Top 5 Seven-Seat SUVs
There’s a bit of a baby boom in Ireland these days, and one of the most popular questions to our help-desk is from people looking for cars that can swallow lots of people and booster seats, but which are more stylish and more rugged than a more traditional one-box MPV. Here then, are the answers to all of those questions — the best seven-seat SUVs for your budget.
1. Below €30,000. Peugeot 5008
Aha! You thought we were going to say the Skoda Kodiaq, didn’t you? The thing is that the Kodiaq really needs more money spending on it than €30k, whereas the big Peugeot comes with everything you need for less than that. So, you get the same stylish cabin as the smaller Peugeot 3008, complete with all-digital instruments and a very decent central touchscreen; you get seven seats as standard and a massive boot too; and the 5008 is at its best with the entry-level 1.2-litre 130hp petrol PureTech engine. All of which you can have for less than €30,000.
2. €30-40,000. Skoda Kodiaq
Here’s where the big Skoda comes into its own. Once you’re spending around the €35,000 mark you’re getting the best of the Kodiaq, with either the 150hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, or the excellent 150hp 1.4-litre TSI petrol engines (the basic 125hp 1.4-litre turbo petrol is just too under-powered), and four-wheel drive if you need it. It also means that you have the full seven seats (not standard on the Kodiaq, don’t forget) and an upgraded infotainment system with the eight-inch touchscreen and the intercom system that allows you to do pilot-style announcements on the school run.
3. €40-50,000. Kia Sorento
Technically, you can get a Sorento, in range-topping Platinum spec, for a hair under €40,000, but once you’ve added metallic paint, delivery and one or two options, you’ll be over the line. Either way, here is a big, Korean SUV that can mix and match it with the premium boys, and beat them at their own game. It’s massive and spacious inside (albeit the third row seats are a tiny bit tight) with a broad cabin and wonderfully comfortable seats. There’s a mildly updated model on the way with lower emissions for the automatic version and some small tweaks to the styling and interior.
4. €50-60,000. Land Rover Discovery
Now, the Discovery only just squeaks under the €60k barrier, and for that you’re going to have to live with a basic model with the 180hp 2.0-litre diesel engine. Still, as basic cars go, this is a pretty brilliant one — rugged good looks, enormous interior, space in the third-row seats for full-sized adults, excellent comfort and refinement and a Timberland-boots-and-Barbour image that’s just about unbeatable. As happy climbing an Alp or crossing the Serengeti as it is cruising down the high street.
5. €60,000 +. Audi Q7
The big, bluff Audi is perhaps not as much fun to drive as rivals such as the BMW X5 or Range Rover Sport, but that is to miss the point. What it is, inside and out, is truly massive. There is lounging space in all three rows of seats, and a cabin of which quality that we think it might actually be literally bomb-proof. It's not cheap, especially once you start adding extras, but Audi’s engineering expertise has ensured that it’s actually surprisingly light, and therefore not as expensive to run as you’d think. The only downside is that the e-tron plugin hybrid version can’t be had as a seven-seater.