7 passenger vehicles are the sweet spot for MPVs; more accommodating than 6-passenger vehicles, but not necessarily as gargantuan as 8+ seaters.
There are dozens of choices on the market. Some offer three seats in the middle row and two in the third row, while others come equipped with captains chairs in the second row and a three-person bench in the back. Some are smaller vehicles just squeezing in seven seats while others are larger vehicles that could be equipped with even more seats. What’s right for you depends on you priorities. preferences and planned usage.
Granted, there are vehicles that can offer more seats for the same money, but we already covered those in our 8 Seater SUV article. What we want to focus on here are the lowest priced vehicles configured for seven seats – no more and no less. Here are the top 10 most affordable 7 passenger vehicles currently on the market today.
The Dodge Durango comes standard as a five-passenger SUV. But optional on nearly every trim level, including the base SXT RWD model, is a stand-alone third row option that adds two more seats in the back. As the trim level suggests, the two-wheel drive Durango SXT is rear-wheel drive at starts at a price of $34,472 USD ($43,849 CAD). Although it increases the price significantly, it is possible to get the Durango with a choice of brawny V8 engines.
The Mazda CX-9 is one of the more stylish seven-passenger vehicles on sale today, with form being just as important to the vehicle’s design as function. Like some other vehicles on this list, the CX-9 comes equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but nothing comes close to the Mazda’s 320 lb-ft. of torque. The entry level Sport trim features seven passenger seating and front-wheel drive for a price of $34,160 USD ($40,550 CAD).
It may come as a surprise that the Volkswagen Atlas only seats seven passengers. This is a large three-row crossover, so one can be forgiven for assuming the third row seats three people. But in fact it is only the domain of two passengers.
By limiting space to just two people, the Atlas has one of the largest, most accommodating third rows of any vehicle currently on sale – SUV or minivan. If consistently carrying six to seven adults is a must, take a look at the Atlas. The FWD SE trim level features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and starts at $33,475 USD ($40,595 CAD).
The Ford Explorer is a bit of a mash-up of the vehicles we have listed up until now. The entry level model is rear-wheel drive, like the Dodge Durango, and features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, like the Mazda CX-9. It is one of the larger crossover with standard seven-passenger seating, like the Volkswagen Atlas. Pricing for the base model undercuts these rivals, starting at just $33,245 USD ($42,669 CAD).
Leaving the world of SUVs and Crossovers, we have our first minivan to make the list, the Honda Odyssey. Minivans have always been the masters of comfort, space and packaging, making them the idea people haulers. Unlike its main rival, the Toyota Sienna, the Odyssey only offers seven seats on the entry level model instead of eight. This allows pricing to be kept down to $32,290 USD for the base LX trim.
Kia is insistent that the Carnival is not a minivan, but instead refers to it as MPV (Multi-Person Vehicle) in the United States and a LUV (Life Utility Vehicle) in Canada. Regardless of what labels are put on it, the Carnival is a three row, front-wheel drive box on wheels with sliding doors.
We do give Kia credit for making the vehicle more stylish and crossover-like in appearance, as even the entry-level LX is quite attractive. Pricing for the seven-seat Carnival starts at $32,100 USD.
Despite the Carnival and Telluride stealing the headlines as Kia’s latest and greatest three-row vehicles, the company still offers the smaller Sorento with an optional third row. Seven-passenger seating is standard on the base LX trim, starting at just $29,490 USD ($34,295 CAD). At this price point, think of the LX as more of an occasional-use seven passenger vehicle as it lacks the power and space of some of the more expensive choices listed above.
The final van on our list is the Ford Transit Connect, a vehicle hard to categorize. It isn’t really a minivan, as it was designed more for commercial use. But it’s not a utilitarian metal shell like its cargo siblings either; in fact, the Titanium trim level is quite posh and well equipped.
So what is it? They best we can come up with is a sort of mini-minivan. It’s a 9/10ths scale version of a traditional minivan, but still with seven seats. And it is also quite affordable, if not lacking a bit for power. The 162 HP entry level XL model starts at $27,920 USD ($34,615 CAD).
We finish our list with a pair of three-row compact crossovers. Not as popular as they once were, the three row compact crossover still has a market, and Mitsubishi has been a serious player here for years. The Outlander received a heavy refresh recently and continues to offer a lot of value for the money. Pricing for the ES 2.5 2WD starts at $26,095 USD ($31,998 CAD) and includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a full suite of advanced safety systems, and of course seven passenger seating.
It appears that Volkswagen really took the criticism to heart that the original Tiguan was too small. When the second generation appeared in 2017, it had grown significantly and came equipped with a third-row seat. As one of the smaller vehicles in this list, the third row is obviously more the domain of children than adults.
Standard on every Tiguan is a torque-rich 2.0-liter turbocharged engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The front-wheel drive S trim level undercuts all other three-row passenger vehicles with a starting price of $25,995 USD ($33,795 CAD).
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