Best used 7-seater cars

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

Jun 27, 2018

Buying a seven-seater might seem like a big step, but once you bite the bullet you’ll wonder how you managed to survive with such small cars before. A whole new world of outdoor adventures will open up to you - or maybe just knowing that you can run several children to parties at the same time is enough to coax you into ownership.

And then there’s space in the back. Some of these behemoths boast around 1,900 litres worth of load space with the seats down. To put some context into that, that’s around 600 litres larger than a Volkswagen Golf.

In the past, most seven-seat cars were people carriers like the Ford Galaxy. This model is still going strong and very good it is, too. In fact, it’s a proper seven-seater in that its rearmost seats will accommodate grown-ups, where most can only fit children. Incidentally, regardless of the vehicle, if you think that you’ll be carrying adults in the back, you should check the back seats are big enough and that people can squeeze past the middle row of seats into them.

As good as people carriers are, lately they’ve had increased competition from large SUVs such as the Kia Sorento. These fulfil all the requirements of an SUV – large and imposing with the promise of off-road adventures – but add seven-seat versatility. Some, such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport, have genuine off-road capabilities too.


Best used seven-seater cars


Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Our pick Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Exclusive (2014, 21,000 miles)
Typical price £11,750 Representative finance £200 per month

There are other seven-seat people carriers including the Renault Grand Scenic, but the Grand C4 Picasso 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.
Read the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso buying guide 

Ford Galaxy

Our pick Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium (2016, 30,000 miles)
Typical price £17,990 Representative finance £279 per month

Ford’s big people carrier is not as stylish as its sister car, the S-Max, but if its rearmost seats fit for grown-ups you’re looking for, it’s 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 Galaxy was facelifted in 2015 when it became 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.
Read the Ford Galaxy buying guide

Nissan X-Trail

Our pick Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dCi Tekna (2016, 12,000 miles)
Typical price £20,605 Representative finance £317 per month

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.
Read the Nissan X-Trail buying guide

Nissan Qashqai +2

Our pick Nissan Qashqai +2 1.6 Acenta (2013, 32,000 miles)
Typical price £9,995 Representative finance £163 per month

The Qashqai +2 is a relatively old car now. The current Qashqai that replaced it in 2014 is only available with five seats. If you want seven, you have to move up to the current X-Trail, launched the same year.
The old Qashqai +2 was a popular car, which is why there’s a good selection of used examples to choose from. People liked its close relationship with the Qashqai and the fact that for many, those rearmost seats were (and are) for occasional use only. If that describes your position, you’ll find the +2 a reliable, value-for-money route to seven-seat ownership.

Land Rover Discovery Sport 

Our pick Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 SE Tech (2015, 21,000 miles)
Typical price £24,990 Representative finance £378 per month

Apart for 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. Look for a model with a reversing camera because the rear window is quite small.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Our pick Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium (2014, 45,000 miles)
Typical price £14,969 Representative finance £224 per month

You can't talk about a Hyundai without first mentioning its generous five-year new car warranty. It means that Santa Fes going back as far as 2014 will still have a year’s cover left.
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.
Read the Hyundai Santa Fe buying guide

Kia Sorento

Our pick Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI KX2 (2015, 25,000 miles)
Typical price £20,995 Representative finance £329 per month

Kia and Hyundai are part of the same company, so the Sorento and Santa Fe are quite similar. That said, being a Kia, new Sorentos are sold with a seven-year warranty, meaning that even the oldest current-generation models launched in 2015 have three years’ cover remaining.
The Sorento is four-wheel drive as standard. Like the Santa Fe it’s a part-time system so makes little impact on fuel economy but is there when you need better grip. When you need to, you can lock the transmission in four-wheel drive mode, making the Sorento a very capable off-roader.
But it’s the car’s seven seats that are most relevant here. 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.  
Read the Kia Sorento buying guide

Volvo XC90

Our pick Volvo XC90 D5 Momentum AWD auto (2015, 20,000 miles)
Typical price £34,980 Representative finance £454 per month

The big XC90 is a genuine seven-seater with third-row seats easily capable of accepting a couple of grown-ups. That said, the vertically challenged may prefer the extra space available in the middle row. Legroom isn't quite sufficient in the rearmost seats. The view is good, though, as it is throughout the XC90 thanks to theatre-style seating. Headroom is good as well.
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.
Read the Volvo XC90 buying guide

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