2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST 7-PASSENGER VEHICLES
Why Do Consumers Choose Seven-Seater Cars?
When you first hear the term seven-seater cars, you might think it sounds like a lot, and you’d essentially be driving around a house on wheels. In some ways that’s correct, but in other ways, it’s increasingly common for people to have seven-seater cars.
7-seater vehicles actually usually have eight seats, but the term 7-seater cars refers to the seats that are available in addition to the driver’s seat. The configuration includes three rows of seating in the back, as well as cargo space with many seven-seater cars. It also includes the front two seats.
With most of the best 7-passenger vehicles, there is a lot of flexibility in the design and seating configuration of the car, which is something consumers, particularly with growing families, may find valuable.
For example, many seven-seater cars provide the opportunity to use the third row of seating only when you need it, so you might be able to use the additional space in the back for cargo and transporting things, and only use the actual seating when needed.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best 7-Seater Cars
Seven-seater cars can be beneficial if you have a large family, and also if you have younger children that are still riding in bulky car seats. Most cars only allow for two car seats in one row of seating, so if you have three or more children, you may opt for cars with 7 seats.
7-seater cars can also be beneficial for families that participate in carpools, thanks to not only the additional seating but also the flexibility of removing or folding that seating down when it’s not in use.
The following ranking of seven-seater cars and reviews of the best 7-seater cars looks at a wide variety of vehicles. This list of the best 7-seater vehicles includes not only SUVs but also vans and includes 7-seater cars that will fit a variety of needs in terms of functionality as well as budget.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best 7-Passenger Vehicles
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that 7 seater vehicle):
Top 6 Best Seven-Seater Cars | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Best 7-Seater Cars
Base MSRP Starting Price
Fuel Economy City/
Detailed Overview of How to Choose Family-Friendly Seven-Seater Cars
As mentioned, one of the most common reasons many consumers are searching for cars with 7 seats is because they have a family or plan on growing their family in the future.
Image Source: Pixabay
When choosing a family-friendly car, whether it’s going to be choosing from the best 7-seater cars or another seating configuration, the following are some key considerations to keep in mind:
- First and foremost when choosing the best 7-seater cars or any family vehicle, the budget is a top concern. Set your budget ahead of time. Remember, if you find a vehicle you love, you can always eliminate all the bells and whistles and get the basic version for quite a bit cheaper. That way, you get all the main benefits of the car at a more affordable price.
- Safety is also a big factor when choosing a best 7-seater car. There are plenty of rankings of the safest cars each year, particularly for families, and you can take a look yourself at reviews based on the crash tests conducted by the NHTSA. Some of the safety considerations to keep in mind include side impact safety, frontal crash safety, side airbag features, and driver safety ratings. Many of today’s best 7-seater cars also feature technology aimed at creating a safer driving experience such as rearview cameras and blind-spot monitoring.
- Accessibility is also important. For example, if you’re choosing an SUV that is considered one of the best 7-seater vehicles, but it sits very high off the ground, it is going to be tough if you have to put babies or toddlers in and out of their seats. The same can go for cars that are lower to the ground than most. Also important to think about, particularly in terms of 7-seater family cars, is just how easy it is to access the third-row seating.
- Just because 7-seater vehicles have plenty of seating space doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to have the cargo space you need. If you’re choosing a car for your family, you’ll likely need ample cargo space for everything from groceries to strollers.
These are just a few of the big considerations to keep in mind as you shop for 7-seater family cars.
Detailed Overview to Compare SUVS and Minivans
When you’re shopping for 7-seater cars and narrowing down the best 7-passenger vehicles, you have two primary options in terms of the type of car you’ll choose. The first is an SUV, and the second is a minivan.
So how do you decide between these two main types of 7-passenger cars?
- Many people when they’re shopping for the best 7-seater vehicles may prefer an SUV simply because of image. There tends to be a stereotype associated with minivans, but it should be noted that there have been some pretty big improvements made in minivans in recent years to give them not only the utmost in functionality, but also a sleeker design.
- If you’re searching for the best 7-seater vehicles to provide plenty of leg room and a sense of spaciousness, minivans tend to win the competition. It’s easy to step inside a minivan to hook car seats, and there’s a general feeling of roominess that comes with the best van designs.
- If your family frequently travels in your vehicle, particularly if you go camping or on mountain trips, an SUV is going to be your best bet. Minivans have plenty of advantages, but for more treacherous terrain they’re probably not the best option.
- Regarding price, minivans and SUVs tend to be pretty comparable to one another, particularly if you’re comparing mid-sized SUVs with a van.
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Detailed Review—Top Ranking Best 7-Seater Cars
Below, please find the detailed review of each of the seven-seater cars on our list of the best 7-passenger vehicles We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these best 7-seater vehicles to score so well in our selection ranking.
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Buick Enclave Review
The Buick Enclave was first introduced in 2007, but since that time it has been developed into a leading SUV with a mid-level price point. The Enclave is one of Buick’s leading three-row SUVs, and it’s specifically designed to offer people searching for 7-passenger vehicles with an alternative to the minivan.
Image Source: Buick
The Buick Enclave is a luxurious mid-sized SUV, and while it has standard seating for seven, that can be configured to include seating for eight. Some of the features of this pick for one of the best 7-seater cars include 3.6-liter V-6 engines and six-speed automatic transmission. It has towing capabilities up to 4,500 pounds.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best 7-Passenger Vehicles
Key reasons the Buick Enclave is included in this ranking of the best 7-seater cars and the leading 7-seater family cars are detailed below.
Safety ratings and features were extremely important when choosing 7-passenger vehicles to include on this ranking of the best 7-seater vehicles. Some of the safety features that are available with the Buick Enclave, one of the best 7-seater cars, include:
- This best 7-seater family car includes the first front-center airbag in the industry. The front-center airbag protects the driver and front passenger in the event of a side impact collision.
- This pick for one of the best 7-passenger vehicles includes rear cross-traffic alerts and side blind alert technology to help drivers avoid accidents.
- The forward collision alert vehicle will let drivers know when they’re approaching a vehicle ahead of them too quickly, so it serves as a simple reminder to slow down.
- The lane departure warning feature available with this pick for one of the top 7-passenger vehicles provides a visual and audio alert so you can make sure you don’t venture into another lane without meaning to or without signaling.
- This best 7-seater family car includes automatic crash response, emergency services and roadside assistance, and turn-by-turn navigation.
While the price range for the Buick Enclave ranges pretty significantly, and it’s not necessarily considered the highest level of luxury SUV, it is still one of the pricier names on this particular ranking of 7-passenger vehicles and the best 7-seater vehicles.
While it’s not necessarily considered one of the cheap 7-seater cars, that slightly higher price tag does come with some design benefits, including a luxurious interior.
It features low and away controls for easy accessibility, three rows of first-class seating, and brushed chrome accents.
Some of the available features you can choose with this pick for one of the best 7-seater vehicles include a heated steering wheel, available heated and cooled front seat, available memory driver seat and mirrors, second-row captains chairs and a third-row bench seat, and of course, as mentioned, seating for up to eight passengers.
Ford Flex Review
The Ford Flex is a unique car included in this ranking of 7-seater vehicles. It’s not necessarily an SUV based on its exterior design, nor it is a minivan. Many reviewers liken this best 7-seater family car as more similar to a revamped station wagon, although it does have more interior room than one would expect to see with a traditional station wagon. It’s also considered a reasonably priced option among the top 7-seater cars.
Some consumers like its signature style that is one-of-a-kind as well as the spacious seating, which will be covered in more detail below. This pick for one of the best 7-seater vehicles includes a 3.5L EcoBoost Engine and 365 horsepower. It also has a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Image Source: Ford
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best 7-Passenger Vehicles
Some of the specifics of the Ford Flex that make it one of the best 7-seater cars and more specifically a best 7-seater family car are detailed below.
The Ford Flex has some features that people feel are downsides of this top pick for seven-seater cars, such as an interior that’s often described as feeling like plastic, but if you’re searching for the best 7-seater family car, this can actually be an advantage. The interior is relatively durable, and it’s also easy to clean and maintain.
This pick for one of the leading 7-seater vehicles also sits relatively low the ground, making it easy for kids to climb in and out and also to hook car seats.
There are two rows of back seats that can be folded down in the back to reveal 83 cubic feet of cargo space, and even when the third row of seats is in use, this vehicle offers great back cargo space.
There is a pass-through aisle leading to the back seats, and there are interior options such as the Vista Roof, which is a power sliding sunroof. This Vista roof offers natural light to all three rows of passenger seating in the Ford Flex.
The ultimate goal of the Flex, a pick for one of the leading cheap 7-seater cars and one of the best 7-passenger vehicles overall, is to offer convenience and ease-of-use that’s useful for everyday life.
With that in mind, some of the smart features the Flex can be equipped with include:
- The Blind Spot Information System features a cross-traffic alert, so you’ll know if a vehicle is entering your blind spot
- Adaptive cruise control helps you effortlessly maintain your speed, but it will also automatically slow the vehicle if traffic slows ahead
- Active park assist lets drivers enjoy a car that essentially parks itself
- The push-button start ensures you can start your car on those cold or raining days before getting in, and the car can include rain-sensing wipers.
- MyKey technology is a signature offering available with the Ford Flex, one of the best 7-passenger vehicles, and it lets owners program individual keys so two drivers in one household can customize their own key. It also allows keys to be designated to perform special features, such as limiting the speed of one driver.
Honda Odyssey Review
The Honda Odyssey, along with being ranked as one of the best 7-passenger cars and a leading best 7-seater family car, is really the gold standard among minivans if you ask most professionals in the auto industry. The Honda Odyssey may be a minivan, but over the years the exterior design has become sleeker and more streamlined, while the interior maintains that minivan sensibility that so many families are seeking when searching for the best 7-seater vehicles.
The Honda Odyssey is ranked well because of its smooth powertrain and extremely spacious interior. It’s also fuel efficient, with an estimated mileage of 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG for highway driving. It’s not only known for offering plenty of seating space but also cargo volume, and it features a 248-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best 7-Seater Cars
Among luxury 7-seater cars and cheap 7-seater cars, the following are some of the specific reasons the Honda Odyssey is included in this ranking of the top 7-seater cars.
Awards and Recognitions
The Honda Odyssey isn’t just included in our ranking of the top 7-seater cars. It’s frequently recognized by everyone from media outlets to safety organizations as one of not just the best 7-passenger vehicles, but a best vehicle overall.
For example, the 2017 Odyssey has been named as a 2016 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which is an important reason it’s not just one of the best 7-passenger vehicles, but also a best 7-seater family car.
The 2016 Honda Odyssey is also named as the Best Buy of the Year among minivans according to rankings from Kelley Blue Book on KBB.com.
Whether you’re looking for the best 7-seater family car, or you simply want to find 7-seater vehicles that make your life more convenient, the Honda Odyssey is undeniably a great option.
Some of the accessibility and convenience features that are available with this pick for one of the best 7-seater cars include:
- The second-row center seat is versatile in its functionality. Owners can pull a lever, and the second-row seat will move forward to create more space in some of the Honda Odyssey models. Wide-Mode 2nd-Row Seats allow for the movement of second-row seats to the side to give passengers more space. The third-row Magic Seat can be individually folded down to maintain more cargo space.
- The Smart Entry Feature is an available option that allows drivers to unlock the doors without their keys.
- The HondaVAC is a signature feature of the Honda Odyssey, one of the best 7-seater vehicles and also a leader among cheap 7-seater cars. The HondaVAC is a built-in vacuum with an extended reach and removable waste bin.
- Safety features that are available with this van, one of the best 7-seater cars, can include options such as the Honda LaneWatch, which is a small camera displaying live video, and the Blind Spot Information System is available with certain models as well.
Honda Pilot Review
The Honda Pilot is another excellent example of one of the best 7-seater cars from Honda, and it’s given five stars by Car and Driver. The 2017 Honda Pilot is named as a Best Buy of the Year among mid-sized SUVs and crossovers by Kelley Blue Book, and it’s named as a Top Safety Pick by IIHS.
The Honda Pilot with Honda Sensing has also been awarded the Top Safety Pick+ Rating from IIHS because of its excellent performance in crash tests, and it’s been recognized as a Best Value Brand by the Kelley Blue Book’s Brand Image Awards.
Image Source: IIHS
The Honda Pilot, ranked as one of the best 7-passenger vehicles on this list of the top 7-seater cars, is a mid-size crossover SUV with a six-speed automatic transmission, torque vectoring for good handling ability, and of course, three rows of seating.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best 7-Seater Vehicles
When comparing cheap 7-seater cars and the leading seven-seater cars, the following list details some of the reasons the Honda Pilot is part of this ranking.
The exterior of the Honda Pilot features a sporty, versatile design that a lot of buyers find appealing. Its interior is packed with technology and comfort features at the same time.
For example, the interior of this pick for one of the best 7-seater cars includes an 8-inch Display Audio Touch-Screen, as well as an advanced Rear Entertainment System.
The cargo area is amply-sized without minimizing space for passengers, and there are accessories such as All-Season Floor Mats, providing a protective barrier between potentially dirty feet and the original carpet of the vehicle.
As mentioned above, the Honda Pilot is a leader when it comes to safety including features and its crash test performance, and that was an essential reason it was named on this ranking of the best 7-passenger vehicles and as a best 7-seater family car.
Some of the safety features that are available with the Honda Pilot include options like a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines and an available Collision Mitigation Braking System. It also features available Forward Collision Warning.
IIHS, the leading safety rating organization for vehicles, gives the Honda Pilot a good rating for a variety of features regarding crashworthiness. These include small overlap front, side and roof strength, and the head restraints and seats. It also goods a top rating for front crash prevention and the child seat anchors including their ease of use.
Kia Sedona Review
The Kia Sedona is one of Kia’s premium vehicles that strives to pair the utmost in comfort with an affordable price tag. The exterior design is somewhat sporty, unlike many other minivan designs, and it includes seating for eight. The Sedona has a 276-hp V-6 engine and a six-speed transmission. In reviews by the likes of outlets like Car and Driver, the Kia Sedona not only ranks well because it’s considered one of the cheap 7-seater cars, but it also has plenty of standard features as well as optional safety features.
The Kia Sedona, along with third-row seating, also has a streamlined interior design that’s well-designed and features such as maximized legroom.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Seven-Seater Cars
Comparing the Kia Sedona to other cars with 7 seats, the following are some features that led to its inclusion on this ranking of the top 7-seater cars.
Interior Comfort and Design
To begin, the interior of the Kia Sedona, a leader among 7-passenger vehicles, is designed for maximized leg rooms but also to include amenities at each row, so no one is left out. There is a center console similar to an SUV in the front-row seating, while the second-row seats feature heating options and multiple power outlets.
Also available are dual sunroofs, and the design features three comfort zones. The Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control lets the driver, front passenger, and rear zone temperature settings to be customized.
Other notable interior design features available with the Kia Sedona, one of the best 7-seater vehicles and a best 7-seater family car include:
- Retractable sunshades at the second and third rows
- Ventilated and heated front-seat options
- High-tech audio system
- Options for upgrades such as UVO eServices with Navigation, 8-inch color touch screen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM Traffic and HD Radio
Awards and Recognition
The 2017 Kia Sedona has received numbers awards and recognition, not only because it’s one of the top cheap 7-seater cars, but also because it’s one of the best overall 7-passenger cars and a leading minivan.
Recent awards and recognitions garnered by this minivan, one of the top 7-passenger vehicles, include:
- The Kia Sedona received a Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS which indicates it earns good ratings in the small overlap front, the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. This also indicates the Kia Sedona, a leader among 7-seater vehicles, features an available front crash prevention system that is well-rated.
- The NHTSA gave the Sedona a 5-star crash safety rating based on safety feature performance and the availability of crash avoidance technology
- Along with the Kia Sedona, a specific pick for one of the leading 7-passenger cars, the Kia brand also performs well. For example, in the JD Power Circle Ratings of car brands, which assesses view of new owners of vehicles within their first 90 days of ownership, Kia is number one.
Toyota Highlander Review
The Toyota Highlander isn’t necessarily considered one of the cheap 7-seater cars, but is a mid-range price leader among 7-seater cars, with a price range of $30,630 to $48,820. The Toyota Highlander makes it easy to haul seven passengers, and it features a strong driving experience, interior luxury, and plenty of storage. It has one of the best fuel economy records on this list of the best 7-passenger vehicles as well.
The 2017 Highlander is also available in a hybrid version, and it features an efficient V-6 or hybrid powertrain, and Toyota just introduced a new version, the Highlander SE, this year. Regarding the exterior, the Toyota Highlander, one of the top 7-seater cars, features a redesigned front end, LED accents on some versions, and a wide, signature grill.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Seven-Seater Cars
Details of why the Toyota Highlander is included on this list of the best 7-seater vehicles and is considered a best 7-seater family car are highlighted below.
The Highlander is Toyota’s most popular SUV, and this pick for one of the best 7-passenger vehicles and a best 7-seater family car has the following interior features available:
- There are small but significant conveniences included in the design of this pick for one of the leading cars with 7 seats. These include a total of eight cup holders, four water bottle holders, and five USB ports.
- There is an extended storage cubby located in the dash, ideal for items such as phones.
- The middle row of seats features the option to adjust seating using reclining and sliding options.
- There are tether anchors in the second and third rows for child safety seats.
- Tri-zone automatic climate control lets each row of seats maintain their own temperature control.
- There is the option to take advantage of second-row retractable sunshades.
- The Driver Easy Speak option lets the driver talk easily to passengers in the other rows.
The Toyota Highlander is one of the leading 7-seater family cars and overall cars with 7 seats for a wide variety of reasons. It’s good for people who want a practical, functional car that also looks like a luxury vehicle, and it can be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and conveniences.
Additionally, the Toyota Highlander, one of the most popular 7-seater vehicles, is fuel efficient, particularly compared to many other seven-seater cars.
What’s unique is that the larger V6 engine actually demonstrates the most economical option in terms of fuel efficiency, with an expected 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The Highlander Hybrid gets an amazing 30 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Image Source: Toyota
Conclusion—Top 6 Best 7-Seater Cars
The above ranking of the best 7-seater cars and the leading 7-seater family cars looked at a wide variety of criteria. This includes:
- These 7-seater cars and 7-seater family cars include excellent interior designs that emphasize spaciousness and comfort.
- The exterior designs of these 7-seater vehicles vary between one another, but they are all modern, streamlined, and represent versatility and strong long-term design features.
- Many of the 7-seater cars included in this ranking of the best 7-passenger vehicles feature state-of-the-art technology, including both standard features as well as a range of customizable options.
- It’s important when looking at cars with 7 seats and ranking the top 7-seater cars that not only is seating space considered, but also cargo space. The above names on this ranking of the best 7-seater vehicles all emphasize a good balance between seating and cargo space, so they’re suitable for a wide variety of needs and lifestyles.
The above ranking of the best 7-seater vehicles may include 7-seater cars that encompass the above features and benefits, but each individual name on this list of 7-passenger cars is also unique regarding budget and body style, to provide an option for almost everyone.
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