Sometimes, five seats just won’t do. You might be a growing family with more than three kids to transport. Or maybe you’re a private hire driver looking for something to carry more passengers. Perhaps you just have a lot of friends! Regardless, you’ll need something with three rows of seats to accommodate your lifestyle.
The good news is there’s still loads of choice out there, whether you’re buying new or looking for used cars in the UK. Some are more akin to vans with seats than anything else, while others consider form as well as function. Sometimes you’ll even find seven-seaters that are seriously capable of more than just carrying passengers, such as performance monsters or those that can go off road.
Regardless, we think there’s something for everyone – check out our picks of the top seven-seater cars below.
Volvo’s XC90 is the embodiment of Scandinavian cool – with its minimalist styling and swish interior, it’s seriously stylish. It’s also seriously safe, and even several years on from its introduction remains one of the safest cars for child occupants.
You can have your XC90 with mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains, but all have three rows of seats and practicality to spare.
Don’t be fooled by the SUV looks. The Peugeot 5008’s slinky body and attractive face hide a car that’s incredibly capable – helped by its rear seats, which all slide and fold individually and can even accommodate three child seats abreast in the middle row. That’s rarer than you might think.
The 5008 comes with 1.2-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engines, which sound weedy until you actually drive them – they cope admirably with this car’s bulk. And most versions also come with a great eight-speed automatic gearbox to make life even more painless.
There’s no hiding this car’s van origins, but what the Berlingo lacks in form it more than makes up for in function. That boxy body means absolutely tons of room for passengers and their luggage, and despite the commercial vehicle underpinnings there’s a surprising amount of mechanical componentry shared with Citroen’s passenger cars.
That means an easy, comfortable drive, decent refinement and smooth and efficient engines. If you can handle the style (or lack of) there’s no family situation that the Berlingo can’t handle.
The S-Max may look like an MPV – and with its seven flexible seats and big boot it feels like one inside too. But get it out onto the road and you’ll be amazed, because the S-Max drives like a really well sorted and slightly sporty saloon car.
It even comes in a few sporty-sounding trim levels, although the only engine available now is a decidedly un-dynamic hybrid unit.
The darling of executive shuttle fleets also makes a great family car. With not just seven but eight seats as standard, the Caravelle feels like a car inside, not a van, thanks to its high-tech dashboard, punchy diesel engines and slick automatic transmissions.
Versatility is great too, as you can remove the seats to turn the aravelle back into the van – or slide and rotate them about to your heart’s content.
Land Rover Defender 110
The icon, reborn – Land Rover’s new Defender may look as chunky and off-road biased as the last one, but it actually makes for a seriously comfortable family wagon these days too. Unlike the old car, it’s no longer an ergonomic nightmare but a well-made and characterful family wagon.
Add in almost unbeatable off-road ability to really broaden the Land Rover’s talents, this is car that’ll get you where you need to go even if there’s no paved road in sight.
Tesla Model X
Want to go electric but need a big car to do it in? Look no further than the Tesla Model X. It has a fully electric powertrain with a long range and an incredibly high power output. This isn’t just fast for a seven-seater – it’s one of the fastest cars on the road.
It’s not short of tricks, either, with a huge touchscreen inside and dramatic, ‘falcon-wing’ rear doors that open upwards rather than outwards.