Top 10: Best seven seaters
If you need a seven-seater, you're no longer confined to big unwieldy people carriers. Now you can have a bit of style and quality too. In fact, there are lots of good cars to choose from. So here's our pick of the best seven-seaters on the market.
Land Rover Discovery
Yes, we realise the latest Discovery is hardly cheap at £50k for a fairly standard model, but when it comes to having seven seats, very few cars can beat it. The plush Land Rover has loads of space throughout but the rear seats are excellent - even for those over six-feet plus all the rear seats fold down electrically. When it comes to comfort, quality and practicality, this is head and shoulders above the rest.
The Kodiaq neatly sums up the Skoda brand in a nutshell. It may not be the most exciting thing to look at, but it's great value for money, has loads of genuinely useful touches (what Skoda calls its Simply Clever features) and feels like a quality vehicle. Seven seat models start at around £27,000 and it comes well equipped as standard, although you might want to pay more for a diesel - the 1.5-litre TSI petrol feels a bit underpowered in a car this big.
The fact that there are as many seven seat SUVs as people carriers in this list, shows you just how much the market has changed in the last decade. But there's still demand for the MPV, especially now they are no longer big boxy things. As the S-MAX shows. It handles incredibly well for an MPV - and although not as good to drive as the original model - it has at least traded that sharpness for comfort, making this one of the smoothest cars, regardless of class, on the road.
Renault Grand Scenic
Renault has a strong claim to have invented the 'MPV' with the Espace (although Chrysler would suggest otherwise) but the big French people carrier is no longer sold in the UK. That's not to say that Renault has abandoned the MPV altogether - as the Grand Scenic proves. It feels a huge step up in quality from the previous Scenic and it comes with plenty of standard features including an iPad-like touchscreen on the dash and 20-inch alloy wheels.
It may not be the most exciting of cars on the market, but the Sorento has lots of appeal if you're buying with your head rather than your heart. And that's despite a surprisingly high starting price. Yes, this is a Kia, but the cheapest Sorento you'll get new costs more than £30,000. Ouch. The CRDi diesel is pretty noisy, but that aside, the Kia feels well engineered with a solid interior. It's proving reasonably cheap to run with around 35mpg according to Real MPG.
The Q7 features one of the best interiors of any car around, in our opinion. It feels like a genuine luxury car that is also fitted with some of the latest technology available, including things like the Audi virtual cockpit - basically a configurable hig res screen that replaces the conventional dials. It's incredibly comfortable and one of our favourite cars for covering long distances in. That's helped by the superb TDI engines that give you strong performance but with very little noise.
Citroen renamed its Picasso range in 2018 - with the Grand C4 SpaceTourer replacing the Grand C4 Picasso. Thankfully, it's still an excellent people carrier, with a versatile cabin and enough room in the second row for three adults (or three child seats). The rear-most seats are best suited to children, but drop them and the boot is nothing more than huge. It's a more relaxing drive than the Ford S-MAX and the engine line-up is strong.
Like the Discovery, the Volvo XC90 is one of those seven-seaters you buy if money is no object. It's more of a rival to the Range Rover, in fact, its interior is so impressive. Most buyers will opt for the excellent D5 diesel engine, which offers plenty of power and reasonable fuel economy. There's also a T8 plug-in hybrid available, combining a huge 640Nm of torque with 400PS.
While the old 5008 was an MPV, this latest generation is now an SUV - but one thing remains and that's the fact it has seven seats. It also has the same interior as a 3008, which we think is one of the best around, even if the small steering wheel does take a little getting used to. There's a good range of engines including Peugeot's economical HDi diesel but if you're not doing big miles, the impressive Puretech petrols are an excellent choice.
It may not be the newest or most stylish of MPVs on the market - which is small wonder given it was launched in 2010 - but the Alhambra has lots of appeal. That's thanks in no small part to the fact it has sliding doors. Always handy in tight car parks when you're trying to get kids out of the back. There is also the Volkswagen version in the form of the Sharan but the Alhambra is cheaper (both new and used). Like the Volkswagen it comes with plenty of useful features including five sets of Isofix points and the option of integrated child seats in the middle row.