9 Passenger Vehicles – Top Picks

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee
9 passenger vehicles top picks

Not everyone has a need to transport the entire starting lineup of a baseball team. But what if you do?

Those unfamiliar with America’s pastime, baseball requires a lineup card consisting of nine players and that is what we are focusing on here; 9 passenger vehicles. This is the domain of full-size SUVs and large vans as not many vehicles have the interior capacity to seat so many people. Nine passenger SUVs rely on three rows of seats that sit three passengers per bench. It’s sort of a cubed seating arrangement. Vans on the other hand usually have two seats up front with any number of benches behind that could accommodate two, three, or even passengers per row.

SEE ALSO: 8 Seater SUV: Top 10 Best

This is a niche segment, and it’s one that is shrinking. The Ford Expedition no longer has a nine passenger configuration and neither does the Ram ProMaster. The Nissan NV2500 has been discontinued altogether, eliminating yet another option. As it stands, there are just the four General Motors SUV siblings and a handful of vans that can seat at least nine passengers. We have listed them below in no particular order.

Chevrolet Tahoe / GMC Yukon

9 passenger vehicles top picks

As mentioned, General Motors is the only game in town when it comes to nine passenger SUVs. Both the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon can be had with a three-seater bench up front, but only in the base models. For the Tahoe, that means selecting the LS trim level and for the Yukon, the SLE. The good news is that either vehicle can be had with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. As well, there are a choice of a V8 gasoline engine or a turbocharged six-cylinder diesel.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Diesel Review: When You Get It Right

A variety of packages can be added to the SUVs, making them feel more than just spartan base models. With the Tahoe and Yukon, space inside is dominated by the three rows of seating so cargo capacity is at a minimum.

Chevrolet Suburban / GMC Yukon XL

9 passenger vehicles top picks

If more cargo space is needed, General Motors has a solution for you; the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL. Riding on extended wheelbases, the larger full-size SUVs offer more passenger and cargo space. Like the regular Yukon and Tahoe, nine-seat options are only available on the base models. with the same two engine and drivetrain options.

Although space is a bit cramped in these big SUVs, if carrying nine passengers and towing a sizeable trailer is required, they are hard to beat.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van

9 passenger vehicles top picks

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger van is a vehicle that excels in choice. Although pricing can get rather high, it is possible to outfit one into a posh people transporter. For starters, there are two different chassis it can be built on depending on size and weight. It can be had with a high or low roof in four-row, 12 passenger configurations. Or, there is also the high roof only, extended-wheelbase, five-row, 15 passenger models.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review

Then there is the drivetrain. There are a choice of turbocharged engines; a four-cylinder gas, a four-cylinder diesel or a six-cylinder diesel. The latter can even be equipped with all-wheel drive turning the Sprinter into a mix between commercial van and SUV.

Ford Transit Passenger Van

9 passenger vehicles top picks

The Ford Transit is another van with near limitless possibilities. It can be had with a choice of three roof heights, two body lengths, and the option of a single or dual rear wheels. Power comes from a choice of V6 engines, naturally aspirated or turbocharged. Regardless of which engine is selected, power is sent through a 10-speed automatic transmission to either just the rear, or all four wheels.

Unlike the Mercedes-Benz, the Transit only comes with five rows of seats, capable of accommodating 14 or 15 passengers.

Chevrolet Express Passenger / GMC Savana Passenger

2016 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van
2016 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van

The Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana twins are the last of the old-school, American full size van. The truck-based passenger vans come with just one roof height, in just the extended wheelbase chassis. There are plenty of engine choices including a V6, V8, and turbocharged four-cylinder diesel. Unlike the Ford and Mercedes-Benz, the GM pair only come with rear-wheel drive.

Seating options include 12- or 15-passenger configurations in either 4 or 5 rows of seats. The interior is familiar, if not a bit dated, and focused on utility and comfort rather than outright luxury.

Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Join the conversation