Choosing the right 7 seater SUV for your family and your budget can be overwhelming. With so many SUVs on the market, it’s difficult to break down the pros and cons and make an informed choice about which people mover will work best for your family. Customers report their decision-makers and breakers when choosing the best 7 seater revolve around the basics of safety, features, and price.
In this article we’ve broken down those basics for the best 7 seater picks in Australia and included what to expect on the used seven-seater market too so you can choose wisely in the future.
From highest to lowest price in the used arena:
This seven-seater is an excellent family car with an equally excellent reputation. The Toyota Kluger 2WD GX is the starting point in this range and offers a V6 engine. Toyota bills this people mover car as THE family car, and while it does seem quite sleek and sporty in appearance, it is not exactly top of the line luxury.
Abilities include cruise control to maintain a steady speed set to the driver’s preference which makes driving long distances far more comfortable. Other standard features included are stability control, auto headlights, power assist steering (electric) which increases driving pleasure and reduces parking pressure, 6-speaker sound, touchscreen audio with Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and SatNav.
Equipped with a reverse camera helping the driver to confidently reverse with precision and ultimate safety when visibility is compromised. Also included are many other safety features perfect for the young family.
Power: 3.5L Dual VVT-i engine (201kW/337Nm)
Perks: Excellent family car option
Pitfalls: not as luxurious as others in its field
Average Cost: $42,000 for a 2WD GX up to $70,000 for the AWD Grande for the 2015 models but we found that on the used seven-seater market prices are as low as under $40,000 for a pre-2013 model.
Sitting comfortably in the $40,000 range for a new seven-seater vehicle, the Ford Territory enjoys a good reputation among consumers.
Offering a comfortable driving experience and excellent range of features, the Territory is one of the most popular SUV’s on the market for good reason. The Territory easily handles city driving and more rugged driving experiences for those who head off on off-road adventures.
Most Seven Seater buyers want to ensure the safety of their family and the Ford Territory comes equipped with features such as a reverse camera to keep little ones safe in driveways and precision parking easy.
Expect advanced voice control technology (Ford SYNC TM), SatNav with, and connectivity options too. All are driver-friendly and are easy to operate. Ford SYNC brings a whole new level of tech to the deck with features such as automatic dial back to emergency services if airbags are deployed in an accident even giving your GPS co-ordinates should the driver be unable to do this verbally.
The 2015 model of The Territory MkII TX RWD will set you back approx. $40,000 drive away.
Power: 195kW/ 391Nm
Perks: Reliable. Good resale values with thanks to the power of the Ford name.
Pitfalls: Nothing major at all.
Average Cost: From $40,000 for a 2015 model drive away and $37,000 for a 2008 – 2014 model according to RedBook.com
The Odyssey has been upgraded and is set to challenge the stranglehold on the market Kia has in the family/people mover class.
Honda is leaders when creating flexible seating and this seven-seater vehicle is no exception. Like the Kia, the Odyssey has not seven seats but eight so there’s, even more, room to move the people in your life and superior storage space to boot.
The Odyssey VTi is equipped with a smart park assist system, a rearview camera, airbags, and many other safety features.
Sleek in design and billed as “sexy” by its makers, the versatile Honda Odyssey challenges the old perceptions of what a seven-seater should look like. Unfortunately, though the sleek look comes with a low-carriage and this can be problematic when faced with suburban speed humps, dips, and other uneven surfaces. Customers mention unavoidable scrapes and bumps.
The Honda Odyssey’s highlight is the improved interior design this is a real winner among consumers.
Perks: 5 stars ANCAP rating. 8 seats.
Pitfalls: Power compared to others in its class
Average Cost: From $41,000 drive away but if you are prepared to search in the second-hand world for an older model expect to pay around $35,000.
The Kia Carnival was voted Best People Mover by Drive 2015 and has long been popular for the local market due to its affordability and also according to consumers, its reliability.
Maintenance costs for the Kia Carnival are minimal in comparison to its major competitors which adds to this car's high approval in the seven-seater market.
Customer satisfaction is overwhelmingly high noting, in particular, its spaciousness, performance, and comfort for the whole family.
At a minimum, inclusions consist of 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode, rearview camera, airbags, and reverse parking sensors, all making this SUV fit nicely into our best seven-seater prerequisites.
The Carnival has a greatly improved design and new appealing shape and sleeker look. Now lower to the ground, the new design provides easier access than its higher and boxier predecessors.
Expect competent handling and peace of mind with thanks to the Australian suspension and steering and also the host of crash minimizing features like brake cornering control and rollover mitigation.
Ok, so it’s not technically a seven-seater but we think this makes it even better. It’s an eight-seater! All rear seats will flip and fold and can be adjusted to provide mega boot room for travelling or work.
Power: 2.2 litres four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine (147kW/441Nm)
Perks: 8 seats are better than 7. Roomy. Affordable.
Pitfalls: Can be pricey on fuel (but diesel upgrade available).
Average Cost: From $45,000 for a 2015 base model but in the used market, according to www.redbook.com.au, you can score a bargain from pre-2007 for as little as under $30,000.
Nissan renamed its popular Dualis, QASHQAI in 2014 for the next generation of Nissan customers.
The Dualis/QASHQAI ST story is one of award-winning accolades including winning Australia’s Best Cars, Best Small 2WD SUV under $35,000.
This vehicle is a crossover success story in that it’s largely considered an oversized hatchback but enjoys an SUV profile among consumers.
Popular among families with thanks to its 2WD easy handling, it’s also packed with safety features that give consumers with families peace of mind that should anything go wrong the dual frontal airbags will be deployed along with side curtain airbags.
The Dualis offers technology such as park assist and comfort, which is paramount for driving ease and pleasure when choosing a large car in the seven-seater range.
Power: MR20 2.0L petrol engine (106KW/200Nm)
Perks: Price. Excellent handling. NissanConnect apps connectivity.
Pitfalls: Power lower than its counterparts in its class
Average Cost: From $30,000 but be sure to check out the used seven-seater market where you can find a model as recent as 2009 for under $25,000.
Hyundai Santa Fe
As the tagline in Hyundai's latest marketing material for Santa Fe suggests, the Hyundai Santa Fe, in all of its incarnations boasts that they are strong, stylish, and sporty.
The Santa Fe has been a leader in its class since 2012 on the Australian market, and there have been few changes since then.
You can pick up a Santa Fe from approx $39000 for a 2012 or 2013 model but also offers increased luxury options all the way up to approx. $60000 for the SR model.
Your base features include a 2.4-liter four-cylinder petrol tank and six-speed manual Active but those who prefer auto can be driving away from as little as $2500 extra for the luxury. Costs go up with each little extra buyer add such as opting for a diesel engine but this is well worth it when factoring the reduced emissions and long term running costs.
It’s a great looking vehicle and popular for those with families that prefer a car with class and enhanced open road performance.
Power: 2.2-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder (145kW/436Nm)
Perks: Front park assist, Towing capacity of 2500kg, Heated leather seats, 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
Average Cost: According to CarsGuide.com.au approximate prices in the used market range from $24,000 to $33,000 for a 2012 model; and $31,000 to $43,000 for a 2013.
Holden Captiva 5LT
For those looking for a brand new people mover that won't break the budget, this small SUV might fit the bill nicely.
Designed with a European flair, the Captiva is compact to park but spacious for interior storage and passengers.
Priced to compete in its class but bear in mind it is not often considered to fit into its class as an SUV to be reckoned with as it feels a little like the city slicker cousin when compared to its more powerful counterparts.
Front and Rear Park Assist are included with many other safety features such as six airbags and stability control should you find yourself in trouble on a tight corner.
Enjoy the six-speed automatic transmission with a manual option for greater control and handling if desired.
2WD for city driving makes for a greater economy in running costs.
Power: 2.4L Petrol Engine (123kw/230Nm)
Perks: Price, Price Price! Compact and comfortable.
Pitfalls: Less power than its competitors (although upgrade options are available), resale value is low compared with better-known SUV brands.
Average Cost: From $32,000 for an LT model brand new or $25,000 for a 2013 model on the used seven-seater market.