There are quite a number of seven passenger vehicles out there, as well as a few eight passenger models, but what if your daily transportation needs aren't quite so lofty? Enter the six passenger vehicle, models that either come with six seats right from the factory, or which can be spec'd down from their seven passenger configuration in order to provide additional room inside the cabin. In some cases, you might be surprised by the available seating offered by a few unusual high capacity transporters.
It used to be fairly easy to find a six passenger vehicle, but some manufacturers are phasing out those options in order to maximize capacity and go after a larger segment of the market. In other words, some of our top contenders of years past may no longer be available as a six-seater in the current model year, but it might be worth seeking out one that's a year or two older. Let's take a look at the best six passenger vehicles that are currently out there waiting to haul your family and friends home.
1) 2015 Lincoln MKT
The 2015 Lincoln MKT is an unusual luxury crossover that seems to have finally found its stride. A nicer interior is highlighted by the availability of a pair of second row captain's chairs that give the Lincoln MKT the ability to haul six passengers, as well as 75.9 cubic feet of cargo with the rear accommodations out of the picture. A 300 horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 is now standard with the crossover (an increase in output over the previous version of the mill), while a 355 horsepower, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 is offered with the EcoBoost trim level. The base engine comes only as a front-wheel drive, while the EcoBoost model comes only with all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is included with all versions of the MKT.
2) 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Opting for either the Crew or Extended Cab body styles of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado means being able to keep its front bench seat while still adding another three passenger positions in the rear of the vehicle's cabin. Each of these versions of the Chevrolet Silverado also feature four doors to make it easier to get in and out of the passenger compartment. As with all full-size pickups, the Silverado is available in an astonishing range of trims and drivetrain varieties. A recent overhaul means base models are equipped with a 285-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 and mid-range versions of the truck get a 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8, both paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Still not enough? There's also a 6.2-liter, 420-horsepower V-8 with an eight-speed auto transmission. All 2015 Silverado 1500s can be configured in rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
3) 2015 Dodge Durango
Dodge boasts that the 2015 Durango offers up to 50 different seating configurations. Among them is an optional set of folding second-row captain's chairs, reducing the standard seven-passenger cabin down to six, but opening up the full -size crossover's flexibility. The Dodge Durango can be outfitted with either a 290-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that churns out all of 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. The larger engine helps make towing at the Durango's 7,400 pound limit that much more stable. Both are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and offer rear-wheel and all-wheel drive.
4) 2015 Mazda MAZDA5
The 2015 Mazda MAZDA5 is perhaps the sportiest of the six passenger vehicles to be included on this list. The mini-minivan that is the Mazda MAZDA5 is not only a reasonably roomy compact people mover, but it also sits on a chassis that has been tuned to offer responsive handling that is in keeping with its lightweight design. The MAZDA5's 157-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is complemented by decently sporty suspension and tuning, but unfortunately, the six-speed manual transmission option was discontinued in 2015, leaving only a five-speed auto.
5) 2015 Ford Flex
The 2015 Ford Flex is another large crossover vehicle that can be ordered in a six-passenger configuration by way of a pair of captain's chairs for the vehicle's second row. These more comfortable thrones also make it possible to purchase the Ford Flex with its available center console refrigerator, suitable for chilling snacks and beverages on long road trips. The Flex comes outfitted with plenty of other thoughtful features, providing a spacious and comfortable ride. Like the Lincoln MKT, with which it shares its platform, the Flex can be had with a naturally-aspirated V-6 (3.5 liters, 285 horsepower) as well as a twin-turbo six-cylinder EcoBoost mill (3.5 liters, 365 horsepower). Each is matched with a six-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive is either optional (base V-6) or standard (EcoBoost).
6) 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited
The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe is a pretty typical family-oriented crossover, in that it comes standard with seating for seven. In upscale Limited trim, though, second-row passengers get a pair of comfy captain's chairs. The Santa Fe Limited also gets all the well-thought-out features and options from the base model's Premium package. It's powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant that puts out 290 horsepower, with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on the Santa Fe Limited, but all-wheel drive is available.
7) 2015 Dodge Journey
The 2015 Dodge Journey is a mid-size crossover that comes with six-passenger seating right from the factory. The Dodge Journey is intended primarily as a family-oriented hauler with flexible seating and cargo space, but ordering the vehicle in its R/T trim stiffens up its suspension system, adds a number of slick exterior styling cues, and in general gives it a fighting chance at being at least a little bit fun to drive hard when exiting or entering the highway. The Journey's base 2.4-liter, four-cylinder motor puts out 173 horsepower, and is paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. The available 3.6-liter V-6 can be counted on to produce a more impressive 283 horses and 260- lb-ft of torque, and also brings with it a six-speed auto gearbox.
8) 2015 Ram 1500
Like the Silverado, the 2015 RAM 1500 is another full-size pickup truck that can be had with six-passenger seating. Keeping the front bench and expanding the cab via Crew or Quad Cab configurations provides roomy space for the utility-minded, along with plenty of storage capacity. The Ram 1500 comes with a 3.6-liter, 305-horsepower V-6 as its base engine, although buyers can upgrade to a turbo diesel V-6 or a V-8, all of which are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All three engines provide power that's more than adequate, and the diesel version provides great fuel economy. Four-wheel drive is optional all around.
9) 2015 Ford Explorer
The 2015 Ford Explorer is a reliable interpretation of this long-running SUV model, though it now features more in common with the crossover crowd. On all Explorers except the base trim, the second row bench can be traded out in favor of buckets, lowering the seating to six but providing more interior storage. The Explorer certainly doesn't skimp when it comes to drivetrain options, as it makes available a turbocharged four-cylinder, a standard V-6, and a twin-turbo V-6 to provide potential buyers with a full range of performance and efficiency choices. The EcoBoost four-cylinder delivers the best fuel mileage (28-mpg highway), while the twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 delivers the most power (365 horses). All-wheel drive can be had with each of these engines.
10) 2013 Chevrolet Impala
The 2013 Chevrolet Impala - which has recently been replaced with a totally new design - was, at the time, the only passenger car available on the U.S. market with six-passenger seating. An optional front bench seat made this possible with the 2013 Impala, so if you love the idea of a six-passenger sedan, it might be worth seeking out this model (and saving some cash buying used instead of new). The 2013 Impala is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that has been tuned to provide 300 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, and a six-speed automatic transmission sends that output to the vehicle's front wheels.