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.
Let's take a look at the best six passenger vehicles that are currently out there waiting to haul your family and friends home.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 01 - 2013 Lincoln MKT
The 2013 Lincoln MKT is an unusual luxury crossover that seems to have finally found its stride with this model year's refresh. 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. All-wheel drive is standard with the latter and optional with the former, and a six-speed automatic transmission is included with all versions of the MKT.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 02 - 2013 Chevrolet Impala
The 2013 Chevrolet Impala - which is on the cusp of being replaced by an all-new model - is the only passenger car available on the U.S. market with six-passenger seating. An optional front bench seat makes this possible with the Chevrolet Impala, and the 2014 edition won't be offered with the same feature, which means you'll have to act fast to park a six-passenger sedan in your driveway. The Impala comes with 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.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 03 - 2013 Chevrolet Silverado
Opting for either the Crew or Extended Cab body styles of the 2013 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, with base models featuring a 195 horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 and top-tier editions of the truck coming with a 403 horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8. Transmission choices for the Chevrolet include four and six-speed automatics, and four-wheel drive can of course be ordered as an option.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 04 - 2013 Mazda MAZDA5
The 2013 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. Even more interesting is the fact that the MAZDA5's 157 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine can be matched with a six-speed manual transmission for the ultimate in driver engagement (a five-speed automatic is also offered with the van).
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 05 - 2013 Dodge Durango
The 2013 Dodge Durango is a full-size crossover that can be had in both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations. Ordering it with its available second row captain's chairs transforms it into a very spacious six passenger vehicle, and also makes it a bit easier to get to the third row of accommodations. 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.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 06 - 2013 Ford Flex
The 2013 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. Like the Lincoln MKT with which it shares its platform, the Flex can be had with a naturally-aspirated V6 (3.5-liters, 285 horsepower) as well as a twin-turbo six-cylinder EcoBoost mill (3.5-liters, 355 horsepower). Each is matched with a six-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive is either optional (base V-6) or standard (EcoBoost).
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 07 - 2013 Dodge Journey
The 2013 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, 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, while its available 3.6-liter V-6 can be counted on to produce a more impressive 283 horses and 260- lb-ft of torque. Transmissions offered with the Journey include four and six-speed automatics.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 08 - 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class might not be the most recent model on this list of six passenger vehicles, but chances are that you can still pick up a new example of this slow-selling, discontinued luxury van on American Mercedes-Benz dealer lots. The Mercedes-Benz R-Class was misunderstood during its brief time in the U.S., despite providing significant comfort, due to an asking price that was higher than what many families were prepared to pay. The R-Class is available with either a gas-powered or turbodiesel 3.5-liter V-6, rated at 302 horsepower and 210 horsepower, respectively. The diesel unit also kicks in 400 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard with the R-Class, along with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 09 - 2013 Ram 1500
Like the Silverado, the 2013 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. The Ram 1500 comes with a 3.6-liter, 305 horsepower V-6 as its base engine, and a pair of V-8 motors can also be found on the options sheet. Of the two, its 5.7-liter Hemi is the most robust, offering 395 horsepower and 407 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission helps with the V-6's fuel efficiency, while both eight-cylinder units are paired with a six-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive is optional all around.
Best Six Passenger Vehicles - 10 - 2013 Ford Explorer
The 2013 Ford Explorer is an all-new interpretation of an old SUV standby. Now featuring more in common with the crossover crowd, the Ford Explorer's optional second row captain's chairs take it down a notch from seven to six passenger capacity. 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.