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Best 7-Seater SUVs
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Seven-passenger SUVs have matured far beyond the wood-paneled station wagon or even the boxy minivan. Today, vehicles that seat seven people (of all ages) include sport utility vehicles that aren’t a nightmare to park; seriously deluxe, luxury crossovers; and ruggedly capable models that can handle towing and off-roading. Many have all-wheel drive or hybrid capabilities, too. Whether you need one for family or professional life, here are the best seven-seater SUVs with prices ranging from less than $30,000 to over $75,000.
|2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS||4.65||$76,000 MSRP|
|2021 BMW X7||4.54||$74,900 MSRP|
|2021 Kia Sorento||4.53||$29,390 MSRP|
|2021 Ford Expedition||4.51||$53,410 MSRP (XLT Trim)|
|2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid||4.48||$38,735 MSRP|
|2021 Audi Q7||4.39||$56,640 MSRP|
|2020 Hyundai Palisade||4.38||$31,975 MSRP|
|2021 Mazda CX-9||4.31||$34,160 MSRP|
|2021 Honda Pilot||4.28||$32,550 MSRP|
How we chose the best 7-seater SUVs
Based on expert and consumer reviews from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds, we scored SUVs able to seat seven or more passengers on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. We ranked them by score and chose the top models to present.
Best 7-seater SUVs
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS
Considered genuinely comfortable for seven adults, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS offers the executive feel you’d expect from the automaker’s most expensive SUV. Its 2020 redesign enables it to offer a plethora of new technology and even the base trim comes standard with all-wheel drive, dual 12.3” infotainment displays, surround sound, navigation, nine USB ports and advanced safety features, including automated parking. The top engine option provides 603 horsepower.
Perhaps its biggest con is the price. No vehicle in this class is priced economically, but lower-cost options include two other 7-passenger Mercedes-Benz models that scored high in our methodology: the E-Class Wagon ($67,600 MSRP) and the GLE ($64,660).
2021 BMW X7
Competing against Mercedes-Benz and expensive even for its class, the X7 is BMW’s largest SUV and one of its most luxurious. The 2021 model only has two trim levels: the xDrive40i and the M50i, both with three rows of seating. The biggest difference between the two is that the M50i has a V8 with 188 more horsepower. Both engines are mated with an all-wheel drive powertrain and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Poor fuel economy is also standard, however: The EPA reports that the base X7 earns 21/19/24 combined/city/highway MPG, which is on-par with pickup trucks. It takes a lot of fuel to transport its long list of luxurious features and high-end options, which include an automated parking system, a dual-screen rear entertainment system and a cold-weather package.
2021 Kia Sorento
For under $30,000, the Kia Sorento is all new for 2021 and already ranked as one of the best crossover SUVs. Its new chassis is longer, lighter and stronger, with standard features including a four-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, 8-inch touchscreen, automatic emergency braking, smartphone integration and all-wheel drive availability. It also has Kia’s standard warranty: 5-year, 60,000 miles “bumper-to-bumper” and 10-year, 100,000 miles on its powertrain.
Exciting options as you climb trims include a turbo 2.4-liter engine — but if you want more power, the Sorento’s big brother, the Telluride. This model comes standard with V6 and offers decent towing power, up to 5,000 lbs, and has only a slightly higher price, at $32,190 MSRP. If you want better gas mileage, the Sorento is also available as a hybrid and will be available as plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) in 2022.
2021 Ford Expedition
$53,410 MSRP XLT Trim
The Ford Expedition is so large that its size is both a pro and a con. It’s a classic, ruggedly capable SUV that can take up to eight people and the kitchen sink off-roading. The 2021 Expedition has a new base trim, the XL, that only offers seating for five passengers, so we’re skipping over it to the XLT trim, which is powered by the standard 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 (375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque). Five trim levels let buyers hone in on the features they want. Available options include active noise control, massaging/multi-contour front seats, parking assistance system, a panoramic sunroof and adaptive suspension. You can read more here on the top full-size SUVs.
2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Highlander model has been popular for 20 years and it’s easy to see why. It offers a comfortable ride and high fuel economy for its class, as well as being well priced. The 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid expands on that reputation. It seats seven to eight passengers, depending on your choice for the second row of seating — captain’s chairs or a bench seat. Its MPG is 36/36/35 combined/city/highway. All-wheel drive is available on all four trims and, new in 2021, standard features include a three-zone climate control, LED projector headlights and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite. Other trims get you some nice upgrades, such as power moonroof, hands-free tailgate, heated and ventilated front seats.
2021 Audi Q7
A luxury, seven-seater and one of the best SUVs for towing, the Audi Q7 can seat your passengers and tow up to 7,700 lbs. The third-row seat should be reserved for kids — it’s a bit too cramped for adults — but if you don’t need an adult-sized back row, the Q7 has some great features. It comes with all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission and offers two engine choices: a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder with 248 horsepower, or a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 with 335 horsepower. Of the three trim levels, the entry-level model gets you 19” wheels, leather seating and plenty of technology, including the Audi Side Assist blindspot monitoring. If your budget allows, higher trims garner some nice bonuses: the virtual cockpit, wireless charging, a top-view camera and ambient LED interior lighting.
2020 Hyundai Palisade
The Palisade has been called “a bargain luxury SUV.” All three rows are suitable for adults and all three trims are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 (291 horsepower) that partners with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Plus, unlike other models, the Palisade makes it easy to get into the third row — rather than having to either push and pull the second row into submission or wait and listen to the buzz of an electric seat moving out of the way, the Palisade has one-touch sliding 2nd-row seats.
The base trim comes well-equipped: smart cruise control with stop-and-go abilities, parking sensors, smartphone integration, five USB ports and advanced safety features that go beyond the now-normal automatic emergency braking to include a drowsy driver monitor and a rear passenger reminder. Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty also applies.
2021 Mazda CX-9
If you don’t mind giving up some rear room, the Mazda CX-9 offers a sporty driving experience and has an upscale interior that looks like it should cost $20,000 more. The CX-9’s backseat is best for kids, with its cargo room best for groceries. But this midsize car with upscale features can seat seven and is fun to drive. It comes standard with a 227-horsepower engine mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive and an array of driver aids: rain-sensing wipers, voice command, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop/go and more. Five trims give buyers plenty of options.
2021 Honda Pilot
Considered a well-rounded, family SUV, the Pilot seats up to eight passengers comfortably and offers a smooth ride, along with a standard V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission that comes with the added bonus of paddle shifters. The Honda Sensing safety suite is also standard equipment (lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams). It has surprisingly good MPG for a V6, a good list of features even on the least expensive trim and numerous storage compartments let you know the model was well designed. Of course, if you’re after more technology and luxury, you have seven trims to choose from. Strong resale values too is what helped it also make the list of best 3-row SUVs.
How to finance the best 7-seater SUVs
The best way to circumvent a dealership markup on your car and your car loan is to check your options online. Dealerships can inflate your auto loan APR, so before you hit the blacktop, get preapproved from a lender of your choice. A potential lender might be a traditional bank, credit union or an online lender. Apply to a few lenders, to compare offers and see which auto loan is best for you — if you can do so within a short period (generally 14 to 45 days), it will only minimally affect your credit score. On LendingTree, you can fill out an online form and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once.