Need More Space? Check Out These 8 Passenger SUVs
Ever since the 8 passenger SUV segment began getting popular in the late 1990s, automobile companies have been clamoring to fill all the various demands that the car buying public could ever think of. One necessity at the forefront for many consumers is the amount of passengers that an SUV can carry. The vast majority of SUVs only offer a second row of seating and therefore max out at the five-passenger level, but any manufacturer worth their salt will have one large SUV that can fit seven or in some cases even eight passengers. What makes the eight-passenger sport utility vehicle segment so popular is that consumers now have a choice other than the dreaded minivan!
While the number of different eight-passenger SUV manufacturers is quite low, there is a nice variety of automobiles to choose from beginning with the most economical and affordable running the gamut to the high end 8 passenger luxury suv segment. Regardless of price, you can be sure about one thing: these full-sized SUVs are big, heavy, and for the most part not very fuel efficient. On the other hand if you have multiple passengers and need tons of cargo room, then an eight-passenger SUV could be right up your alley!
For comparison reasons the base model for each vehicle was selected. In many instances, the prices can have quite a huge gap between the base model and the top of the line trim level. Also there may be hybrid models that are more fuel efficient but those are much more expensive than the base model 8 passenger SUV.
01. 2011 Honda Pilot
The 2011 Honda Pilot has the lowest MSRP of any 8 passenger SUV starting at $28,320. You can expect the Pilot to be a great all-around performer just as you would with any other Honda vehicle - the ride is nice, there is a ton of usable space and all the ergonomics are where they should be. The Honda Pilot is the least powerful eight-passenger SUV of the group as the 3.5-liter V-6 engine only produces 250 horsepower and 253 lb-ft. of torque. This is sufficient, but when you consider the curb weight is 4,319 pounds then acceleration suffers a bit. Fuel economy seems to be off a bit as the Pilot only manages 16 miles per gallong in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Still very good compared to the other eight-passenger SUVs but a tick below the Chevrolet Traverse. If you are a fan of Honda vehicles, then the Pilot will no doubt feel familiar.
02. 2012 Chevrolet Traverse
If you keep up to date with the auto industry then you have no doubt heard something about the Chevrolet Traverse. It does everything well and seemingly has few downfalls. The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse has a very reasonable MSRP of any 8 passenger SUV at just $29,430. This vehicle also has the best fuel economy of the entire group ratings of 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The Traverse is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that puts out 281 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. of torque which is paired solely to six-speed automatic transmission. The Traverse is very comfortable on the inside and has plenty of room for eight passengers. The high-end model is theTraverse LTZ and it comes packed with tons of great features and options like 20-inch rims, leather interior, navigation and more.
03. 2012 GMC Acadia
The 2012 GMC Acadia shares the same platform as the aforementioned Chevrolet, but for the extra $3k the Acadia costs (MSRP $32,605) over the Traverse, you get a luxurious SUV with a nice comfortable ride. The 2012 GMC Acadia is powered by the same 3.6-liter V-6 engine found in the Traverse, but the Acadia puts out seven more horsepower and four more pound feet of torque. Fuel Economy is also the same at 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway matching the Traverse for top honors in the 8 passenger SUV segment. The top of the line Acadia Denali AWD model costs $45,880.
04. 2012 Nissan Armada
The 2012 Nissan Armada fits the full-sized SUV moniker to a tee. It is big, powerful and can haul a ton. The Armada is priced right smack in the middle of the 8 passenger SUV price spectrum with the MSRP set at $38,490. The Armada is a great pick for the weekend warrior who needs to tow a big load, but it can still tackled just about any job. Power is adequate with the 5.6-liter V-8 engine producing 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft. of torque. The problem with the Armada is the fuel economy is toward the lower end of the scale with the SUV only able to manage 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Make sure to opt for the rear view backup camera as parking this beast can be a chore.
05. 2012 Ford Expedition EL
Remember the Excursion SUV from Ford that was around 10 years ago? Well the Excursion died off in 2005, but Ford has replaced it with the Expedition EL which stands for extended length. The EL is almost 15 inches longer than the regular Expedition but with this increase in length comes an increase in seating. The 2012 Ford Expedition costs $39,830, and can comfortably seat eight passengers. The Expedition EL is full of safety features and the seats can be moved around or folded into the floor for extra storage space. The 2012 Ford Expedition EL is powered by a 5.4-liter V-8 engine that makes 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft. of torque. Although this does put the Expedition mid pack in regards to output, one cannot but wonder why the smaller 5.0-liter V-8 from the Mustang GT puts out over 100 more horsepower and 25 more lb-ft of torque? Fuel economy is average for this segment with the Expedition getting 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
06. 2012 Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet Suburban is most likely the 8 passenger SUV that you remember most from the past since this nameplate dates back to 1935, but the Suburban was the most popular full sized SUV and sold more than 100k copies per year throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. The 2012 Chevrolet Suburban has a base MSRP of $40,925, and this 8 passenger sport utility vehicle is powered by a 5.3-liter Vortec V-8 that produces 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft. of torque. Fuel economy figures are 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The Suburban has the most interior space and cargo room of all the full-size SUVs on the market today. The Suburban benefits from active fuel management and other technologies that help make this one great pick if you need an practical and affordable 8 passenger SUV.
07. 2012 Toyota Sequoia
When looking to purchase a full-size, 8 passenger SUV, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia should no doubt be on your list of prospective sport utility vehicles. The 2012 Toyota Sequoia is a great performer that combines nice road manners with the utility you need from an 8 passenger SUV. The interior is more than adequate as there is a ton of cargo room and storage space. The Toyota Sequoia is well suited for long road trips and is able to tow some big toys. It is also loaded with all the safety features you could want in a full-size vehicle as it offers Toyota’s Star safety system that includes vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist; the Sequoia also has eight air bags. The 2012 Toyota Sequoia is powered by a 4.6-liter V-8 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft. of torque. Fuel economy is average at 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. MSRP for the base model is $40,930.
08. 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
The Cadillac Escalade has had the luxury full-size SUV market cornered for awhile thanks to numerous celebrities including singers and movie stars, but the Escalade is a beloved 8 passenger SUV for many reasons. The Cadillac Escalade has become the measuring stick to which all other full-size luxury SUVs are stacked against. With a base price of $65,100, the 2012 Cadillac Escalade is at the higher end of the 8 passenger SUV price scale, but you get plenty of luxury amenities and features for your money. The Escalade ESV model is an extended version of the regular Escalade that adds 30 more feet of cubic interior space. Beside the extra room; you get an ultra luxurious interior with leather everywhere, a Bose sound system and wood trim all around. The 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV has a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that puts out 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft. of torque which is the most from any base model 8 passenger SUV. The Escalade nets 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, but there is a hybrid model that gets almost 40% better fuel economy.
09. 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiserhas grown from a tough, off-road vehicle to a confused full-sized, 8 passenger luxury SUV. The Land Cruiser of old was born and raised on the trail, while the current Land Cruiser sports the most technological and advanced off road systems. The confusing part comes from the fact that there probably are not many people who would dare take a Toyota with a $68,920 price tag off road although it is more than capable of handling any terrain. The 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser has a variety of four-wheel drive technologies including low range gearing, hill ascent and hill descent control. The Land Cruiser also has Toyota’s KDSS whcih is a suspension system that controls body roll on the highway and wheel travel while off road. The 2012 Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft. of torque. Fuel economy is 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. If you are looking for an off road hero, then the Land Cruiser should be considered.
10. 2011 Lexus LX 570
The 2011 Lexus LX 570 is based on the aforementioned Toyota Land Cruiser, but where the Land Cruiser excels in the off road department, the Lexus LX 570 takes the cake where luxury is concerned. The base MSRP on the 2011 Lexus LX 570 is $79,455 making if by far the most expensive 8 passenger SUV, but this high price also brings an SUV bathed in opulence and excess. The LX 570 comes standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, power sliding second- and third-row seats, satellite radio and navigation, parking assist, a Mark Levinson sound system and more. In the safety department, the LX 570 has all the best that Lexus has to offer including stability control, front/side/curtain airbags, a pre-collision system and adaptive cruise control. The interior features the best leather that Lexus has to offer as well as wood trim appointments. The LX 570 is powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that makes 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft. of torque. The many features, options, and amenities make the Lexus one heavy vehicle, and fuel economy suffers a bit and thus the LX 570 has the lowest of any 8 passenger sport utility vehicle at 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. Then again, you do not buy the 2011 Lexus LX 570 to save money on gas, but rather you buy it to transport eight passengers in high style.