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Best 7 Seater SUVs in 2019

Vehicles for larger families or the work carpool have matured far beyond the wood-paneled station wagon or even the boxy minivan. Today, vehicles that will seat seven people (of all ages) include sport utility vehicles that aren’t a nightmare to park; crossovers for those looking for something a bit more rugged; seriously deluxe SUVs; and yes, the traditional minivan, though you can add all-wheel drive or or hybrid capabilities.

Seven-seater SUVs may not have the same comfort as the largest SUVs able to seat eight or more — though some of these vehicles are on the larger side — but may be best for those families who occasionally drive the basketball team or host slumber parties. The third row space in these vehicles may also be a handy professional tool for real estate agents and others looking for the best SUV to port clients or furniture around town. The decision comes when you have to decide between bench seating and captain’s chairs; in some cases, seven-passenger-only seating configurations can be more expensive than eight.

Our picks received high ratings from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) experts and consumers on Edmunds. For consumer reviews, we’re also noting how many reviews have been posted at time of publication; scores are up to date at time of publishing. We also listed mileage figures for each vehicle.

Best 7-seater SUVs

  • 2019 Volkswagen Atlas
  • 2019 Toyota Highlander
  • 2019 Honda Pilot
  • 2019 Acura MDX
  • 2019 Audi Q7

Best 7-seater vehicles

  • 2019 Chrysler Pacifica
  • 2019 Honda Odyssey
  • 2019 Toyota Sienna

Best 7-seater SUVs

2019 Volkswagen Atlas

  • MSRP $30,895
  • 4.4 out of 5 by KBB experts; 5.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (1 review)
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 24 overall/20 city/26 highway MPG

This is the second year on the market for this mid-size, seven-seat crossover SUV that includes a suite of features, including rain-sensing wipers, an easily accessible backseat (yes, even for adults), and 17 cup holders… in case everyone is very, very thirsty. Owners have called this SUV’s room “epic,” one of the most spacious on the market with 98.6 feet of cargo space for lugging equipment or Grandma’s luggage. A dizzying array of trims include options for sunroof, adaptive cruise control, remote start and more. Though not a Top Safety Pick, IIHS gave the Atlas good ratings.

2019 Toyota Highlander

  • MSRP $31,330
  • 4.4 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.5 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (2 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • 22 overall/20 city/24 highway

The Highlander presents numerous safety features and storage options in this eight-seat, three-row crossover SUV. The Highlander comes in three trims, plus a Hybrid Limited option that comes in two trims (standard, and with “Platinum Package”). While the base Highlander model offers a full suite of safety features and plentiful storage for small items, some may want to upgrade to the SE ($40,440) V6 engine for extra power or Hybrid option ($36,970) which is assisted by an electric motor to provide up to 28 MPG in the city. For families, additional options include an rear-seat infotainment screen, easily accessible car seat installation points, and the “Driver Easy Speak” system so the third row can hear any nagging — er, reminding — you might need to perform. The base LE has standard seating for eight, seven on some trim levels.

2019 Honda Pilot

  • $31,450 MSRP
  • 4.7 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.4 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (34 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • 22 overall/19 city/27 highway MPG

An updated Pilot includes seating for up to eight — in fact, most Pilots are configured for eight thanks to a second-row bench. If you want a pair of captain’s chairs instead for a maximum of seven passengers, you’ll have to graduate to a higher trim level. The Pilot has a roomy cabin for all models, along with an upgraded nine-speed automatic transmission for Touring and Elite models. As of 2019, the Honda Safety sensing system comes standard, allowing drivers to more easily stay within the lane, preventing sideswipes, and an auto-braking system to prevent collisions. All-wheel drive is an optional upgrade for every model, and all models use a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine — while getting great gas mileage.

2019 Acura MDX

  • MSRP $44,300
  • 4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.7/5 by Edmunds consumers (6 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • 23 overall/20 city/27 highway MPG

This luxury crossover SUV comes in traditional gas-powered and hybrid forms. Buyers can select from a suite of upgrades and packages, including a hybrid engine ($3,500 more), all-wheel drive ($2,000) and tech or entertainment packages, with extras like blind-spot monitoring and ceiling-mounted remote control. All models offer three-zone climate control, keyless entry, and comprehensive safety features such as a child seat mounting system, lane assist, a collision-mitigation braking system and automatic cruise control. The MDX’s impressive gas mileage results from the vehicle’s powerful V6 engine is combined with smart tweaks such as a engine idle/stop function to reduce gas waste. Seven-passenger seating is standard, but if you prefer captain’s chairs to the bench, the MDX will only seat six.

2019 Audi Q7

  • MSRP $53,550
  • 4.7 out of 5 by KBB experts; consumer reviews unavailable on Edmunds
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 21 overall/19 city/25 highway MPG

This three-row, seven-seat luxe SUV presents a smooth ride and handling with a high-end, easy-clean leather interior. The highest trim editions reach into an MSRP of $68,700 (Prestige), which offers Adaptive Air Suspension to improve the ride. It’s not considered as roomy as some competitors, but the standard equipment accompanying the base trim does include features like all-wheel drive and safety features that help avoid collisions with cars and pedestrians. The Premium Plus (for around $3,500 more) offers Bose Surround Sound, and the new “Virtual Cockpit” feature, which ditches traditional gauges for a digital display of the auto-pilot’s needs, ranging from radio stations to Google Earth-enabled maps. Though the 2019 Q7 wasn’t a Top Safety Pick, it did receive good ratings from the IIHS.

Best 7-seater vehicles

2019 Chrysler Pacifica

  • MSRP $26,995
  • 4.5 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.5 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (4 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • 22 overall/18 city/28 highway MPG

If budget is a concern, the 2019 Chrysler may help assuage that worry with a lower price point than competitors; even the base model offers family-friendly features such as an infotainment screen, car seat anchor system, blind-spot detection and remote keyless entry. The standard seating configuration is for seven, with an optional second-row bench for eight — keep in mind, though, you won’t have the eight-passenger option if you splurge for the hybrid version, the only hybrid minivan ($39,995) on the market. Still, the hybrid Pacifica does get a stunning 82 MPG.

Other family bennies: Kids who might not squabble quite so often thanks to the Uconnect Theater’s optional individual 7-inch screens and kid-friendly apps. The top-end Limited ($44,445) offers second-row sunshades, a WiFi hotspot and an in-van vacuum, among other features.

2019 Honda Odyssey

  • MSRP $30,190
  • 4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; 3.9 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (31 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • 22 overall/19 city/28 highway MPG

Say the words “built-in vacuum” and many families are immediately sold on this classic workhorse and perennial best-selling minivan, which boasts an impressive 38.6 feet of cargo space. However, you’ll have to select the Touring or Elite versions for the vacuum, with the Elite starting at $47,070. Top trims also include the CabinWatch interior camera for keeping an eye on the backseat, and a “How Much Farther” app for antsy kids on the Rear Entertainment System. For around $4,000 more than base, the EX delivers Magic Slide seats (forward/backward and side to side), blind spot notification, heated front seats and keyless entry, among other benefits — in other words, you may find the base LX a bit lacking in comparison. Still, even this basic model offers a 280-horsepower V6 engine, so you’ll never be struggling for power.

2019 Toyota Sienna

  • MSRP $31,115
  • 4.4 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.3 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (3 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 22 overall/19 city/27 highway MPG

The only minivan to offer all-wheel drive, the Sienna is a solid, extremely roomy alternative to an all-wheel drive SUV. But to get AWD, you’ll have to go at least up to the LE ($33,935) trim (or the SE,  $37,265, if you’d like leather seating). But all models, including the base, come with the ability to fold down seating and create a cavernous spot with 39.1 cubic square feet of storage (among the most on the market), along with safety features such as child-safety locks, forward-collision warning and automatic braking. To top it off, the Sienna offers seating for eight and easy car seat attachments, along with other safety features. Though not an IIHS Top Safety Pick, the Sienna received good-to-acceptable ratings.

Ways to finance the best 7-seater vehicles

Before shopping for a SUV or minivan, first find the right auto loan to cover or defray the total cost. Potential lenders 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.

Dealers are often able to raise your annual percentage rate (APR) and make profit off your loan, not just your car. The best way to avoid this is to go into the dealership with a preapproved auto loan. If the dealer can beat it, great — you can feel confident knowing that you shopped around for a good rate. On LendingTree, you can fill out an online form and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, instead of filling out five different lender applications.

Methodology

To select vehicles on this list, vehicles must be a 2019 model, score at least a 4 from KBB experts, 3 from consumers on Edmunds (when available), and have a 5-star safety rating from NHTSA and/or be a top pick by the IIHS. The MSRP is for the base trim of each vehicle. All MSRPs listed in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

 

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