Best seven-seater automatic cars

Looking for something that’s easy to drive, with lots of seats and plenty of space? These automatic seven-seat cars could be for you

James Allen
Jun 29, 2021

Today’s crop of five-door hatchbacks and mid-size SUVs may be more spacious than ever, but what if you’re after something with more passenger space? Thankfully, there are a great selection of used cars available that come with seven seats - and potentially even more, depending on which model you go for.

Of course, the big draw of a seven-seater car is its seating capacity. Whereas most cars come with just one row of seats behind the driver - and four or five seats - seven-seaters come with three rows of seats, with the rearmost row usually consisting of a pair of smaller seats that fold out from underneath the boot floor.

This means they’re great for families with lots of children, or even those who need to transport lots of adults, if you go for one of the bigger models, plus, when the rearmost seats aren’t needed you can fold them down and benefit from a particularly big boot.

There’s more to like about a seven-seater car than the amount of people it can carry, too. That's because seven-seaters tend to be taller than conventional cars (especially if you go for a people carrier), so they tend to have lots of headroom, meaning they should still be practical for teenage kids even after they've had their inevitable growth spurt.

As they often have light controls and good visibility, even the largest seven-seaters can be relatively easy to drive - especially if you go for one with an automatic gearbox, as fitted to the cars in this list - which can make these simpler to drive around town and on the motorway.

Depending on the car or SUV you’re looking for, they can be available on the used market with an array of engine types. These range from conventional petrol and diesel options that are affordable and easy to live with, to hybrid options that promise better fuel economy and, in some cases, limited electric-only driving ranges in the case of plug-in hybrid versions.

A handful of fully electric seven-seaters have started to appear second-hand, too, though bear in mind they tend to be a lot more expensive than their petrol, diesel and hybrid counterparts. That's partly because these models are so new, so expect used prices to drop quickly as older versions become available.

Best automatic seven seaters

1. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer

Used deals from £21,360
Monthly finance from £353*

By and large, big and boxy seven-seater people carriers aren’t renowned for being stylish. There are exceptions to this rule, though, such as the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer you see here. With its sharp front end and distinctive rear lights, the Grand C4 SpaceTourer (as well as the Grand C4 Picasso, which was the car’s original name before being rebranded in 2018) is one of the more eye-catching MPVs you’ll find listed for sale on BuyaCar.

The Citroen is more than just a pretty face, too. Other than the two rear seats being on the tight side for larger adults, there’s lots of room inside for passengers, and the Citroen’s comfy ride means they won’t be jostled about much on lumpy roads.

All versions of the Grand C4 SpaceTourer and Grand C4 Picasso have respectable amounts of power by people carrier standards, so they shouldn’t be overwhelmed when fully laden. The diesel engines are the better choice when paired with an automatic gearbox, for those who plan on making longer trips with the family and all of their gear in tow, as they offer a greater blend of power and fuel economy.

CITROEN GRAND C4 SPACETOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Ford Galaxy

Used deals from £19,789
Monthly finance from £362*

If you need even more space than the Citroen above can provide, then the Ford Galaxy is a better bet. Because it’s a bit longer than the Citroen, this means the two rear seats are roomy enough for even adults to not feel hemmed in on longer journeys - which isn’t something you can say about many other seven-seater people carriers.

This is why the Galaxy has proven so popular with many private hire taxi companies - it's great for carrying a number of passengers in comfort, with the automatic gearbox option helping to make it simple to drive. It helps too that the large windows all around make the already spacious interior feel even more roomy and airy.

Many seven-seater people carriers don’t have that much luggage volume when all seven seats are in use, though, at 300 litres in size, the Ford Galaxy’s boot space is pretty decent by people carrier standards. While Ford did at one point sell petrol versions of the Galaxy, you’re far more likely to find used models with 150hp or 190hp diesel engines, which is no bad thing, as their blend of performance and fuel economy makes them the most well-rounded engines available for the Galaxy.

FORD GALAXY BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Skoda Kodiaq

Used deals from £23,740
Monthly finance from £393*

In recent years, traditional people carriers have fallen out of favour with car buyers, with the void left behind being filled by higher-riding seven-seater SUVs - some of which offer added off-road ability, many of which are completely road-focused. There are plenty to choose from as new and used buys now, and one that’s worth having on your radar is the seven-seater version of the Skoda Kodiaq - especially as it has a very slick automatic gearbox option.

Like many seven-seater cars, there isn’t a huge amount of room in the third row, though there’s enough space there to seat children and adults who aren't particularly tall in relative comfort. It helps too that the Skoda Kodiaq has a well-made and nicely equipped interior - especially if you decide to go for a model in one of the higher-spec trim levels.

While the Kodiaq isn’t the most efficient car of this type, the punchy petrol and diesel engines mean that the Kodiaq has a respectable turn of speed even when all seven seats are in use. Factor in the smooth-shifting automatic gearbox options, and the Skoda becomes a very easy and relaxing big SUV to drive.

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Audi Q7

Used deals from £32,999
Monthly finance from £497*

If you’re looking for something more upmarket than the more plush versions of the Skoda Kodiaq, the Audi Q7 is a good place to begin your search. Thanks to its well-made interior, its comfy ride and the vast amounts of space on offer, it makes a great choice if you’re after a well-rounded and versatile posh family SUV.

While the Q7 is available from new with petrol engines, you’re far more likely to find used examples on BuyaCar with one of the 3.0-litre diesel engines under the bonnet. Don't worry if you were ideally after a petrol model, as the diesel engines suit the car very well, with an impressively slick automatic gearbox as standard - even the least powerful versions offer good amounts of performance, and fuel economy is decent for a car of this size, too.

The Audi Q7 is very desirable, so prices for used versions are high. While this means you may not be able to get a used example at a bargain price, it also means that cash customers should get more money back when they come to sell, and those opting for PCP finance can benefit from lower monthly payments than they'd get with a car that loses value more quickly.

AUDI Q7 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Toyota Prius+

Used deals from £20,995
Monthly finance from £313*

Hybrid seven-seater cars are a rare thing. In many cases, this is because of the way the big battery pack has to be fitted into the car with a hybrid, which means there isn’t enough room left over for an extra row of seats. However, Toyota proved all the way back in 2012 with the Prius+ that a hybrid seven-seater people carrier was possible, and as with all conventional hybrids, this includes an automatic gearbox as standard.

Despite the battery packaging constraints, the Prius+ is a genuine seven-seater, too - there’s enough room in the third row for children and, while adults will be left wanting for room, the same can be said for many other non-hybrid seven-seater cars.

Because the Prius+ is based on the previous generation Toyota Prius, it doesn’t have all the creature comforts you’ll find on newer cars, though the solidly-built interior should be able to shrug off everything that family life can throw at it.

The big appeal of the Prius+ is its hybrid engine; by seven-seater standards, the 48mpg fuel economy figure Toyota claimed for the car when new is good for a car with a petrol engine. Because the battery is tiny, the car has an equally small electric driving range, though it can store enough charge for the Prius+ to cover very short distances around town and pull away from the lights using just the electric motor. This helps to improve the efficiency of the petrol engine.

TOYOTA PRIUS BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volvo XC90

Used deals from £29,970
Monthly finance from £457*

The Volvo XC90 has long been a very good choice if you’re after an upmarket seven-seater SUV, and the latest version has kept that trend going. A comfy ride and a luxurious interior help make it a great motorway cruiser, and all seven seats are big enough to fit adults (though room is admittedly a little tighter in the third row). Plus, as the current XC90 has been on sale for a few years now, there are plenty of used versions to choose from on BuyaCar.

Browse through the used car listings for the XC90, and you’ll find examples with an array of different engines, from fuel-efficient diesels to more performance-oriented petrols. There are also plug-in hybrid versions, which set the Volvo apart from many of its rivals - there aren’t many other large SUVs you can buy used with petrol-electric power. All of these come with an automatic gearbox as standard.

Used prices for plug-in models tend to be quite a bit higher than they are for conventionally-powered Volvo XC90s, though it could be worth considering one of these if your budget stretches far enough and you do lots of short journeys and are happy to charge the batteries between these. Make the most of the electric range of around 12 to 24 miles per charge and you can reduce your fuel bills and emissions, potentially enabling you to complete your commute, school run or shopping trips without using any petrol.

VOLVO XC90 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Lexus RX L

Used deals from £38,242
Monthly finance from £551*

Another seven-seater hybrid SUV worth keeping tabs on, is the Lexus RX L. As its name suggests, it’s a longer and more practical version of the five-seater Lexus RX - and, just like its smaller sibling, an overwhelming majority of the ones you’ll find listed for sale on BuyaCar will be petrol-electric hybrids, all of which come with an automatic gearbox.

As with the Toyota Prius+ mentioned above, the Lexus has a very small battery - meaning the electric-only driving range is minuscule. However, because the RX L’s petrol engine is supported by a pair of electric motors, its fuel consumption is reduced and the RX L doesn’t struggle getting up to speed when all seven seats are in use, with the smooth and quiet engine making it relaxing to drive regardless of whether it’s running on petrol or electric power.

Other than the limited head and leg room in the two rearmost seats, there are good amounts of space on offer in this Lexus, and the luxurious interior makes it an even nicer place in which to spend long journeys. Like many high-end cars, the Lexus RX L loses a lot of its original value by the time it’s a few years old and has some miles under its belt - so, while used versions are still pricey cars, it’s possible to pick up a used example for not too much money considering the RX L's size and spec.

LEXUS RX BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Hyundai i800

All of the cars on this run-down so far have been seven-seater models, but what if you need something more versatile than that? Handily, there are options out there, such as the eight-seater Hyundai i800 people carrier you see here.

As its bluff and boxy shape suggests, the Hyundai i800 has more in common under-the-skin with Hyundai vans than its cars, which means the i800 isn’t as refined or as nice to drive as more car-like people carriers. Likewise, the diesel engine is a bit gruff when worked hard, though its 170hp power output means there’s a respectable amount of oomph for a vehicle as large as the i800.

Those commercial vehicle roots mean the interior also isn’t the plushest you’ll find in a people carrier. The flipside, though, is that the Hyundai has a huge amount of space - even with all eight seats in use, there’s a massive 850 litres of luggage volume on offer, making it a great choice if you need to carry people and luggage at the same time.

*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.

 

Latest best cars & vans

  1. Best cars with high torque

  2. Best cars with adaptive cruise control

  3. Best cars with reclining back seats