Top 11 best 7-seater cars
So, you need a 7-seater? Maybe you’ve got a lot of family, a lot of friends, dogs or a lot of stuff. Perhaps all of these? Whatever your situation, choosing a big car that offers more space doesn’t have to mean opting for something you’re not in love with. The days of 7-seaters looking and feeling like unwieldy, ugly loaves of bread are over.
There are plenty of cars on the market in 2019 that offer the space you need and the style you want. MPVs are reducing in numbers, while larger SUV-style 7-seaters and crossovers are beginning to takeover the market. Move over minibuses, the era of the stylish 7-seater is upon us!
Ready to see the best cars with seven seats on the UK market? We’ve kept it straightforward with our buying selections, but there’s a few curveballs…
The 7-seater cars to buy are reviewed below:
- Land Rover Discovery
- Audi Q7
- SKODA Kodiaq
- Volkswagen Sharan
- Ford Galaxy
- SEAT Alhambra
- Citreon Grand SpaceTourer
- Renault Grand Scenic
- Ford S-Max
- Volvo XC90
- BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
1. Land Rover Discovery
The improvements made to the latest generation of the Land Rover Discovery make it impossible not to include in a list of the best 7-seaters.
Of all the cars on this list, the Land Rover Discovery seats seven the most comfortably. It can seat seven adults. Big ones too. And no matter how much you slide the seats and adjust the position, everyone gets to enjoy their bounty of legroom.
It’s a comfortable car to drive and a comfortable car to be driven in. It may weigh a whopping 2-tonnes-plus, but it handles itself well. The drive is smooth for the most part, but steering can feel a little slow.
When it competes with rivals in its class, the Discovery comes out on top in terms of luggage space. Expect 258 litres of luggage space with all seats up, increasing to 1,137 litres with third row folded down. What really sets it apart is the InControl Remote. The app allows you to use your smartphone (or the 10-inch touch screen) to fold the rear seats. Game changer.
Do we need to mention style points? The Disco is obviously a status symbol. You don’t drive one by mistake. Since its launch in 1989, its design has polarised opinion. Even with the Disco’s new(ish) curvier shape, the Q7 is definitely more of a people pleaser. But if you like the Disco’s design you probably love it too.
Price: starts at £47,405
- Loads and loads of space
- Luxurious finishes and materials
- Slow steering
- No SatNav on entry level model
2. Audi Q7
Let’s get this the right way around – the latest Audi Q7 is an SUV first and foremost and a 7-seater second. An important distinction. It’s a plush, comfortable car with excellent visibility and height, that just so happens to seat seven.
Though the Q7’s size is domineering, its performance surprises (even for an Audi). It has a 0-62mph of 6.5 seconds. And it’s nimble too – taking on corners in an agile fashion. It’s likely due to the 300kg weight reduction from the previous model.
When it comes to space, if the Audi Q7 was a five-seater there wouldn’t be a single complaint. But it’s not, so there is. The boot is pokey, and that’s being kind. The third row really is nothing to write home about – you’ll need to be narrow and short or a kid to be comfortable back there.
But it can seat seven, which is what’s important here. And because the front seats adjust electrically and the middle row slides, you should be able to fit everything you need in.
This is a car the driver will enjoy most (not something you often get to say about a 7-seater). Behind the wheel you get to really take in how well laid-out this car is. It’s logical. Things are where you need them to be.
On top of that it looks and feels good, because it sits more in the luxurious category. The interfaces and materials are good. the driving environment is tremendous: clearly and logically laid out, great materials, good interfaces.
Price: from £53,250
- Great drive
- Luxurious materials
- Third row is only really suitable for kids and small-framed folk
- Boot is teeny weeny
3. SKODA Kodiaq
The SKODA Kodiaq can do little wrong. And what’s even more remarkable is that it’s the Czech brand’s first ever 7-seater.
It’s a good looking car, especially for a 7-seater. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Jozef Kabaň – you know, the designer of the Bugatti Veyron? – has been in charge of exterior design at Skoda since 2008, overhauling the Octavia too.
But we’re talking about 7-seaters here, so the Kodiaq needs to impress in the practicality department. So let’s go through its credentials; 620 litres when you’re in five-seat mode and 270 litres when all the seats are up.
Seven good-sized seats (though the third row can be a little cramped). Adjustable backrests that can be folded flat easily. Sliding seats that make it easy to access the middle and third rows. You can see why the Kodiaq made the shortcut, right?
The auto industry holds the Kodiaq in high regard. It was named Large SUV of the Year at the 2018 Auto Express New Car Awards. It also claimed the title of 2016 Top Gear Magazine Best Car for Big Families, and was given such high-praise as; “The Kodiaq’s cabin is as spacious and cannily practical as an MPV.
The version we’re testing has 4×4 and a tow bar, so it can pull a boat up a slipway or a horse out of a field, yet it does better than 50mpg in the official test. And stood beside any crossover that might be called a rival, it’s good value to an almost hilarious degree”.
The Kodiaq is one of the best 7-seaters on the market, with one of the best price tags too.
Price: from £25,770
- Incredible value for money
- Multi-award winner
- Firm handling
- A smallish third row
4. Volkswagen Sharan
Comfort is the key word when it comes to the Volkswagen Sharan. While it’s fairly easy to find a 7-seater these days, finding one that is really, properly comfortable for seven adults is another thing. And the VW Sharan has been around longer than most to become more refined over the years, it’s an old favourite 7-seater like no other.
The Sharan makes it easy to find your groove, offering both seat height and steering wheel adjustment as standard. Once you’re comfortable, you’ll notice just how good the visibility in this car is.
The Sharan has a massive windscreen – your window to the world. It’s so good because the pillars are so slim, so even when you look over your shoulder you notice just how unhindered your vision is.
As you’d expect with a Volkswagen these days, the tech on offer is good too. You get a 6.5” touchscreen system as standard. Pay a little extra and you get the added benefit of a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay, sat nav, MirrorLink and more.
Carbuyer gave the latest Sharan a rating of 4.1 stars out of five, adding that “The Volkswagen Sharan is a sensible, practical and capable 7-seat MPV, but it feels expensive compared to newer rivals”
Slide open the rear doors to access both rows (or pay extra and you can do it electrically). Getting in and out of the Sharan is pretty easy going – the middle row folds and slides without hassle and the gap to climb into the back is pretty decent too.
There’s lots of storage space dotted around the car, including cubby holes under the seats and behind the front seats as well as fold-down tables too. You can configure the seats to opt for a six seat option, which is pretty neat.
Price: from £28,070
- Seats seven adults comfortably
- Versatile space
- Not the most exciting design in the world
- A bit expensive compared with rivals
5. Ford Galaxy
Arguably, the most spotted MPV on the road. You’ve probably been in one without even realising (most likely to the airport). But it’s no bad thing that the Galaxy is commonly used as an airport shuttle – it has low running costs and excellent versatility when it comes to seating.
The Galaxy is the king of efficiency when it comes to 7-seaters. It returns lower fuel consumption and emissions than any of its rivals – and that includes SEAT’s Alhambra and Volkswagen’s Sharan. All for the same performance too. There are four diesel engines on offer, so you have plenty of choice whether you’re leaning more towards performance or efficiency.
Whichever row you’re sat in, you’ll feel the spaciousness of the Galaxy. The middle row could easily seat three rugby players, and the third row isn’t bad either – happily seating three adults, just with a little less legroom.
But what about the boot? If a big one is what you’re after, you’ve got it. Ford claim that the Galaxy has around 300 litres of luggage space with the third-row seats up, 1301 litres with the third row down. Need to transport a sofa? No problem. Take the middle and third row down to reveal a whopping 2339 litres of space.
WhatCar? were impressed by the Galaxy; “The Ford Galaxy is a brilliant large MPV that doesn’t impose any compromises. With a huge boot and seven seats, It fulfils the same practical role as rivals such as the Volkswagen Sharan”.
Visibility is good, but not as good as the VW Sharan. You’ll get a slightly blocked view because of that windscreen pillar. But the elevated seating position is nice. It helps to make you feel in command.
There isn’t a whole lot that sets the Galaxy apart from the Sharan. Ford has offered a host of pretty good standard equipment, including front and rear parking sensors, climate control and an 8” touchscreen system.
Price: from £27,795
- Flexible seating
- Heaps of luggage space
- Poor visibility in places
- Extras and higher end trims push the price
6. SEAT Alhambra
You want space? The Alhambra’s got it. Need to fit a six-foot passenger into the third row? No problem. Want a car with some character to its drive? Say no more. The SEAT Alhambra delivers, even with all seven seats occupied.
The Alhambra’s handling is quite something. The weight behind the model helps to create a more precise-feel to the steering, while its overall control makes it feel tight when turning corners. Quite the compliment for an MPV.
Carbuyer found the Alhambra a joy to drive, giving it an almost perfect score and commenting; “More than the pace of the Seat Alhambra, it is the refinement that impresses most. The most intrusive noise in the cabin at motorway speeds is some minor wind flutter over the A-pillars”.
Like the Sharan and the Galaxy, the Alhambra offers decent space in all three rows. In fact, little sets them apart in this category. The third row is roomy, the luggage space is pretty alright and access to both rear rows is easy.
The reason the Alhambra sits behind the Sharan and Galaxy is down to some of its fiddliness. You have to move the seat bases and backs separately. And folding the third row isn’t a joy – that’s where we find ourselves longing for the Land Rover Discovery’s automatic folding.
Overall the Alhambra makes for a fantastic MPV. Aside from a couple of kinks here and there, it’s a sturdy car that’s nice to drive and easy to fit your passengers into.
Price: from £27,590
- 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating
- Fantastic space
- Unrivaled drive
- Fiddly seat folding
- Interior feels cheap
7. Citroen Grand SpaceTourer
The Picasso is dead. Long live the Grand C4 SpaceTourer. Citreon have done away with the old name, but kept the rest relatively the same. It all feels like a bit of a disguise to make their 7-seater feel like new. And it works.
The SpaceTourer has a new face. Its distinctive and modern – you could argue futuristic. Almost a little German in its sharpness. This is about as good looking as MPVs get.
So let’s talk space, that’s why we’re all here right? The SpaceTourer has a new platform and has gained some space in the wheelbase, which means there’s more room in the back for long-legged passengers.
Something that’ll really please parents – all three middle-row chairs are the same width. So there’ll be no more arguments over who has to sit in the middle seat (and all have Isofix mounts too). And third row passengers don’t get the short straw, they’ll get to enjoy roof-mounted vents, climate buttons and cup-holders.
Opt for a panoramic sunroof and you’ll really feel the spaciousness. The extra light works wonders for making the car feel brighter, fresher and more open. Perfect for long journeys. Another thing that’s perfect on long journeys is the endless amount of bins and cubbies dotted around the car.
As with most 7-seaters, the boot isn’t massive with all seven seats in place. Just 165 litres volume below the load cover. But the car is by no means small, you’ll just have to play a bit of tetris to get everything in.
Price: from £25,870
- Comfortable. Oh so comfortable.
- Stylish looks following a face-lift
- Little ones in the third row please, it’s a little tight back there
- Not the most thrilling drive
8. Renault Grand Scenic
The Grand Scenic ticks all the boxes as a practical 7-seater – comfortable, spacious and versatile, with impressive configurability. And now with an updated look, it trumps as a stylish car too.
Like the Citreon Grand SpaceTourer, the Renault Grand Scenic has recently been given a modern, more futuristic sort of look. It’s sharper, which makes it feel more elegant. These good looks help it stand apart from the Galaxy and Sharan.
But a modern design sort of feels like a nice to have when it comes to a seven seat MPV. You need it to perform as a spacious, family car should.
Driver and front passengers will enjoy all of the space up front, they’re the best seats in the house; spacious and feels open. But the back is a bit of a different story. It’s big, but not as airy as the Citreon. If that really bothers you, you can pay for one of the higher end models which come with a panoramic roof.
The Renault Grand Scenic really stands up as a safe MPV, every model comes with seven airbags as standard. And the 5-star Euro NCAP rating should put minds at ease too.
“The Grand Scenic scores highly in Euro NCAP safety ratings, and a four-year warranty is useful cover to have” – AutoExpress.
Price: from £23,515
- Distinctive styling
- Reliable and safe
- Not as spacious as some other options
- Interior quality is lacking somewhat
9. Ford S-Max
Welcome back, Ford. The S-Max is the second Ford car to appear on our list, and with good reason. It shares its platform with the Galaxy, mentioned earlier but aims to lean more towards being a 7-seater SUV rather than an MPV.
It certainly looks more dynamic than the Galaxy, but does it perform that way? It’s not a bad drive at all. In fact, it’s quite fun around winding country roads. For a big car, it handles itself well. And when it comes to motorway driving, it’s confident and comfortable with both wind and road noise kept to a minimum.
Car Magazine set out to review a host of 7-seaters and were pretty impressed with what the S-Max had to offer; “Not only is it a pleasing space within which to travel, it also remains the most engaging drive in its disparate seven-seat segment.”
It’s more versatile than an MPV, too. It’s both spacious in terms of legroom as well as being wide. Enough room for everyone’s elbows. Where it falls down against the Galaxy is in that third row. It’s noticeably more pokey. But if you’re only intending to have kids sitting back there, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
The S-Max is an MPV more suited to someone looking for drive quality over practicality. It drives more like a good-sized saloon but offers the practicality of a seven-seater.
Price: from £28,395
- Enjoyable drive (as far as seven seaters go)
- Comfortable to drive
- Cheaper rivals on the market
- Third row is only really suited to kids
10. Volvo XC90
Back when it first launched in 2002, the XC90 broke the mould as a luxurious, spacious SUV. And the great news is that it’s spent the last decade and more getting better. It’s a cracking 7-seater.
Its looks are sharp, its space plentiful and – as you’d expect from Volvo – it’s safety features are top quality.
Let’s talk about the interior, because frankly – it’s gorgeous. Its luxurious materials and stylish interior design is up there with the likes of Land Rover. And it’s tidy too. It feels minimalist, not empty. Uncluttered.
Each model comes with a 9” infotainment screen, which is set to portrait. Different, but familiar – it’s the same way we use our smartphones, so it sort of makes sense. Use the screen to access your GPS (again, standard with all models) in clear, hi-definition view.
Across the board, the industry is impressed with the XC90’s spec. The Telegraph gave the XC90 a glowing review “The entry-level Momentum model has most things you’re likely to want, including leather upholstery, climate control, a Bluetooth hands-free phone connection, satnav and a 10-speaker stereo with USB and aux-in sockets to let you connect any audio player.”
The XC90 would be higher up on the list, maybe even in top position, if it wasn’t for its cramped third row. Kids will be fine back there, and shorter adults too (on short trips, at least) but it’s no Disco.
The boot is good though. There’s plenty of room, even with all seven seats up, to fit a couple of suitcases or the weekly shop in the trunk.
It’s a spacious SUV, but compared to most of the cars on this list – it feels small.
Price: from £51,860
- Beautiful interior
- Spacious interior
- An expensive option
- Cramped third row
11. BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer manages to balance a host of qualities in equal measure, making it a solid all-rounder 7-seater. There’s all that sporting flair you’d expect from a BMW along with the space you need from a seven seater.
Sit behind the wheel and you know you’re in a big car. The high driving position is unmistakably MPV. But throughout the drive, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that you’re in a seven seater. There are hints of BMW at every turn. You feel the sportiness, though not to the full potential of a normal 2 Series.
But we’re here to talk practicality. So let’s get into the nitty gritty. The middle row is pretty decent, but unlike other cars in this list – not all of those middle row seats are made equal. There’s a 40:20:40 split, with a narrow centre seat.
Getting in the back isn’t a problem as the 2 Series Gran Tourer has large rear doors, while those middle row of seats come with quick tilt and slide function. With a bit of configuration, reclining and tilting – you can probably seat seven adults. Though, the level of comfort will be another question.
The boot isn’t huge, but there’s enough room to stow a few soft bags back there. With all seats up there’s 145 litres of luggage space, which can be increased to 560 litres with the back seats down.
All in all, the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is a good 7-seater car for a growing family, while retaining badge appeal and driving fun.
Price: from £27,345
- Badge appeal
- Good looks
- On the expensive side
- Space is lacking
Pack up the family, it’s time to explore a 7-seater purchase…
So now you know – just because you need extra seats and space, doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style or driving experience with a 7-seater.
You’ve seen luxury options, budget options, cars with more than enough space and ones that use it wisely. So get those test drives booked in so you can head out on some family adventures sharpish.
Looking for something sportier? Or maybe a few more family options?
You can also check out these other ‘best of guides’, there’s some crossover with this 7-seater list and those featured below:
- Best SUV Cars
- Best 4×4 Cars
- Best hybrid SUVs
- Best City Cars of 2019
- Best Cars For MPG
- Best Family Cars
- Best Estate Cars
- Best Cars For Dogs