 148bhp TSI unit providing plenty of performance in the base model. Alternatively, you can still opt for traditional diesel power in the form of a 2.0 TDI engine.

1. Dacia Jogger

  • Prices from £18,500

We think the Dacia Jogger is a phenomenal family car. As with the rest of the budget brand's line-up, the main headline here is the bargain price tag: well under £19,000 for the entry-level model. Even if you stretch to the hybrid powertrain with range-topping Extreme trim, it’s still under £24,000, undercutting most family hatchbacks. 

Along with the Jogger’s chunky exterior styling, the interior feels sturdy and up to anything you or your family can throw at it. It’s well equipped too, with an eight-inch touchscreen that’s easy to use, a rear-view camera and a leather steering wheel on some versions. 

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There are only two powertrains – a 1.0-litre petrol with 108bhp and a 1.2-litre hybrid with 138bhp – but both do a good job of balancing performance with efficiency, so we think it’s worth saving a couple of grand and going for the non-hybrid. 

The best 7-seater cars to buy now

  1. Dacia Jogger
  2. Skoda Kodiaq
  3. Kia EV9
  4. Land Rover Discovery
  5. Citroen Berlingo
  6. Kia Sorento
  7. Nissan X-Trail
  8. Land Rover Defender
  9. Ford Tourneo Connect
  10. BMW X7

7-seat SUVs vs 7-seat MPVs

If you’re looking for a seven-seat car it’s fair to say you’re probably a car buyer with a family. Practicality and running costs generally come ahead of driving dynamics for those seeking family transport, but the same basic car buying rules apply whatever you’re buying: do your research, understand your finance options and work out your budget, however you’re paying for it. From there, think about what you need the car to do.

The first thing for seven-seat car buyers to decide is whether an MPV or an SUV is the best fit. Generally, MPVs offer more space for the money but SUVs are more stylish to many peoples’ eyes. For most buyers, an SUV will offer more than enough room, and most also have the option of four-wheel drive – ideal if you tow a caravan or live in a remote area. 

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On the other hand, MPVs usually provide better head and legroom for passengers in all seats thanks to lower floors and (mostly) higher rooflines. Plus, the seating systems are usually more easily adaptable to different passenger- and luggage-carrying configurations. If you plan on carrying a full complement of six or seven passengers a lot of the time, it’s worth bearing this in mind. Many models have very limited luggage space when all seven seats are in use or particularly difficult access to the third row, these are all things you should consider as a buyer.

Another important consideration is which fuel type to go for. Here the decision is a little more clear-cut because seven-seaters are generally larger and heavier than your regular car, so diesel will be the better choice for most. Plug-in hybrids and fully electric models are changing the equation, but there aren’t too many seven-seaters to choose from at the moment, fully loading the car may affect range and you’ll need a home charger to make the best use of the vehicle.

You should also check the cars’ interior design and build quality. If you have young children, soft leather trim might not be the best idea. Make sure all your child seats can fit in; while some cars have three ISOFIX mountings across the middle row, you may not be able to squeeze three abreast in others. Make sure that the rear seats give your kids enough space and light as well as a decent view out and think about how easy the interior will be to keep clean.

Need even more space? These are the best 8-seater cars to buy

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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