Best used 7-seater cars

Room for seven plus their luggage, the best used 7-seater cars can do it all

James Wilson
Oct 19, 2020

In need of a car that has enough space for you and your growing family? There comes a time when a five-seater hatchback just doesn't offer enough space, as children grow into teenagers that need more space for their ever extending limbs. It seems inevitable that all of us will eventually require more flexibility, and more seats.

Whether it's necessity or desirability driving your decision to buy a car with seven-seats, there are bargains to be had on the second-hand market. The best seven-seaters look great, offer bags of practicality and sometimes even provide a rewarding driving experience.

Their raison d'être of course, is that third row of seats. Normally these will fold flat into the floor to open up huge amounts of boot space - some of the models listed below boast around 1,900 litres of luggage capacity. To put that into context, that’s around 600 litres larger than a Volkswagen Golf, or enough space for all five of the remaining passengers to pack comfortably for a week away.

Luxuries such as parking sensors and reversing cameras which help deal with the larger proportions of a seven-seater are commonplace while Bluetooth, sat-nav and Apple CarPlay help the miles pass when you are packed to the rafters with noisy whippersnappers. Previously, if you wanted seven seats you would have had to have opted for an MPV - people carrier to you and me - but the majority of buyers have shifted to more appealing SUVs lately.

Best used seven-seater cars

1. Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer

Used deals from £11,890
Monthly finance from £183

Citroen renamed its C4 people carriers in 2018, replacing ‘Picasso’ with ‘SpaceTourer’. There were no major engineering changes during the nomenclature update, so if you are considering a Picasso, there is reason to consider a SpaceTourer and vice versa.

There are other seven-seat people carriers including the Renault Grand Scenic, but the Grand C4 SpaceTourer gets the breed spot on with its mix of funky, family-friendly styling and practicality, with a comfy ride and economical diesel engines. The rear seats are cramped for adults but children will be happy enough. Fold them away and you’ve 600 litres of luggage space too.

CITROEN GRAND C4 SPACETOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Skoda Kodiaq

Used deals from £16,997
Monthly finance from £257

The Skoda Kodiaq picks up where the popular Yeti left off, only with even more practicality and the option of seven seats.

The Kodiaq range consists of petrol and diesel engines (which, depending on spec can come with a manual or automatic gearbox) along with two and four-wheel drive variants. Its rear seats are best suited for children and young teenagers, but like a few others on this list, the middle seats can slide forward to make shorter journeys for adults in the back bearable.

With all the seats up you will have 270 litres of luggage capacity possibly calling for an investment in a roof box. Fold the rearmost seats down and you can enjoy 560 to 765 litres depending on where the sliding seats rest.

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Ford Galaxy

Used deals from £12,500
Monthly finance from £194

Ford’s big people carrier is not as stylish as its sister car, the S-Max, but if your rearmost seats need to be fit for grown-ups, the Galaxy is the one to buy. A neat party trick is the way these back seats fold electrically at the press of a button. With the seats up, the boot is a useful 300 litres but just folding the rearmost seats creates 1,301 litres of load space.

The Ford Galaxy was facelifted in 2015 making it more refined with a comfier ride. It also gained a well-equipped media system and, importantly for a family car, extra safety kit including an intelligent speed limiter that can spot speed signs and automatically adjust your speed.

FORD GALAXY BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volvo XC90

Used deals from £25,780
Monthly finance from £386

The big Volvo XC90 is a genuine seven-seater with third-row seats easily capable of accepting a couple of grown-ups. That said, those less vertically challenged may prefer the extra space available in the middle row.

Also, legroom isn't quite sufficient in the rearmost seats to class them as out and out comfy. The view is good, though, as it is throughout the XC90 thanks to theatre-style seating.

A common criticism of seven-seaters is a lack of boot space when the rearmost seats are being used. Happily, in the XC90’s case, there’s still 451 litres of space in which to load cases. Travelling two up? Fold the five seats down and there’s 1,951 litres of load space.

VOLVO XC90 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Kia Sorento

Used deals from £18,098
Monthly finance from £280

The new Kia Sorento is sold with a seven-year warranty, meaning that even the oldest current-generation models launched in 2015 have two years’ cover remaining.

Unlike those in many rivals, the rearmost seats can actually accommodate grown-ups. The only problem is getting into them. It’s a bit of squeeze because the middle-row seats don't tip and fold far enough, and the door apertures are quite narrow.

Considering its size (the boot stretches from 660 to 1,732 litres) and its interior quality however, the Sorento represents an excellent value for money option if you're looking for the best seven-seater at a low price.

KIA SORENTO BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Land Rover Discovery Sport

Used deals from £16,995
Monthly finance from £257

Apart from the base model, which has five, seven seats are standard across the Discovery Sport range. It’s a genuinely versatile car: an upmarket SUV, mud-plugging off-roader and people carrier in one.

It’s also very comfortable on-road with good body control in corners, so no one should get travel sick. It’s not perfect, though. Those rear seats are only big enough for small children. Also, look for a model with a reversing camera because the rear window is quite small.

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY SPORT BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Hyundai Santa Fe

Used deals from £14,500
Monthly finance from £240

You can't talk about a Hyundai without first mentioning its generous five-year new car warranty. It means that used Santa Fe models are still likely to have some degree of cover left. The model we are recommending here was recently replaced with a new one, which, if anything, should help you scoop up a bargain.

That’s just one of the model’s attractions. Another is its seven-seat versatility, although in common with many others of its type, those rearmost seats are fit only for small children. They’re difficult to access, too.

If it’s to be pressed into service as a caravan tow car it’s good to know it can tow up to 2500kg. Look for a model with the optional Trailer Stability Assist fitted for extra-safe towing. All models are four-wheel drive but it’s a part-time system so there’s no real economy penalty, but there is reassuringly better grip when you need it.

HYUNDAI SANTA FE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

Used deals from £11,995
Monthly finance from £168

The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer seems to fit well with the type of people who have retired. It’s upmarket enough to fit in at the bowls club but practical enough to cram the latest additions to your family in from time to time.

The rearmost seats are best suited to younger children, but by fiddling with the middle row’s positioning you can create enough space for the average adult to fit in the back (albeit for shorter journeys). At its maximum there is 1,820 litres of boot space to play with and with all the seats in the upright position you will still have a decent 560 litres to play with.

BMW 2 SERIES GRAN TOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Ssangyong Rexton

Used deals Limited stock

Ssangyong isn’t a very well known brand here in the UK but it leads the market (along with Kia) when it comes to car warranties. The Rexton is another on this list covered by a seven-year warranty, but it unfortunately is much less exciting to drive overall than the Sorento its up against.

Previously it made fairly oddball cars with styling best described as ‘individual’. Today, however, they offer some genuinely appealing cars packed with kit for affordable prices and they all come with a seven-year/150,000-mile warranty.

As this level of cover was only introduced across the range recently, used car offerings are slim, but if you can find a second hand Rexton you should be getting a big slice of warranty, seven seats, tons of space and excellent levels of kit.

10. Nissan X-Trail

Used deals from £10,798
Monthly finance from £171

If you like the current Qashqai, and many people do, but need a little extra space with seven-seat versatility, the X-Trail is worth a look. The problem is, those seats were a £1,000 option new, so not every used X-Trail has them. They’re really only suitable for small children, too. At least the middle row of seats slides back and forth, so there is the possibility to increase legroom.

Nissan claims there are 18 different seating configurations, so the X-Trail is very versatile. The seats are tiered like a theatre, too, so everyone enjoys a good view. With the rearmost seats folded the boot is a generous 565 litres but fold the middle row away and there’s a massive 1,996 litres of luggage room.

NISSASN X-TRAIL BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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