2016 Acura MDX Interior Seating ・ Photo by Acura
If you’re shopping for a rugged people mover with power and capability to spare, the best seven-passenger SUVs are ready and waiting on the following list. These big SUVs are second only to minivans when it comes to handling three rows of passengers, and SUVs are the top in terms of aggressive style and off-road performance. The latest entries can be impressively well equipped with high-end content. That means offering lavish cabins with the same sort of luxury features as some premium sedans, such as rich leather surfaces, heated and ventilated seats, mobile Wi-Fi, and sophisticated audio systems. Also included are some of the industry’s most popular driver-assistance measures, including one choice with a cutting-edge reverse automatic-braking system.
All-new this model year, the 2018 Ford Expedition is a great choice if you’re shopping for one of the Best Seven-Passenger SUVs, with one of the main reasons being it offers comfortable accommodations in all three rows. For example, depending on how the rows are adjusted, drivers can benefit from 43.9 inches of legroom in the front, up to 42.6 in the middle, and a surprising maximum of 40.9 inches for the third row. The front row is especially luxurious, since the driver and front passenger can relax in heated and ventilated seats that also deliver a soothing massage. Ford didn’t forget about the rest of the seats, however, the second row is available with heat and the third row comes standard with a power recline function.
Photo by Ron Sessions
The third-row layout is a bit tighter in the 2018 Nissan Armada, yet there are clear reasons for considering it one of the Best Seven-Passenger SUVs. Consider the Armada’s available safety technologies. Not only does Nissan supply all the typical driver-assistance measures you expect in the segment, it also introduces two innovations. To help owners when backing up, the Armada can be ordered with reverse automatic braking, and it also offers an advanced camera system for its rearview mirror. By relying on a camera mounted outside of the vehicle, the view shown in that mirror isn’t blocked by roof pillars, seats, or people’s heads. The Armada serves up its share of passenger comforts as well, matching rivals with heated and ventilated front seats plus heated second-row seats.
Photo by Nissan
If you’re looking for a smaller choice that makes the grade, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner is one of the best from the midsize segment. In fact, it’s worth pointing out that the 4Runner has more third-row legroom, 29.3 inches, than a few of the industry’s full-size entries. Also important to note is that a two-row cabin is standard for the 4Runner. Among the options are the usual heated and ventilated leather seats for the front row, and to further attract customers, the 4Runner checks in with the trail-friendly TRD models. They can be configured with hardware like full-time four-wheel drive, a lockable Torsen center differential, crawl control, and a multi-mode drive system with specific off-road settings. Needless to say, these models get style updates to match.
Photo by Toyota
For those looking to really spread out in a seven-passenger SUV, we recommend the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban. The Bowtie brand’s largest three-row SUV is so roomy that it can actually hold up to nine people. Even with a full load of passengers, the Suburban provides room for almost 40 cubic feet of gear. The Suburban also has a high-tech advantage for connected passengers. It features a standard mobile Wi-Fi hotspot that can support mobile devices for all seven occupants at the same time. While it can accommodate all passengers in theory, we prefer that the driver part of that equation keep her or his attention on the road. Other highlights for the Suburban include automatic emergency braking, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, and 8,300 pounds of pulling power.
Photo by Chevrolet
We also showcase the 2018 Lexus LX in our gallery of the Best Seven-Passenger SUVs. Equally at enjoyable and capable whether you’re enjoying a day off road or a night on the town, the LX 570 brings a proven reputation for luxury. For instance, while many SUVs have available heated and ventilated front leather seats, the LX 570 offers the same appointments for the second row, with an optional cooling box for snacks and drinks for everyone. For taking everyone to the trailhead, Lexus can provide serious 4X4 capability with a Torsen limited-slip locking differential and a multi-mode drive system tailored for off-road use. Settings include Rock, Rock and Dirt, Loose Rock, Mogul, and Mud and Sand. The vehicle’s extensive range of standard safety technology is another bonus.
We already chose Chevy’s extended-wheelbase entry for our list of the Best Seven-Passenger SUVs, and now we’ll nominate the regular-wheelbase model from the brand’s upscale corporate cousin, GMC. The 2018 GMC Yukon combines the same dimensions for passengers with a little less cargo space and a lot more Professional Grade style. Passengers also can count on the same standard Wi-Fi technology for three rows of connectivity. The Yukon Denali, though, ups the ante with premium details like Mastique Ash wood trim, seats upholstered in perforated leather, a heated and ventilated front row, and heat for the second. The 2018 Denali also gains new content, such as a 10-speed automatic transmission, a redesigned chrome grille, and an Ultimate Open Road package with 22-inch wheels and more.
Photo by General Motors
Like a lot of the Best Seven-Passenger SUVs from the premium brands on our list, the 2018 Infiniti QX80 shines with a well-appointed cabin. Indeed, it coddles those passengers with heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and semi-aniline leather surfaces. As for comfort exclusives, the QX80’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control technology can ensure smooth sailing even in sharp corners. Need to keep rear-seat passengers happy on long trips? Mobile Wi-Fi is an option, and so is an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with larger, higher-resolution widescreen displays. There’s no shortage of power either. The QX80 can tow an 8,500-pound trailer with its standard 400-horsepower V8. To handle cargo on the inside, you can fold the rear seats for 95.1 cubic feet of storage.
Photo by Infiniti
A long-time leader among the best seven-passenger SUVs, the 2018 Cadillac Escalade continues to raise the bar in the full-size luxury segment. This year, the Escalade welcomes an elegant new Maple Sugar design theme for the cabin along with a newly standard 10-speed automatic transmission for the engine. It’s a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough for an 8,100-pound trailer rating, or to race from 0-60 in less than six seconds. Next, the Escalade complements that capability with high comfort seating in all three rows. The standard front row is heated and ventilated, and can be ordered with a massage function, while the standard second row is heated and the third has a standard power-folding function.
Photo by Cadillac
Locating one of the Best Seven-Passenger SUVs at your local Lincoln dealership is a simple task. Just look for the all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator. The Navigator’s bold design is hard to miss and its elevated interior is impossible to overlook. Leather-trimmed seating is standard, as is more than three feet of third-row legroom. First- and second-row occupants have 43.9 and 41.1 inches. Climate-controlled comfort, with 30-way power adjustability and “Active Motion” massage, is also available for the first row. Nor did Lincoln forget about the second-row customers, who can keep warm with heated captain’s chairs. The back rows can also benefit from technologies such as mobile Wi-Fi and a rear-seat entertainment system. SUV credibility comes from a standard 450-horsepower engine and an 8,700-pound tow rating.
Photo by Lincoln
The 2018 Dodge Durango sets itself apart from the others on our Best Seven-Passenger SUV list with its SRT model. Leveraging the same high-performance expertise behind the Challenger Hellcat and Demon, the Durango SRT is equipped with a 392-cubic-inch HEMI V8 that kicks out 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The result is a full-size beast that can run from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and cover the quarter mile in an NHRA-certified 12.9 seconds. The Durango SRT is good at a different kind of dragging, too, with the power to pull an 8,700-pound trailer. As a full-size family hauler, the Durango delivers content such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a rear-seat entertainment system, climate-controlled front seats, and a competitive 31.5 inches of rear-seat legroom.
Photo by Dodge