For many the word '7 seater' brings to mind the image of a miserable parent hopelessly cramming children, luggage, and god knows what else into an extremely boring looking car.
Let's face it, no one really wants a 7-seater. It's not exactly high up the desirability scale. However, life happens. Your hair greys and recedes. Your lust for life rapidly diminishes as you sit down with your in-laws for another 'game night'.
In short, practicality takes over from aesthetic pleasure and driving fun. You envisioned a Tesla Model X being your 'adult car'. Not quite.
But don't give up! Even if you need a 7-seater, you're not doomed to a driving-life of utter boredom. In fact, something incredible has happened in the 7-seater market in 2019... the cars are actually nice!
Long gone are the days of the most boring exterior and dashboard you've ever seen. In 2019 you can buy some genuinely good cars with great features.
Who needs a 7-seater?
Of course, a 7-seater is a bit of a niche market. Most of us don't need that many seats. In fact, having to deal with mum's back-seat driver comments as you try to drive your 4-seat Mini is challenging enough, thank you very much.
The car industry has recently tried to make the 7-seater a little bit less tragic than it once was. This is great as you're not stuck with a model that looks good on paper but looks awful in real life.
You can have a 7-seater in a trendy SUV body style or in the vintage MPV (mini-van) style. Our top 10 best 7-seater cars of 2019 have both, so you can compare what works best for you!
A 7-seater is an obvious option for the following two scenarios:
You have a large family: If you need to pack 4 kids, Grandpa, your significant other, and still have space for the dog (and the stacks of painkillers you're inevitably going through), then a 7-seater is for you. With unrivalled space, a 7-seater is the best you can get short of hiring a coach.
You're in a 90's cover band: What better way to roll up to play a gig than in your 7-seater? Rock and roll. In all seriousness, if you have a profession that requires carting around a lot of equipment (musician, photographer, personal trainer) then a 7 seater is a great option for space. Most have removable seats, so you can pack it chock-full of equipment.
What are the pros and cons of a 7-seater?
Yes, yes we get it. A 7-seater is useful because it has....7 seats. Shocker, thanks for the enlightening read.
Well actually, there’s quite a few other advantages and disadvantages you should think about:
Generous Boot Space: 7-seaters usually have huge boots. If you need even more space, you can put down all of the seats.
Great for towing: If you regularly tow a caravan, a 7-seater can be a good shout as they have very high towing capacities.
Environmentally friendly: Great for carting around a lot of people, saving on CO2 emissions! Although, don't expect a positive response when you mention to everyone at the office about chipping in for a shared 7-seater. “I hate you enough Toby - why would I want to commute with you?”
Expensive: If a car offers a 7-seater option, it's typically quite a bit more expensive than the 5-seater.
Thirsty: The fuel economy of a 7-seater is usually pretty grim. This is just basic physics, due to the heavier weight and size of the vehicle. That being said, there's some great hybrid options on the market that are making the poor MPG less of an issue!
A pain to park: Parking a 7-seater MPV is going to be quite a bit more challenging than parking your Hyundai i10. To be fair, it's commonplace for models to offer rear/front parking sensors and a reverse parking camera, which makes this a lot easier.
Best 7-Seaters of 2019
You’ve decided a 7-seater will serve you well. So, which one won’t make your soul want to leave your body as soon as you pop open those sliding doors?
Don’t get overwhelmed. To get you started, here’s our pick for the best 7-seater cars of 2019.