Whether you’re part of a family with three or more children, a taxi driver, or someone who occasionally has to ferry around extended family or your kids’ friends, a seven-seater is just the ticket.
Most manufacturers have at least one seven-seater in their line-up, and the market has grown steadily over the past three decades. But is an MPV (or minivan) the best option, or is a chunkier SUV a more suitable choice?
Whichever you choose, there’s a baffling amount of different makes and models out there.
Here are 10 of the best seven-seater cars on the market in 2018.
10. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
There’s nothing particularly innovative about the Zafira Tourer, but it is one of the most refined, comfortable and neatly styled seven-seater MPVs on the market. It also benefits from a fuel-efficient range of diesel engines, a wide dealer network and excellent practicality, along with some of the most straightforward yet well-designed folding-seat arrangements.
9. Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
It’s quite an old car now, but the Grand Picasso is ageing brilliantly – its oddball styling proving ageless in the true Citroen tradition. It’s massively practical, good to drive and has a spacious, futuristic cabin, along with the option of a full length panoramic roof. It’s great value for money, too, which means that despite its age, it remains one of our best buys.
8. Nissan X-Trail
The X-Trail has just had a mid-life refresh, giving it a more purposeful front end, LED rear lights and a more luxurious interior. It also gets a more fuel and tax-efficient 1.6-litre dCi engine, along with the option of a pair of fold-out rear seats, making it Nissan’s smallest seven-seater model. Thanks to Nissan’s Around View Monitor, it’s one of the safest cars in its class.
7. Renault Grand Scenic
If you want an MPV that manages to combine seven-seat practicality with a decent dash of style, then the Renault Grand Scenic is just the ticket. It has sleek, angular styling, coupled to a smart, modern cabin, while it also comes with a wide choice of engines, the pick of which is the 1.5 dCi mild hybrid, which combines the diesel engine with a 48-volt battery that recovers braking energy to assist economy and acceleration – yes, like an F1 car.
6. Volkswagen Sharan
The Sharan is barely the last word in excitement, but it serves its purpose beautifully. Large, spacious and exquisitely well-finished, the big VW is the perfect no-nonsense MPV, with the added benefit of sliding doors. Despite its outward bulk, it drives really well, with nimble handling and a great ride, along with light-feeling controls. The only real downside is the price – you need over £27,000 even for the entry-level model.
5. Ford Galaxy
Ford’s Galaxy is one of the easiest seven-seaters to own if you’re constantly moving the seats about. The two rearmost chairs fold out electrically to save you from lots of clumsy fumbling, while the middle row of seats drops automatically into a flat floor at the touch of a button. It also has the biggest boot of any MPV in its class – airport taxi drivers, take note.
4. SEAT Alhambra
The Alhambra is essentially the same car as the Volkswagen Sharan, albeit with different front and rear styling. The SEAT is less expensive and better-equipped, however, and that gives it the edge. The surprise model in the range is the 1.4 TSI petrol – with 148bhp on tap, its far more lively than you’d expect a 1.4-litre petrol engine to be in such a large vehicle.
3. Land Rover Discovery Sport
Large people need not apply where the back seats of the Discovery Sport are concerned, but the smallest Land Rover is perfect for families with children, or occasional friends of children. It’s also one of the most desirable small seven-seat SUVs that money can buy – a fact that’s reflected in its peerless residual values. It’s not the most practical car in this list, but it’s a terrific family all-rounder.
2. Peugeot 5008
There’s a new 5008 on the block, and the big Peugeot builds on an already successful platform to further strengthen its appeal as a family car. It’s an SUV/MPV crossover, with a choice of turbocharged petrol or diesel engines and one of the best cabins of any seven-seater car, in terms of both style and practicality. It also debuts Peugeot’s i-Cockpit – a 12-inch visual display that replaces conventional dials.
1. Skoda Kodiaq
The recipe for Skoda’s Kodiaq is a simple one, but it’s massively effective. The Czech firm’s first SUV retains the brand’s no-nonsense approach, meaning it’s smart, practical and well-made, but in addition to that it’s also extremely handsome, great to drive and extremely keenly priced. It does everything you could possibly ask of it brilliantly, making it our star seven-seater for 2018.