When you need to haul at least seven people from point A to point B, you're going to have to step out of the world of passenger sedans and choose either a minivan or an SUV. The best seven seater SUVs are vehicles that can not only transport people but also an impressive amount of cargo, all the while providing a commanding view of the road ahead as well as the added security of available all-wheel or four-wheel drive. Given their amazing practicality, it's no surprise that seven seater sport utility vehicles represent one of the most popular segments of the current automotive market.
Let's take a quick look at 10 of the best seven seater SUVs.
The 2013 Lincoln MKT has been given a facelift in order to improve its standing with luxury-seeking seven passenger SUV shoppers. A revised interior also sees the Lincoln MKT offering a higher level of comfort and class, in addition to technology such as the second-generation MyLincoln Touch vehicle interface as well as a number of new safety features (including inflatable seatbelts). Total cargo space inside the MKT is a respectable 75.9 cubic feet. Under the hood, the MKT's base 3.7-liter V-6 generates 300 horsepower, while the EcoBoost model's twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 is good for 355 ponies. All-wheel drive is optional with the entry-level V-6 and standard with the turbo unit, and a six-speed automatic transmission handles the gear shifting duties for either edition of the SUV.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 02 - 2012 Buick Enclave
The 2012 Buick Enclave goes one better than seven, offering passenger room for up to eight as well as an enormous 116 cubic feet of total space for stowing luggage with the second and third rows out of the picture. The Buick Enclave's premium confines are generous in all seating positions, and it also provides excellent get-up-and-go thanks to its standard 288 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6. This mill, which can be had with or without all-wheel drive, is managed by a six-speed automatic transmission. The Enclave is also a capable tow vehicle, able to lug up to 4,500 lbs of trailer weight.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 03 - 2012 Subaru Tribeca
The 2012 Subaru Tribeca is a seven seater SUV that comes with the Japanese brand's famed symmetrical all-wheel drive system as standard equipment - rear biased to send slightly more than half of engine torque to the back axle for improved driving dynamics. The largest vehicle in Subaru's lineup, the Subaru Tribeca also packs in 74.4 cubic feet of cargo space, making it an effective tool for hauling around anything from skis to hockey gear. The Tribeca's power plant is a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder that produces a healthy 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission comes with each and every edition of the Subaru SUV.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 04 - 2012 Acura MDX
The 2012 Acura MDX is unique on this list thanks to its standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive System (SH-AWD). SH-AWD is capable of not only adding traction while traversing wet or snow-slicked roads, but it can also improve handling by shifting engine output from one side of the car to the other while cornering for maximum grip. The Acura MDX's luxurious and high tech features are complimented by a 300 horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine that is also good for 270 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is the SUV's exclusive transmission choice, and total cargo space checks in at 83.5 cubic feet.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 05 - 2012 Ford Expedition
The 2012 Ford Expedition is another seven seater SUV that can stretch all the way up to eight passengers should the need arise, thanks to the availability of bench or bucket accommodations in the second and third rows. The enormous Ford Expedition can also swallow up to 108 cubic feet of gear with those same rows out of the picture, and tow a staggering 9,200 lbs when properly equipped. All Expeditions are motivated by the same 5.4-liter V-8 engine that puts out 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission, and for those who want to enjoy a little off-roading the SUV is available with low-range four-wheel drive.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 06 - 2012 Honda Pilot
The 2012 Honda Pilot is a big, boxy eight passenger SUV that can also transport a significant amount of luggage if desired. Folding down the Honda Pilot's seats (behind the driver and front passenger) reveals 87 cubic feet of storage, and the near right-angle design of the vehicle makes it a cinch to load it up to the brim. The Honda Pilot is sold in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models, and both are hitched to the same 3.5-liter, 250 horsepower V-6 engine that can also churn out 253 lb-ft of torque. Like most Honda products, the Pilot comes with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 07 - 2013 Infiniti JX
The 2013 Infiniti JX is all-new for the current model year, and it represents a new thrust from the luxury brand that is aimed at attracting style-conscious family shoppers who need a full-size SUV but who don't want to take it off-road. The Infiniti JX can be loaded up with an overwhelming number of options packages, most of which improve on the amount of technology installed in the vehicle or enhance its safety. The JX is built around a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that develops 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque, and it makes use of a continuously-variable automatic transmission that is yoked to the front or all four wheels (if all-wheel drive is selected.) 76.5 cubic feet of cargo space complete the practicality package for the premium SUV.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 08 - 2012 Mazda CX-9
Like the Acura MDX, the 2012 Mazda CX-9 is one of the rare seven seater SUVs on this list that also offers a modicum of sporty driving to go with its solid utility. The Mazda CX-9's suspension and chassis tuning springs forth from the same philosophy that guides vehicles like the Mazda Miata, which means that this is one SUV that doesn't give up the ghost in the corners. The CX-9 also comes with 101 cubic feet of total cargo space, which challenges body-on-frame sport utility vehicles like the Expedition. The Mazda is outfitted with a 273 horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 that also produces 270 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 09 - 2012 Nissan Armada
The 2012 Nissan Armada is one seven seater-plus-one SUV that lives up to its name. The Nissan Armada is an enormous behemoth of a vehicle, with slab sides and macho hard angles helping to define its road presence. Generous exterior proportions translate into a great big interior that can accommodate 97 cubic feet of cargo if required. Low-range four-wheel drive and a rugged suspension system make the Armada a decent off-road option, and power is provided by way of a 5.6-liter V-8 that throws down 317 horses and 385 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission comes free of charge with the Nissan, which can also tow up to 9,100 lbs.
Best 7 Seater SUVs - 10 - 2012 Chevrolet Suburban
The 2012 Chevrolet Suburban is a mainstay of the seven seater or more SUV segment. With the ability to handle as many as nine passengers, the Chevrolet Suburban might seem more like a bus than a sport utility vehicle when viewed from the inside. This impression is further backed up by its 137 cubic feet of storage space. The Suburban comes with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine that develops 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque, the option of four-wheel drive, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Towing is in the same range as both the Expedition and the Armada.