Kia EV9

5 of the best seven-seat cars to buy in 2024

The ultimate family chariots

If you’ve got a big family, you’re going to need lots of interior space — and you might even need more than the traditional five seats offered by most vehicles on the road.

That’s where a really good seven-seater steps into the fray. Once the preserve of the multi-purpose vehicle, or “people-carrier”, these days the most common type of large people mover is the seven-seat SUV.

But there’s still a degree of choice if you fancy a slightly different body shape of car in which to accommodate your multitudinous brood, while there’s clearly a key decision to make on the form of motive power: should you go petrol, diesel, hybrid or even pure electric?

Thankfully, there’s plenty of variety of all kinds out there in the seven-seater marketplace and so we’ve come up with our five favourites to look out for in 2024.

1. Dacia Jogger

From £18,295

The Dacia Jogger is an appealing option as a family seven-seater, precisely because it is not just an SUV. Instead, it’s a compact estate car with an off-road theme to it, courtesy of chunky bumpers and a raised ride height.

Inside, while the rear-most pair of chairs are probably best reserved for younger children or teens, there’s generally plenty of room. And if you need a bigger boot as a priority over the maximum number of people onboard, then those two back seats are easily removable entirely from the rear of the Dacia.

There’s even a Sleep Pack option which turns the back of the Jogger into a double bed, if you need such a thing.

Dacia provides a choice of two drivetrains: a 109bhp turbocharged petrol 1-litre or the more appealing Hybrid 140, with a 138bhp petrol-electric 1.6-litre set-up. Both drive in an accomplished fashion, and the Jogger Hybrid can officially manage as high as 57.7mpg.

OK, so the interior is fairly straightforward to look at and low on cutting-edge tech, but the Jogger is built solidly and well-equipped for its relatively bargain purchase price. Its USP is quite simply that it is the cheapest seven-seat family car on the market.

2. Hyundai Santa Fe

From £47,000 (estimate)

There’s an all-new, fifth-generation Hyundai Santa Fe on the way for 2024 and the first thing you are going to notice is its striking looks.

Its cuboid shape certainly has the potential to be divisive, but it cannot be denied the new Santa Fe has oodles of presence.

And that set-square exterior was brought about by the desire to ensure it was the most capacious seven-seat family wagon going. The exterior lines result in really roomy accommodation in the third row of seats, while the boot is a vast cavern if you don’t need a full complement of people onboard.

Power will come from hybrid drivetrains, both of the non-plug-in and plug-in varieties, although Hyundai has stopped short of developing a full electric Sante Fe, leaving sibling Korean company Kia to produce the goods on that score (see below).

Still, if you want an efficient, stylish and simply vast seven-seat SUV, the new Hyundai Santa Fe has to be on your wish list for 2024.

3. Volkswagen Multivan

From £48,340

Traditional MPVs were sometimes known as ‘minivans’, so Volkswagen has taken that idea to its logical conclusion with its latest family carrier.

Known as the Multivan, it is – as you might expect – something van-shaped with the fitment of rear windows.

But don’t be fooled: this VW model actually has no commercial counterpart and the chassis it sits on is related to the German company’s cars, not its vans.

All of which means the Multivan drives in an incredibly civilised fashion. There’s a choice of 148- or 201bhp turbocharged diesel and petrol powertrains, which are again lifted direct from the passenger-car range so are hugely refined, while a plug-in hybrid option brings in the potential for even lower running costs.

And while its exterior form means it’s not the smallest vehicle in the world, it does equate to a remarkable amount of interior versatility. The Multivan is sold in two different body lengths, six- and seven-seat interior configuration options, and the sort of hanger-like boot space that would, well, not disgrace a van.

4. Volvo EX90

From £96,255

Last year, we recommended the Volvo XC90 to you as one of our preferred seven-seat people movers. This time around, the alphanumeric might have changed only slightly, but it brings about a huge transformation under the bonnet: electric power.

No longer a plug-in hybrid, Volvo’s largest SUV is now a zero-emission electric vehicle called the EX90. It’ll kick off with a 510bhp dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain and a gigantic 111kWh battery pack, good for an official 373 miles of one-shot driving range.

Technophile families will love the interior, too, complete with its cool, reserved, minimalist Swedish design and top-quality materials. Yet the star attraction is the 15in portrait infotainment screen, powered by Google and with 5G connectivity built in.

There’s also the option of a 25-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system with Dolby Atmos, so that those big family singalongs on long trips can be conducted in perfect audio clarity.

Kia EV9

From £64,995

Kia’s electric revolution has been developing with the help of the EV6 crossover, so now it is trying its arm at an all-electric, seven-seat SUV called the EV9.

All models are fitted with a large 99.8kWh battery pack, which Kia says can take up to 154 miles of range in as little as 15 minutes on the EV9’s maximum 210kW DC recharging connection.

There’s a choice of a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive entry-level model called the Air, with 200bhp, or the dual-motor AWD versions with 378bhp. If outright driving range is your thing, though, stick with the EV9 Air – it’ll do up to 349 miles on a single charge, compared to 313 miles for the AWD variants.

The EV9, like its distant relation the Hyundai Santa Fe, is making futuristic boxiness something of an aesthetic flourish. And while it again has exterior looks which will be love ‘em or loathe ‘em, its straight-edged suit results in a whopping passenger cabin.

At more than five metres long and nearly two wide, the EV9 has 3.1 metres between the front wheels and the back. This results in the sixth and seventh seats in the cabin being more than suitable for adults, which is not something you can say about many seven-seat SUVs at all.

There’s a high degree of practicality throughout the Kia’s high-quality interior, too, nowhere more evident than in the boot space. Even with all seats in use, the EV9 can hold up to 312 litres.

Drop the rear two seats, and that rises to a huge 828 litres. For the maximum in load-swallowing capability, though, fold all the seats down bar the front two and the Kia EV9 will accommodate a van-like 2,393 litres of cargo. That, along with its zero-emissions running gear, makes it well worth the consideration of even the most demanding of families.

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