It’s not that long ago that buying a seven-seater for a large family or for business meant buying a multi-purpose vehicle, generally referred to as an MPV or by many as mum’s taxi. The roads were full of models like the Chrysler Voyager, Mazda5, Toyota Verso and Renault Espace, but then the MPV was largely killed off, replaced by the all-conquering SUV, intent on taking over the world. MPVs still exist; in fact we have a couple in our top-ten list, but generally they are more commercial vans turned into MPVs like the Mercedes-Benz V-Class or Volkswagen Transporter.
Whether you are looking for the straight practicality of an MPV or the versatility of an SUV, we have ten top choices for you to consider.
BMW X7 - from €131,365
We decided we needed to have something luxurious and glamorous to offer you and seeing as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is not technically available as a seven-seater (you can spec it with optional theatre seats that slide out of the boot), we decided to go with the BMW X7. It’s not pretty, but it is big, very big, with loads of space inside even for those sat in the third row of seats. It’s also luxurious, not quite Cullinan luxurious but not far off, so compared to the Rolls it could even be seen as good value.
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer - from €27,590
Citroen’s C4 SpaceTourer is a popular choice for families and let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t want to travel in something called a SpaceTourer? It’s a proper MPV that drives like a car and has space for seven in large seats. It’s all about family comfort and that feeling of being in a lounge on the move, or you could go for the actual Lounge Pack with its massaging front seats. Unusually you can actually fold the middle row flat, allowing those in the rear to really stretch out. Tech is good with smartphone integration, USB ports and all the essentials the family needs on the move.
Ford Galaxy - from €34,834
Like Volkswagen, Ford has a wide range of seven-seat options in its commercial vehicle-based models like the Tourneo Custom and Tourneo Connect, as well as SUV and MPV vehicles like the popular S-Max. Its Galaxy is starting to feel a little dated now, but it’s still one of the best seven-seaters you can buy with genuine space for seven adults across its three rows. All the seats can be moved individually and there’s loads of headroom, plus even with all the seats in place you have the same amount of boot space as a decent size family hatchback.
Hyundai Santa Fe - from €53,445
Hyundai is on a mission to make its cars look exciting and the latest Santa Fe is no exception. It’s also immensely practical and well-equipped, offering that traditional value that we expect from the Korean automaker. It’s really family-friendly with lots of space, connectivity, advanced safety features and a good-sized boot. It’s also available as a plug-in hybrid making it more environmentally friendly than many rivals.
Land Rover Discovery Sport - from €56,530
The Discovery Sport opened up a whole new genre for Land Rover and at the same time presented people with an alternative to the full-fat and more expensive Discovery. It’s got a luxury feel as well as lots of space and it can still do some off-roading. The seats are well designed to give everyone a good view and the third row has decent legroom, although adults will find things a little cramped. There are lots of choices, including a plug-in hybrid and the sporty looking R-Dynamic models.
Mercedes-Benz V-Class - from €76,390
It’s every airport shuttle operator’s favourite, the luxurious Mercedes-Benz V-Class. It used to be the Vito bus but that was far too commercial vehicle and so Mercedes made it sound more like a passenger car by adding the word ‘class’ to its name. It’s a genuinely nice thing too, perfect for families or for business, with lots of space inside, a good level of ride comfort and a wide range of interior configurations and options from standard seating to an office space and the full business class option. There’s also a pure electric version called the EQV.
Peugeot 5008 - from €36,400
The latest Peugeot 5008 follows the cool design direction of its smaller siblings and is a really stylish option for those wanting a seven-seater that not only offers loads of space, but looks as good on the school run as it does outside a trendy cafe. There’s a real focus on interior design, especially for the driver who is surrounded by Peugeot’s i-Cockpit that features great and useful tech and controls that are all easy to use. Safety is high on the list too and you get lots of driver assistance features and even an app so you can connect to the car.
Skoda Kodiaq - from €38,150
Skoda prides itself on being good value, but the Kodiaq is one of the models that made everyone really pay attention to its design and technology too. It has stylish looks, is great to drive and while the third row of seats are really for occasional use only, it’s all fairly spacious. The Kodiaq is available with useful driver assistance systems, lots of connectivity and the Sportline model really stands out from the crowd.
Volkswagen Caravelle 6.1 - from €66,775
The Caravelle has been as much a trusted family friend over the years as the Labrador. Whether it’s the van, the camper or the bus, everyone’s been in one and they offer great value, excellent features and they keep going forever. There will be those that are a bit sad that it is now coming to the end of its life, but until the new Multivan comes along, it’s still available and offers great value family motoring. VW has a number of other seven-seat models and if you want something more SUV-like then the Tiguan Allspace is also a good option.
Volvo XC90 - from €82,420
The Volvo XC90 is one of the safest cars in the world, which makes it perfect for any family. It’s a very stylish model with an interior that is the ultimate in Scandinavian style and luxury even for those sat in the third row of seats. Even with all the luxury and technology, the XC90 is still immensely practical with a large boot that will easily cope with the family holiday luggage. There’s a powerful T8 plug-in hybrid for those who want a bit of performance too.