Smallest seven-seater cars

Have a large family and need lots of seats but don’t want an enormous car? We've tracked down the smallest seven-seaters around

Joe Holding
Feb 15, 2021

If you have a growing family and a number of children to accommodate, the chances are that you’re looking at seven-seater cars. They might not be the most exciting things in the world, but when the alternative is getting the kids from A to B in two separate trips - or having to take two cars on every family journey - they’re hard to fault.

Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs, also referred to as ‘people carriers’) used to be the most common type of seven-seater, with their popularity increasing from the middle of the 1980s as drivers looked for a more practical alternative to saloon cars and estates.

Nowadays though, SUVs have caught the attention of the car-buying public, with their boxier looks, high driving position and the promise of (usually fairly limited) off-road ability proving more appealing than the more sensible practicality-centric people carrier format.

A range of people carriers are still around today, just in lower numbers than they once were. And in fact they still attract a fair few drivers, with many finding them to be a better solution to the large family transportation. Either way, there are plenty of seven-seat cars that are practical but easy enough to drive.

If you find yourself in need of a seven-seater, you might want to shy away from some of the enormous models on offer today, perhaps because you want the smallest dimensions possible on the road, to make it easier to negotiate town centre driving or parking, or you can’t put up with the idea of the typically limited fuel economy of the largest vehicles.

With those factors in mind, we’ve come up with eight of the smallest seven-seater cars to get you on your way, all of which could be yours in just a few clicks on BuyaCar and delivered to your door.

1. Volkswagen Touran

Size 4,527mm long
Used deals from £11,000
Monthly finance from £210*

The Volkswagen Touran is just about the smallest reasonably new car you can get with seven seats, although its dimensions make it a bit of a squeeze at capacity. Legroom is decent in the middle row of seats, however the rearmost seats are really only suitable for children and teenagers. The boot measures a paltry 137 litres with all seven seats in place too, although these are the kinds of compromises you’ll have to put up with if you want a small seven-seater.

To the Touran’s credit, there are 37 storage spaces inside the car, and the high-quality interior feels like it’s built to survive family life. Running costs should be manageable too, with the petrol and diesel engines in the lineup offering good fuel economy. Of these, the 2.0-litre diesel manages up to 62.8mpg, meaning that your fuel bills should be low.

Four- and five-year-old diesel Tourans can be found on BuyaCar right now from around £14,000, with prices rising to around £24,000 and up for models that are less than a year old.

VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN BUYERS’ GUIDE

2. Land Rover Discovery Sport

Size 4,597mm long
Used deals from £17,998
Monthly finance from £261*

Looking a bit more upmarket, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is available as a seven-seater in all but entry-level trims. Land Rover describes the layout as a 5+2 arrangement - referring to its ability to carry five adults and two children - as the rear pair of seats are housed in the floor of the boot and are only really suitable for children.

On higher-spec versions of the Discovery Sport, any one or all of the middle three seats can be folded down to bump carrying capacity up to 1,698 litres, making it a useful vehicle for picking up large loads or carrying bulky items like washing machines and other large household goods.

Again it’s diesel versions that are best for fuel economy here, with the 2.0-litre eD4 version returning an impressive 49.6mpg - a reasonable figure for a reasonably tall and heavy vehicle like this. The fastest version is the 2.0-litre Si4 petrol with a substantial 290hp, which is capable of 0-62mph in a speedy 6.5 seconds.

Four-year-old mid-range SE Tech versions of the Discovery Sport can be found on BuyaCar for less than £18,000 with around 30,000-50,000 miles on the clock. 2019 cars, meanwhile, are available for less than £30,000.

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY SPORT BUYERS’ GUIDE

3. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer

Size 4,602mm long
Used deals from £13,999
Monthly finance from £204*

The Grand C4 Picasso changed its name in 2018, becoming the Grand C4 SpaceTourer despite very few changes being made to the vehicle - both offer seven seats in a reasonably short package. True to Citroen’s values, the Grand C4 SpaceTourer continued to set the benchmark for seven-seater comfort and practicality, while representing good value for money at the same time.

The ride is extremely smooth, with light steering making it a doddle to manoeuvre around tight corners. You won’t want to take turns too quickly though, as the body of the car does lean quite a bit. Three adults will fit across the middle row of seats easily, although the limited legroom in the rearmost seats means that once again are they are most suited for youngsters. With these seats folded down, you can take advantage of a substantial 632 litres of space in the boot.

There are a couple of petrol engines in the line-up that achieve in the region of 50mpg, which is strong for a petrol car of this size, while the diesels can push near 70mpg on paper. It’s worth remembering that while the least powerful engines are usually the most fuel efficient, you’ll need to work these harder to extract good acceleration - especially if the car is full of passengers and luggage.

So, if you expect to carry lots of weight and/or want decent acceleration with reasonable economy, we'd recommend avoiding the least powerful models and going for one of the larger engines, which can offer greater punch without you needing to push the engine very hard. The 2.0-litre diesel engines suit the Grand C4 SpaceTourer well.

CITROEN GRAND C4 SPACETOURER BUYERS’ GUIDE

4. Nissan X-Trail

Size 4,640mm long
Used deals from £11,329
Monthly finance from £179*

The Nissan X-Trail is a five-seater as standard, with the option of seven seats, something which costs £1,000 when new. The rearmost seats are particularly cramped compared with those offered by the Skoda Kodiaq below, which is only 6cm longer, although as with the Kodiaq you can slide the middle row backwards and forwards to try to share what legroom is available as best as you can.

The rear doors are designed to open as wide as possible to make it easier to clamber in and out of, too. There are Isofix points for safely mounting child seats, but only two, found on the middle row, so if you have lots of young children picking one of the other cars in our lineup would be a wise choice.

The X-Trail isn’t particularly fast nor rewarding to drive, but fuel economy is acceptable for a car of this size, even if it isn’t class leading. It’s an affordable runabout above all else, evidence of which can be found in the cheap-looking interior. If you’re after a premium experience, you’ll need to look elsewhere - the Discovery Sport and VW Tiguan Allspace both feel like much more upmarket machines.

Five-year-old X-Trails with 50,000-60,000 miles on the clock are available from around £11,000 on BuyaCar. An update in 2017 brought styling changes and a slightly fresher feel. Around £14,000 is a more realistic figure for one of these.

NISSAN X-TRAIL BUYERS’ GUIDE

5. Peugeot 5008

Size 4,641mm long
Used deals from £16,999
Monthly finance from £248*

If you don't have the budget for a Land Rover Discovery Sport, then the Peugeot 5008 is a great alternative. The French manufacturer pushed the 5008 further upmarket when the latest-generation model arrived in 2017, with a more radical approach to exterior and interior design and a range of efficient engines to help keep costs down.

When the rear seats aren’t in use, there’s a hefty 952 litres of luggage space to play with, making it perfect for family holidays. You can even lift the seats out altogether to ramp this figure up to 1,060 litres. There are three Isofix points in the middle row, which makes the 5008 more suitable for those with three young children than the X-Trail above, although your child seats will need to be narrow enough to fit three abreast.

The 1.2-litre PureTech petrol is quite popular thanks to its combination of impressive performance considering its small size and decent efficiency, with two-year-old cars costing around £20,000 on BuyaCar.

PEUGEOT 5008 BUYERS’ GUIDE

6. Skoda Kodiaq

Size 4,697mm long
Used deals from £15,280
Monthly finance from £234*

The Skoda Kodiaq is another SUV that features seven seats as an option rather than a standard feature - so if you're looking at used models and have to have seven seats, make sure the specific models you're considering have this option fitted. Pleasingly, the rearmost seats offer decent legroom for passengers, so it’ll be fit for doing far more than just the school run.

The Kodiaq is strong in a number of important areas: the ride comfort is good, practicality is excellent, and standard equipment is very generous considering the scope of the Skoda badge. A touchscreen media system, digital radio, smartphone connectivity and keyless entry are all included on the entry-level S trim. If you need rear parking sensors, heated seats and other such creature comforts, you’ll need to explore the rest of the range, though even these offer strong value.

The Kodiaq was launched in 2017 so there aren’t any five-year-old bargains yet. However it’s a very popular model with many used versions available and that means there are lots of good deals out there: £20,000 will give you the choice of petrols and diesels, manuals and automatics, and you can rely on the build quality as the Kodiaq is basically a VW underneath, being closely related to - but more practical than - the VW Tiguan Allspace below.

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS’ GUIDE

7. Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Size 4,701mm long
Used deals from £21,995
Monthly finance from £324*

The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace shares a lot of qualities with the Skoda Kodiaq, as both cars use the same platform (as Skoda is part of the VW Group). That means the driving characteristics are very similar, and there’s only a 4mm difference in length between the two vehicles.

There are two petrol and three diesel engines available in the Allspace: all of them are strong on pulling power and return respectable fuel economy. Four-wheel drive is available on some of the higher-specced cars too, although this is an extra expense that most drivers will happily be able to do without, since the Allspace doesn't claim to be particularly capable off-road.

Like the Kodiaq, standard equipment is very good on the Tiguan Allspace: the entry-level trim was called SE Navigation until it became Match in 2019, and it includes 18-inch alloy wheels, an electronic boot release, sat-nav, climate control and parking sensors front and rear. On BuyaCar, you’ll be able to pick one of these up for as little as £26,000.

VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN ALLSPACE BUYERS’ GUIDE

8. Seat Tarraco

Size 4,735mm long
Used deals from £17,495
Monthly finance from £247*

The Seat Tarraco is another seven-seater on this list that can trace its roots back to Volkswagen. The Seat prioritises style more than the Kodiaq and the Tiguan Allspace, although it’s not lacking in substance either, thanks to good equipment levels and a spacious interior.

As is the case with the Kodiaq, the rearmost seats in the Tarraco aren’t too cramped if you move the middle row forward a little to balance the amount of legroom available. Naturally, for a medium-size seven-seater you’ll have very little boot space at your disposal with the back seats in the upright position, but fold them down and there’s a large 700-litre space for luggage and the like.

Somehow the Seat stays true to its sporty brand objectives, with an enjoyable drive that few other cars this size can replicate. It’s no two-seater sports car, but there’s something about the sharpness of the steering and the stability in corners that can put a smile on your face. The fact that the whole family can tag along for the ride is an added bonus. There are a lot of Tarracos on BuyaCar around the £20,000-£25,000 mark, so you get a lot of car for your money, too.

SEAT TARRACO BUYERS’ GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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