The best 8 passenger SUVs are those that let you leave the minivan behind at home while still carrying a full complement of family and cargo from point A to point B. Vans aren't for everyone, and if your daily driving needs call for regularly packing your vehicle to the rafters with people or gear, then it's hard to go wrong with an 8 passenger SUV. Keep in mind that these behemoths typically consume more fuel than the average van, but the tradeoff is styling you don't have to bury in the back of the parking lot, along with the availability of four-wheel or all-wheel drive for when the weather turns rough.
Let's take a quick look at 10 of the best 8 passenger SUVs currently on the market.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 01 - 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
That reference we made to fuel mileage in the introduction? You can forget about it with the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which is the only 8 passenger SUV on this list that actually turns in a sedan-like performance at the pump. The secret to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid's success is its battery-assisted drivetrain, which consists of a 3.5-liter V-6 that works together with a trio of electric motors in order to produce a total of 280 horsepower. Fuel economy for the redesigned eight-passenger Highlander Hybrid is listed at 28-mpg in combined driving, which is impressive for the vehicle's size, and all-wheel drive is also available with the model.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 02 - 2014 Nissan Armada
The 2014 Nissan Armada's imposing nameplate informs you right off the bat that it's not messing around when it comes to size. Indeed, the enormous Nissan Armada SUV delivers an unsurprisingly roomy cabin that takes its eight-passenger seating seriously (although the third row is better left to the younger crowd). You get 97 cubic feet of total cargo space with the second and third set of accommodations folded forward, while 317 horses and 385 lb-ft of torque are on tap from the Nissan Armada's standard 5.6-liter V-8. Four-wheel drive is optional with the SUV, but a tow rating of 9,1000 lbs is included free of charge.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 03 - 2014 Lincoln Navigator L
The 2014 Lincoln Navigator L is an often-overlooked member of the luxury SUV crowd, and while it might ride on an older platform this bruiser is one of the few body-on-frame trucks left that can provide premium accommodations for as many as eight passengers. The Lincoln Navigator L rides on an extended wheelbase, which means 128 cubic feet of total cargo space accessible by way of a trick power folding third row seat that stows flat into the floor at the touch of a button. Lincoln has also stuffed the SUV with wood, leather, and a decent array of high tech gear, and an air suspension can be also added for further smoothness out on the road. Under the hood, the Navigator L features a tried-and-true 5.4-liter V-8 that can be relied on to produce 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, and four-wheel drive is in the cards as an option.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 04 - 2014 Honda Pilot
The 2014 Honda Pilot is another people mover that hasn't been extensively updated in a number of years, but it doesn't seem to matter: his eight-passenger SUV gives families what they want, and as such it enjoys healthy sales numbers and a good reputation amongst owners. The Honda Pilot's square shape provides the kind of interior volume one doesn't often find in an SUV of its size, and the availability of all-wheel drive gives the Honda the kind of four-seasons capability that is de rigueur for the segment. Power is modest (250 horses) from the Pilot's 3.5-liter V-6, but 4,500 lbs of towing capacity are there for when the Honda's 87 cubic feet of internal storage space just aren't enough.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 05 - 2014 Chevrolet Suburban 2500
The 2014 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 takes towing to a whole new level thanks to its heavy-duty pickup-derived frame and its additional engine cooling capability. The Chevrolet Suburban 2500 can actually handle as many as nine passengers when ordered with three bench seats, and 9,600 lbs of towing capacity give it a leg-up on many of its rivals when it comes to hauling. A 6.0-liter V-8, which is standard with the HD Suburban, provides ample motivation in the form of 352 horsepower and 382 lb-ft of torque, and four-wheel drive with low-range gearing suitable for off-road excursions is also offered with the SUV.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 06 - 2014 Buick Enclave
The 2014 Buick Enclave takes the luxury SUV concept in a more sedan-like direction thanks to its unibody construction and the extreme levels of soundproofing provided to it by Buick's engineers. Quiet, comfortable, and compliant, the Buick Enclave is one of the few affordable eight passenger SUVs that feels premium despite its solid utility. 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque are produced by the Enclave's 3.6-liter V-6, and all-wheel drive can be added to the order sheet. The huge interior of the Buick SUV conceals 116.3 cubic feet of total cargo space.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 07 - 2014 Infiniti QX80
The 2014 Infiniti QX80 is the renamed version of the Infiniti QX 56, and despite the fresh moniker this full-size SUV brings with it the same luxurious and brawny eight-passenger outlook that it did the year before. Big on the outside, it's important to remember that the Infiniti QX80's third row of seating is quite tight, which means you will probably only be able to convince younger children to stay back there for any extended period of time. Still, the opulence of the Infiniti's cabin should prove enticing to most luxury buyers, and the vehicle's 400 horsepower, 5.6-liter V-6, available four-wheel drive, and optional active suspension system help the SUV feel lively from behind the wheel.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 08 - 2014 GMC Yukon XL
The 2014 GMC Yukon XL is a nine-passenger SUV that offers the same general package as the Suburban 2500, only on a lighter chassis that rides smoother and is better suited for daily driving. The towing power is still there - the Yukon XL can tug more than 8,000 lbs when properly equipped - but there's no sacrifice in terms of ride quality compared to the heavy-duty Chevrolet. Three rows of adult-friendly accommodations are complemented by the GMC's outstanding 137.4 cubic feet of total cargo space, and the Yukon XL's 5.3-liter V-8 can be counted on to generate 320 ponies and 335 lb-ft of torque.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 09 - 2014 Lexus LX 570
The 2014 Lexus LX 570 is an eight-passenger luxury SUV with a twist. Unlike most of its rivals, the Lexus LX 570 offers a third row of seating that folds down from the walls in the cargo compartment - compromising practicality somewhat, but offering additional people moving capability in a pinch. Better yet is the LX 570's extensive range of off-road-oriented features, including crawl control for maintaining forward momentum across challenging terrain and an unstoppable permanent four-wheel drive system shared with the outstanding Toyota Land Cruiser. The Lexus also offers 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque from its smooth 5.7-liter V-8 engine.
10 Best 8 Passenger SUVs - 10 - 2014 Toyota Sequoia
The 2014 Toyota Sequoia represents a Japanese take on the traditional full-size American SUV archetype. The eight-passenger Toyota Sequoia dumps 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft to the rear wheels (or all four wheels if optional four-wheel drive is selected), and it rides on the same platform as the well-received Toyota Tundra pickup truck. This ensures plenty of room inside the three row SUV for people as well as 121 cubic feet of cargo space. Like its U.S. rivals, the Sequoia's tow rating of 7,400 lbs ensures that you can bring a boat - or a camping trailer - along with you on vacation without having to worry about hills (just gas stations).