Whether you’ve got a passel of kids, carpool assignments, or a team to shuttle, or you just prefer to be the designated driver among your friends, you sometimes need a vehicle that holds as many people as possible. Short of getting a full-size passenger van like a Chevrolet Express, Ford Transit, or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, this means you’re shopping for a set of wheels equipped with three rows of seats, with second- and third-row benches that seat three apiece.
Aside from the big vans, there are three kinds of vehicles that serve this purpose: mid-size SUVs, full-size SUVs, and minivans. Typically, but not always, second-row bench seats are available only with lower trim levels; the apparent thinking is that people buying the best-equipped examples prefer to have second-row captain’s chairs, lowering passenger capacity to seven. For this list, we stuck with mainstream brands to keep the choices (relatively) affordable. These 10 of the best 8-passenger vehicles are listed on the pages that follow in alphabetical order.